About the Initiative

Overview

Berkeley Discovery is a campus-wide effort to transform undergraduate education. Discovery writ large is more than a single discrete experience or one-semester capstone project. Discovery is an intentional and holistic arc that supports all students on a journey of engaged creativity and self-actualization.

The core goals of the Berkeley Discovery Initiative are to:

  • Elevate Discovery to become a universal signature of the Berkeley experience.
  • Catalyze curricular innovation to weave discovery into the fabric of learning.
  • Expand co-curricular capacity by providing more discovery opportunities. 
  • Develop a scaffolded Discovery arc (Connect-Immerse-Culminate) to build a culture of belonging and agency.
  • Provide equity of experience by ensuring that all students have access to Discovery. 
  • Promote resilience during periods of remote learning and institutional change.

Together, these goals will support a campus-wide cultural transformation. By centralizing our campus commitment to staff support, program assessment, fundraising and community resources, we can provide Discovery experiences to all students and offer leadership for a new vision of higher education.

This initiative is a collaborative effort between the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost and the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.

Implementation

The two flagship components of the initiative are the Berkeley Discovery Departmental Innovation Awards Program and the Discovery Hub.

Berkeley Discovery Departmental Innovation Program: Creating new things in new ways

In Fall 2020, we embarked on a new phase of the Discovery Initiative with the launch the flagship component: Berkeley Discovery Departmental Innovation Awards Program, an approach to developing and infusing the Discovery Arc throughout the undergraduate experience. With a $5 million gift from the Chernin family, we created this awards program to foster a culture of transformative and collaborative engagement.

The Discovery Hub: Inviting students into a new story

The Discovery Hub will be a central campus resource, both physical and online, for all Berkeley undergraduates. Discovery projects often take place at the intersection between coursework and Berkeley’s rich landscape of co-curricular programs. Therefore, the Hub will expand and coordinate co-curricular offerings across campus in undergraduate research, arts, entrepreneurialism, and community engagement. The Hub will also directly support students in navigating campus, planning discovery projects, and building dynamic communities of mentors and collaborators. Ultimately the Hub will make the Discovery landscape easier to navigate and elevate the quality and reach of Discovery on campus.