July 17, 2023 - August 11, 2023

Current as of January 19, 2023


Each summer, the UCI Ethics Center selects a few promising students for a mentoring program. We plan a full online program again in 2023, open to all qualified college, graduate, and high school students worldwide. Applications are now open, and students may apply to our online program by completing the application (below). There is no cost for this intense mentoring program. No recommendations are required. You need only to (1) complete the short form at the end of this announcement and (2) pay a small fee for processing your application. Students for whom the fee presents a financial hardship may request a waiver by contacting Andrada Costoiu, Associate Director for the Summer Program at Andradac@uci.edu.



Online program. While we initially accepted only local students, with the advent of COVID-19, we went online and quickly realized there is an international demand for the personal mentoring we provide. The 2023 summer mentoring program thus will again be online and we will accept students from all over the world for a virtual mentoring program during the weeks of July 17, 2023 – August 11, 2023. Students will meet twice a week, in groups of 15-30 students, as part of a mentoring program that will provide hands-on experience in various forms of research. The research activities will teach many different skills, from basic library research that might be used in a literature review to skill sets such as SPSS or other computational programs and introduction to data analysis of various kinds, from archival data, aggregate data, interviews, survey data, and narrative-interpretive analysis. No prior experience with ethics is required. All that we ask is that students be interested in working with a university faculty member or a graduate student mentor. (This year, we are fortunate also to have Claudia Shambaugh, the host/producer of a KUCI radio program, conduct a special mentoring module and the widow of a Colonel in the Dutch Resistance during World War II and Yad Vashem rescuer, Tony Von Renterghem, with bring her experience in film industry to help create social media on her husband for Module 3.)

No charge for program, a modest processing fee. There is no charge for the program itself. To handle the increased demand and to keep the mentoring experience a high-quality one, small enough to retain its personal aspect, we will be asking for a processing fee ($200). Students for whom this fee poses a financial hardship can request a fee waiver from the Associate Director of the Mentoring Program at andradac@uci.edu. Anyone who wishes to contribute further to the Ethics Center to defray costs for other students who may have financial constraints may do so here: https://secure.give.uci.edu/donation/?COA1=004011&COA2 We appreciate all your support.

Modules. We begin by offering six modules this year. Students will be allowed to participate in only one module but may register on a waitlist for a module that is over-subscribed. We will try to assign each student to their preferred module. We will add extra modules if demand requires it in order to keep the numbers below 30 for each module. (If demand is high for one particular module, then we will try to offer more than one session of that particular module.) We will begin reviewing applications and send out the first acceptances by February 1st. Thereafter admissions will be rolling, with acceptances sent on the 1st and the 15th of each month until May.

Waiver. Participants in the program who are under 18 on July 17, 2023, will need to have a waiver signed by their parents before they can begin the program. Waivers will be sent out by June 1 via email and must be received before the program begins on July 17th.

Application form. The application process is a simple one and requires no recommendations. Please complete the application (below) and indicate your first and second choice of a module at that time. Students are allowed to take only one module.






Module 1. The pseudo-science of race and ethnicity: Social categorization and public policy that reflects and perpetuates systemic racism. Andrada Costoiu. Associate Director, the UCI Ethics Center Summer Mentoring Program. Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. -12 p.m.

Module 2. Ghosts’ Stories: Trauma, Memory, and Legacies of Violence. Kiyaan Parikh. UCI Grad Student, Political Science. Time TBA.

Module 3. Using Social Media to Combat Hate and Foster Tolerance. Kristen Renwick Monroe. Distinguished Professor and Director, UCI Ethics Center. Tuesday and Thursday, 2-4 Pacific time.

Module 4. Memories, Marxism and Maoist Revolution in China. Yiwen Huang, Grad student in Political Science. Time TBA.

Module 5. Hardball in Past and Contemporary American Politics: Entrenching Political Advantage. William Cullen Kidd. Graduate student, Department of Political Science. Monday and Wednesday 2-4 pm Pacific time.

Module 6. Radio: Back to the Future. Claudia Shambaugh, radio public affairs host/producer, KUCI. Time TBA.



2022 Module on human rights




Navigating Ethics and Morality in the Modern Era: Results from the 2021 Summer Internship Program








UCI Ethics Center - Summer Internship Testimonial Summer 2021




Working Paper

 Sexual Violence and the Shifting Faces of Feminism in the Age of #MeToo and Donald Trump



During the 2020 Summer Internship at the Ethics Center, I studied about moral courage on historical and current figures. I really enjoyed the internship because it was challenging as well as interesting simultaneously. It was challenging to read about Aristotle’s ancient interpretation about moral courage but was intriguing to see how our perceptions of morality and courage have shifted over time. My favorite part was studying about the moral dilemma around Dr. Fauci and Dr. Rick Bright during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though both of them are scientists, they were entangled by the politicized pandemic response. The topic was complex whereas my mentor was ready to help and always encouraged and directed me to try harder and try a different way. I love how my mentor Professor Kristen Monroe always raised new questions during every meeting and expect us to look for various explanations. In a nutshell, the most important lesson I have learnt is that it is crucial to view my research topics from a nonjudgmental perspective and to welcome ideas I like and dislike at the same time. Additionally, I find out that research is not as complicated as I used to expect and is an avenue for exploration into ourselves and societies.
– Anqi Wang
(2020 CEM summer intern)




We are always told “do the right thing”. But is it really that simple? The answer lies in our ethics, our decision making processes, our culture, and so much more.

I went on to discover my own answer to this question through the UCI Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics program. In module 4 we studied moral courage in times of despair. This opportunity to research moral courage led by Professor Kristen Monroe and Ben Hoyt gave me the opportunity to further understand what sparks courage among individuals, specifically researching times where Senators Mitt Romney and Jeff Flake have taken a public stand and spoken out against their party. As an intern, I was assigned to the research study of moral courage in liberal democracies. I collaborated with other students to collect data through analyzing legal testimonies, interviews, social media, and editorials.

I began by exploring literature for findings of moral courage and the differences that exist for elected officials and party officials. My research started far before the founding of the Republic: Athenian democracy in Ancient Greece. Together with my fellow interns, we compiled our findings into a paper that was based on acts of moral courage where politicians placed principle over party loyalty and the implications of their actions. Compiling modern congressional records and news articles discussing the fallout showed me that these acts require courage and confidence in one’s beliefs. At its core, it became clear that moral courage is connected with one’s personal values of integrity, authenticity, and truthfulness, and is triggered by the circumstances people find themselves in. Integrity is as unique as those that possess it.

When the internship on module 4 was completed, Professor Monroe and a small group of us interns went on to research COVID and the outcomes and differences in public compliance in various locations. Our research led us to discover the political influence of COVID and medical advice in relation to public compliance. The outcomes differed between states and countries but ultimately, the successful countries had strong collectivist civic cultures.

Through this experience, I learned more than I could have imagined about empirical research conducted at the university level. I had a pleasure working with Mr. Hoyt and Professor Monroe. However, the lesson I will carry with me in my personal life is about people. I had the opportunity to learn how to analyze behavior that is deeply personal and draw conclusions that can be applied to our society as a whole. My hope is that by studying moral courage and helping define what leads to courageous acts, that this research can inspire it in all of us.
– Lauren O’Neill
(2020 CEM summer intern)



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