Mahsa Amini Scholarship Fund

We want to honor Mahsa Amini's legacy by establishing the "Mahsa Amini Graduate Scholarship" to be hosted at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).
We appreciate the office of the UC president (UCOP) who recently approved the establishment of the Mahsa Amini Graduate scholarship; Thanks to tremendous help from Ms. Venus Nasri, Assistant Director of Student Affairs at UCSB, who worked tirelessly with us to make it happen. We seek your help to launch this scholarship at its future campus-- UCSB. The scholarship will be awarded to a qualified Ph.D. student with a bachelor's degree in a non-STEM discipline from an Iranian institution. Please donate to our campaign and raise awareness by sharing with your network.

More on this scholarship:
The scholarship is named after Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian woman whose legacy of courage should be reflected in those who receive this fellowship. Recipients should demonstrate economic need, and this scholarship will be provided to those who may have been deprived of personal freedoms in their upbringing. Preference shall be given to women studying in a non-STEM discipline of Iranian heritage, although any qualified student is eligible to receive the fellowship. The scholarship will be awarded for one year. However, the goal is to keep the scholarship for years to come.

Q: Who is Mahsa Amini?
Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman, was only days from starting her undergraduate program in Iran. Tragically, she could not fulfill her dreams since she was killed on September 16- 2022, at the hands of the 'Morality Police' in Tehran, Iran.

Q: What's the importance of Mahsa's death?
Mahsa's tragic death has sparked ongoing protests inside and outside Iran. Faced with brutal and barbaric crackdowns from the Iranian government and security forces-- which have resulted in the death of hundreds of adults and children-- these protests have turned into a 'historic first,' i.e., the fierce women and adolescents lead this movement in Iran. Its slogan has become a beacon of hope, sung by many, and has been echoed by people seeking social justice and human rights around the world:

(زن - زندگی - آزادی)

Q: Is my donation tax deductible? And where will the fund go?
Yes, your donations are tax-deductible according to local tax laws. Also, collected donations shall be transferred to the account(s) that ought to be provided by the financial office at the University of California.

Q: Is this an ongoing and yearly scholarship?
We are actively working with the staff at the University of California to consolidate the requirements, logistics, timing, and selection procedures of Mahsa Amini's scholarship.
Theoretically speaking, this scholarship is aimed to be hosted indefinitely by UCSB, yet the overall lifetime of this scholarship depends on the total amount raised in this seed round as well as future contributions. Eligible (new) students can apply for Mahsa Amini's scholarship every year.

Q: What happens if the scholarship does not go through?
First, we reiterate that the office of the UC president (UCOP) has already approved the establishment of the Mahsa Amini Graduate scholarship. However, in the rare case that this scholarship cannot be established within one year, the donated amount will be returned to you. In addition, the GoFundMe platform provides Giving Gaurantee, which protects donors against cases of fraud for one year.

Q: Why the University of California at Santa Barbara?
Many of us- Iranian students, immigrants, and hyphenated Iranians- cannot appreciate enough the life-changing opportunity the UCSB family and campus provided us. Located on the Pacific coastline, UCSB has become a second home to many current and past students of Iranian heritage.

Q: How can I help further?
We truly appreciate your help and support in spreading the word and sharing the campaign with your friends and coworkers. We are especially looking for team members in the tech industry. Please get in touch with us.

Q: Is there a public and official acknowledgment of this scholarship by UC Santa Barbara?
[Update. As of December 2022], the UCSB Foundation publicly recognized the Mahsa Amini scholarship. This page can be found here. Donors can use UCSB's direct link to contribute to this scholarship if they choose to do so. We remark that the current GFM page can still be used for donations and/or sharing with your network.

Q: Who is the team?
This campaign has been a dynamic and ever-evolving effort supported by numerous people. As a courtesy to a few members, we may not be able to share the full names of all the people who have been and/or are still helping us to move this campaign forward. Nevertheless, we thank them for their ideas and support at every stage.
  • Salva Salmani-Rezaie, is currently a Kavli postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University and will soon join Ohio State University as an Assistant Professor. Salva holds a Ph.D. degree from the Materials science department at UCSB.
  • Mohamad M. Nasr-Azadani, is a principal data scientist at Accenture in San Francisco. Mohamad holds a Ph.D. degree from the Mechanical Engineering Department at UCSB and is passionate about education.

Q: Are you affiliated with any political organizations or have any political agenda?
This grassroots movement's sole mission is to empower women through graduate-level education. We do not support any political message or campaign.

Fundraising team (2)

Mohamad Nasr-Azadani, PhD 
San Francisco, CA
Salva Rezaie, PhD 
Team member

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