RIMSE Summer Schools: Training opportunities for graduate, undergraduate, high school, and post-graduate students

The RIMSE are immersive, hands-on six-week programs meant to prepare trainees to work in MRSEC-affiliated research labs. RIMSE engage a wide range of participants–from high school students to post-doctoral researchers and industry partners. Depending on level of preparation, REU students and students chosen for externships can also participate in a RIMSE prior to commencing their research activities.

Generally taking place during the summer, RIMSE Summer Schools are run by MRSEC faculty who serve as senior mentors/instructors. Each school emphasizes different research aspects related to the MRSEC, including soft materials and biomaterials, self-assembled materials, and computational design, and they share a set of core training elements focused on: research-critical instrumentation (electron microscopy, Raman and FTIR spectroscopy, x-ray and electron diffraction methods); integration of computational methods; critical laboratory safety and the safe handling of chemical, biological, and nanotechnological hazards; and research ethics. The immersive curriculum includes three two-hour background lectures each week, and each participant completes a capstone “Discovery Project”—a self-driven research project conducted with appropriate supervision in one of the MRSEC labs.

RIMSE Summer Schools are coordinated with the following UC San Diego MS and PhD programs:
Chemistry & Biochemistry | Nanoengineering | Bioengineering | Materials Science & Engineering

RIMSE Programs Offerings in Summer 2021:
(Please note: In response to COVID trends and regulations, programming for the RIMSE Summer Schools may be impacted)

Summer School on Silicon Nanotechnology

Nanoscale silicon materials
The intellectual focus of this RIMSE Summer School is on preparing, characterizing, and exploiting the properties of photonic crystals, thin films, nanoparticles, and quantum dots prepared from mesoporous silicon. Technological touchstones for these materials include drug delivery systems, chemical sensors, biosensors, in vivo imaging, taggants, batteries, photovoltaics, and thermoelectric devices. Led by Professor Michael Sailor, the course provides training on synthesis and characterization of these materials.

To submit your application materials, please contact Professor Michael Sailor

Summer School on Predictive Assembly

A computational framework for rational materials design and development.
The intellectual focus of this RIMSE Summer School is on understanding how nanoscale building blocks can be assembled into functional, tunable materials that operate at the meso- to macroscales. Such materials are broadly relevant to energy, environmental sustainability, and human health problems. Led by Professor Tod Pascal, the course provides training on the computational aspects of the self-assembly problem—students will learn how to deploy high-performance computing to build predictive models that capture the chemical and physical complexities of mesoscale materials and the dynamics of their formation.  Students will be employ a multiscale theoritical framework to solving these problems, combining first-principles electronic structure calculations, atomistic and coarse-grained (CG) models. The structure and dynamics of these system will be explored by means of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, while Monte-Carlo (MC) simulations will be used to determine the long-term, thermodynamic behavior. Trainees will learn how to: (1) simulate assembly at atomistic, nanoscopic, and mesostructural scales; and (2) how to predict the properties of the resulting structures.

To submit your application materials, please contact Professor Tod Pascal.

Summer School on Engineering Living Materials

Exploiting biology in functional materials
The intellectual focus of this RIMSE Summer School is to engineer living systems to generate new polymeric materials. These composite materials can be responsive to diverse stimuli and are capable of generating complex, genetically encoded material outputs. Such materials can enable biosynthetic electronics, chemical threat decontamination, synthesis and/or delivery of therapeutics, and soft robotics, among other applications. Led by Professor Jonathan Pokorski, the course offers an introduction to skills relevant to synthesis and fabrication of engineered living materials. Trainees will learn techniques to create materials at the living/non-living interface, including polymer chemistry, additive manufacture, and soft matter characterization.

To submit your application materials, please contact Professor Jonathan Pokorski.

Program Information (Applies to all RIMSE Summer Schools)

Course Elements:
• Lectures
• Hands-On Laboratory/Computational Training
• Shadowing/Mentoring by Faculty, Postdoctoral, and Graduate Students
• Capstone “Discovery” Project – an independent research project implemented by a team of trainees under the mentorship of a current research group member

• Full immersion program from Monday, June 28 to Friday, August 13
• Schedule: Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm
• Tutorials (lecture, in-lab demonstrations, student presentations), Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9:00am – 11:00am
• The remainder of the time is spent in the laboratory working on the course experimental modules and the Discovery Projects
• Location: UC San Diego, Main Campus

• Applications are considered on a rolling basis until May 1, 2021. Please submit the following materials to the email addresses given above:
• Letter of Interest
• Resume
• Up to 3 letters of reference

Financial Support
There is no charge for participation in this program. However, all participants must have their own support for travel, living expenses, health insurance, and any applicable visa fees (the university charges a $425 visa processing fee). Financial assistance is available for participation in this program through the UC San Diego MRSEC: Undergraduate students are eligible for support from the UC San Diego MRSEC REU program; incoming graduate students are eligible for support from the UC San Diego MRSEC RIMSE program.  On-campus housing can be provided, as needed.

Program Dates
June 28-August 13, 2021. If access to the labs is still restricted (based on the University's COVID-19 guidelines), activity may be partially or completely virtual.

Application Deadlines: May 1, 2021

For questions, please contact mrsec@ucsd.edu
UC San Diego MRSEC RIMSE Summer Schools flyer