Graduate Research Scholars 

  • 2017-2018 GRS Program Overview
  • Application Process
  • GRS Assignment
  • GRS Positions
  • Calendar
  • Contacts

Selections have closed for the 2017-2018 GRS cycle. Check back for the 2018-2019 cycle in December 2017! 

The School of Architecture has completed its review of research abstracts submitted by our faculty for possible GRS participation. The selected abstracts are available for your consideration.


If you are interested in participating in the GRS program, please review the abstracts to determine first, which ones most closely align with your academic interests and second, which would benefit from your specific qualifications and skill sets.

Select a total of (3) research projects and list in ranked-order. For each selection, please give a detailed explanation for your choice and how you are best qualified to participate in the project. Do not include projects noted as having been already filled in your ranked order. 

Emphasis should be placed on being as specific as possible. Faculty will be given the list of interested students and select their GRS scholar(s) from that list. 

We need your top three selections no later than Monday, January 23rd, 2017.


Please note abstracts labeled “Filled,” meaning that students have already been selected. If a “filled” projects still interests you, feel free to email the applicable faculty member to let them know.

A brief review of the program and its parameters:

***The term of the GRS assignment is from January 2017 to January 2018.

***GRS assignments are for (1) project per year.

***GRS assignments are paid positions.

***GRS assignments are limited to 120 hours per year.

Download the GRS Selection Form and email back to when completed. (for fillable form use Adobe Reader 9 or higher)

2017-2018 GRS Program Overview

Each Fall, our faculty will compete for research support through the GRS program. Proposals that provide enriched ‘mentorship through research’ opportunities for our students and eventual publication credit will be prioritized. A maximum number of proposals will be funded each year January to January--with on average two GRS students connected to each proposal.

The School of Architecture’s Graduate Research Scholar (GRS) program supports three primary goals:

  • To engage our Graduate and PhD students in critical research outside of the classroom
  • To encourage long term professional mentorship between student and the faculty
  • To expand faculty support for ongoing funded research
Application Process


Eligible faculty will prepare a one-page abstract fully describing their project, its research objectives, funding sources, deliverables and relevance to the pedagogical and research initiatives of the School of Architecture and the graduate program(s). The Dean’s Office and Program Chairs will review submitted abstracts for potential GRS student participation. Faculty may choose to submit multiple abstracts for consideration.


Approved abstracts will be distributed to potential GRS students. Students will select –in ranked order (3) potential projects they feel most qualified to actively participate in. For each selection, students must fully describe their specific skill(s) and how they enable the student to make meaningful contributions to the body of research being undertaken.

GRS Assignment

Faculty will receive notification of the student(s) interested in their project(s) and are given the opportunity to review their individual proposals and stated skills. Faculty then nominate –in ranked order, the students they wish to include on their project team. In the case of students being selected by multiple faculty members, the Dean’s office will make the final selection. No more than (2) GRS students will be assigned to any (1) research project, unless the Dean’s Office grants an exception. Some Faculty may have students in mind to work on their projects and might pre-select them once their projects have been approved. Students interested in projects noted as having been already filled should not include it on their ranked order form. (It is not a bad idea for such students to let said Faculty know of their interest in case they have research funds for additional student help, outside of the GRS Program.) GRS students may not work on more than (1) research project at a time. The Dean’s office and GRS Program Coordinators will make final assignment notification.

GRS Positions

Selected GRS students are assigned to faculty for (1) year terms, January – January. All GRS students receive an hourly wage for hours spent for a maximum total of 120 hours per year (roughly 60 hours a semester). It is the direct responsibility of the faculty to determine a reasonable schedule for their assigned GRS student so as not to impact the student’s ongoing studies. This schedule must strictly comply will all University rules for student employees and will require officially submitted timesheets. Faculty not familiar with these processes must contact the School of Architecture Budget Office for assistance prior to any hours being spent.

SUBMISSION OF COMPLETED WORK: TBA (during the completion of year-long assignment)


Nov. 6 - Nov. 16

Call for Faculty GRS Abstracts

Nov. 16

Faculty GRS Abstracts Due

Nov. 16 - Nov. 23

GRS Abstracts review and selection by Dean’s Office, Director of Graduate Architecture, Interim Director of Landscape Architecture, Chair of the Ph.D. Program and Discipline Heads

Dec. 23 - Dec. 10

Notification of selected GRS projects sent to faculty


Graduate students review and self-nominate for GRS participation


Faculty review and final selection of nominated student candidate(s)


Notification of graduate students selected and review of alternate selections if required

Jan. 9 – Jan. 28

School of Architecture Budget Office begins payroll setup process and notifies faculty of any problems with their student selection. Note that only the Budget Office can determine final eligibility of students.

Jan. on (after approval)

GRS Assignments begin.

Jan. 2018

GRS Assignments end.


Program Coordinators

Lee Olvera

GRS Program Coordinators (Faculty)


Ken Breisch 

Building the Los Angeles Public Library System Project Coordinator

Positions Status: Available

Maria Esnaola

From Prototype to Type Project Coordinator 

Position Status: Available

Alison Hirsch 

Designing the Landscape of Sociocultural Action Project Coordinator 

Position Status: Available

Karen Kensek

Healthcare Design Project Coordinator 

Position Status: Available

Karen Kensek 

Investigation of Architectural Glass Characteristics Project Coordinator,

Evaluating the Daylighting Effectiveness… Project Coordinator  

Both Position Status' are Available

Kyle Konis

Circadian Lighting Design Project Coordinator 

Position Status: Available

Lisa Little

Robot Related 2017 Project Coordinator 

Position Status: Available

Amy Murphy

2 Book Projects Project Coordinator 

Position Status: Available

Douglas Noble 

Precast Concrete Building Envelopes Project Coordinator, JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK Environmental Design Guidelines Project Coordinator 

Both Position Status' are Available

Gary Paige

CASE STUDY HOUSE PROGRAM 2.0 Project Coordinator 

Position Status: Filled

Hadrian Predock 

Learning from Los Angeles Project Coordinator 

Position Status: Available

Jose Sanchez 

“Architecture for the commons” Publication Project Coordinator

Position Status: Available

Kelly Shannon 

Landscape Architecture as Necessity Project Coordinator, Dams, Reservoirs & Urban Globalization Project Coordinator 

Position Status: Available

Doris Sung 

Diagramming Smart Geometries for Responsive Facades Project Coordinator 

Position Status: Available

Travis Longcore

Green Space, Air Quality, and Obesity Project Coordinator

Position Status: Available