CA Workforce Initiative

Nanotechnology Workforce Preparation

The Qualcomm Institute’s nanotechnology facilities offer not only advanced capabilities for fabrication and characterization in a state-of-the-art cleanroom, but also the opportunity for hands-on learning about nanotechnology and the operation of nanotechnology equipment. Programs include: a summer institute for middle and high school teachers; an academic internship program for UC San Diego undergraduates; and undergraduate summer research internships.

Nanotechnology Summer Institute for Middle and High School Teachers

In a program ultimately reaching thousands of California students, participants in the Nanotechnology Summer Institute for Middle and High School Teachers learn how to integrate nanotechnology content into their Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-aligned curricula.

During the intensive five-day program, about 30 teachers per summer learn how to prepare and implement lesson plans that introduce nanotechnology to their students and inspire an appreciation for its many potential applications and future job opportunities. At an additional optional daylong event, teachers highlight their lesson plan ideas and share potential approaches with fellow participants. The instructor not only facilitates the creation and implementation of the lesson plans during the training, but also is available to assist throughout the entire 2022-2023 school year and beyond.

Summer institute participants receive stipends of $500 (after completion of the five-day program) and $300 (after in-class implementation of the lesson plan or upon attending the optional sixth day), as well as up to $200 for materials used during the training. No travel or lodging expenses are covered for this program.

To apply, please email Yves Theriault at by April 30 and provide:

  • Full name
  • Name of school where teaching
  • Grade level(s)
  • Science or math topic(s) taught

Academic Internship Program in Nanotechnology

Through UC San Diego’s Academic Internship Program, which offers academic credit for practical learning, QI nanotechnology personnel provide about 10 undergraduates the opportunity to become proficient in the operation of advanced nanotechnology equipment in the QI’s state-of-the-art cleanroom. Interns typically spend about 10 hours a week over the course of an academic year honing these skills, which are in high demand by high-tech companies that work with electronic and optoelectronic materials/devices and other areas requiring nanofabrication.

In addition to offering hands-on training, the program brings together students and representatives from industry in seminars and job fairs; many interns have accepted jobs at these companies upon graduation.

For more information on how to apply, please contact Yves Theriault at

Summer Research Education for Undergraduates in Nanotechnology

In this 10-week summer research experience, undergraduates at UC San Diego are paired with leading researchers in the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology. The program provides participants with nanotechnology research experience and professional development activities that promote experiential learning and preparation for graduate school.

Each participant is assigned to a faculty mentor and works to advance that lab’s work in fields such as nano-materials, nano-biomedicine, nano-photonics, and nano-magnetics. At the end of the program, participants have the opportunity to present their research projects at the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure Annual REU convocation, as well as the UC San Diego Summer Conference.

Participants receive a $4,500 stipend, on-campus housing, and up to $500 in travel expenses. Applications for the 2023 program will open in November. For more information, see