Become a STEPS Student

Research Fellowship

STEPS is a prestigious research group investigating transition strategies and scenarios for alternative fuels and vehicles.  Admission is very competitive.  Students interested in joining STEPS should first complete the UC Davis Graduate Studies application.  Within this application, you will identify your research areas of interest and advisors with whom you would like to work.  We recommend that you review the STEPS Research page, which outlines our research areas and research leaders.

ITS-Davis – Students conducting research in the STEPS program are either enrolled in the ITS-Davis Transportation Technology and Policy (TTP) program, which awards MS and PhD degrees, or a related degree-granting program.  The TTP program allows graduate students to study and analyze a wide range of transportation related issues, including alternative fuels and vehicles.  If you have questions about the application process, please contact Annemarie Schaaf (; 530-752-0247).


Our expectations of students who are funded by or are actively engaged in the STEPS program are:

  1. During the academic year, take a 299 research unit with your advisor and make significant progress on STEPS relevant research.
    1. Advisors will only award a score of “Satisfactory” if you make good progress on your research.
  2. Work on STEPS research in proportion with the percentage of funding you receive from STEPS or a related fellowship/scholarship
    1. I.e., if you are funded 49% time, we expect you to work 20 hours/week on STEPS research; if you are funded 100% time, during the summer, we expect you to work 40 hours/week on STEPS research.
  3. Submit a progress report at the end of each quarter (Due on Jan. 5, Apr. 5, Jul. 5, Oct. 5), showing significant progress made, to Paul Gruber.
  4. Register, participate and pass the Tuesday (12:10-1pm) STEPS Seminar.
  5. Prepare and present a poster at each STEPS research symposium (two times per year).
  6. Apply for fellowships and other available funding opportunities.
  7. Apply for California residency as soon as possible.
  8. If your research focus or graduation status changes, immediately inform your advisor and Paul Gruber.
  9. Review the TTP Guidance Manual for more expectations and resources.

Graduate Education at UC Davis

Visit the Graduate Studies webpage for more information on graduates programs at UC Davis.