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Undergraduate Research Internships

*This program will not run in 2019*


The AIM Photonics Future Leaders: Research and Professional Skills Training Program is an 8-week summer research program designed to provide the technical and professional training required for university undergraduates to transition into careers within the photonics industry. Training and professional development activities are hosted by the research site with opportunities to participate in research at:

            Program Contact: Wendy Ibsen

            Apply on this site

            Research Faculty

​                Shu-Wei Huang

                Juliet Gopinath

                Robert McLeod

                Alan Mickelson

            Program Contact: Dr. Alan Michelson

            University of Colorado program dates: June 4 - August 10, 2018

            Apply on this site

            Future Photon Initiative 

            Program Contact: Dr. Stefan Preble

            RIT Program Dates: June 4-August 4, 2018

            Apply on this site

            MIT Materials Research Laboratory 

            Program Contact: Julie Diop 

            MIT Program Dates: June 17-August 11, 2018

            Apply HERE

Science and engineering undergraduates will work alongside graduate student and postdoctoral researchers to gain first-hand experience in scientific investigation in a dynamic, collaborative research environment. Research areas include Telecom/Datacom, RF Analog Applications, PIC Sensors, and PIC Array Technologies. The program is open to all undergraduate students majoring in science, mathematics, or engineering. Military Veterans and disadvantaged or underrepresented students are encouraged to apply.

Program Benefits

Once selected as undergraduate research intern, students participate in guided programming in collaboration with AIM partners at university and industry sites across the country. The AIM Photonics Future Leaders Program is designed to nurture students’ academic achievement and career exploration by providing guidance and an invaluable opportunity to explore their discipline, experience a research environment, and improve their competitiveness for future study and employment in photonics and related science and engineering fields. Each intern is mentored by a member of the UCSB faculty and their research group, who assist the student in designing and carrying out a plan of research.

Program Details for UC Santa Barbara site

  • Program dates June 25 – August 17, 2018
  • Interns are paid $4000 over the 8-week program 
  • Oral and written science communication skills development 
  • Weekly seminar course
  • Networking events with industry and faculty

Eligibility Requirements

The AIM Photonics Future Leaders Program is open to any undergraduate student who meets ALL of the following requirements:

  • Applicant must currently be enrolled as a full-time student and must not complete their degree and graduate from their 4-year university before December 2018.    
  • Student must be a U.S. Citizen. 
  • Must be in a Mathematics, Science, or Engineering major.
  • Minimum 3.2 GPA for consideration.

Internship Awards

Up to 4 internship awards will be given for our UCSB Future Leaders program and 2 students will be awarded positions at Rochester Institute of Technology and University of Colorado Boulder. Interns will receive a $4000-$5000 stipend depending on the research site for the full completion of the internship. Housing will be available for non-local students at UCSB, RIT and CU.

Applicants will need to identify four faculty whose AIM Photonics research match their interests before they apply for this internship. Wendy Ibsen can provide assistance and guidance for students. Please contact her if you would like to discuss your interest or have questions about the program.

Application Process

In addition to filling out the online application form, please be prepared to submit: 

  1. A statement of interest (max 8,000 characters), which should discuss all the following items:
    • ​Your interest in participating in undergraduate research through AIM. Indicate also which of the AIM Photonics focus areas interest you and why.
    • Your goals in participating in this program: discuss how this experience may help you in attaining your career goals and what you expect to gain from the apprenticeship.
    • Any relevant past work experience; discuss your ability to work with groups of people.
      • TIP: Prepare your statement of interest ahead of time and make sure it is well written, less than 8,000 characters, and contains all the requested information. You may want to prepare it as a Word document and then cut and paste into the textbox provided in the online application.​
  2. A 1-page resume with a history of all your work and laboratory experience (PDF less than 2MB)
  3. A copy of your unofficial transcripts from all colleges you attended (PDF less than 2MB)
    • TIP: Have your resume and transcripts ready to upload before filling out the application form. You will not be able to save the form and upload the documents at a later time.
  4. One recommendation form letter
    • The recommendation form letter should be written by a course instructor or faculty advisor who is familiar with your scientific skills. This is a link on our website: all letters must be submitted online by the letter writer and are due by the application deadline.
  5. Identify up to 4 AIM Photonics Faculty whose research aligns with your interests at the site you are applying.  A general description of the AIM Photonics can be found on the about page and more information can be found at the AIM Phontonic Academy.

Current UCSB AIM Faculty

Dan Blumenthal
John Bowers
Larry Coldren
Nadir Dagli
Jonathan Klamkin
Art Gossard
Carl Meinhart
Martin Moskovits
Chris Palmstrom
Mark Rodwell
Clint Schow
Luke Theogarajan
Yuan Xie