Global Engagement pilots summer research internships with partners

As part of the new International Summer Research Program (ISRP), which is being piloted by the Division of Global Engagement (GE), in collaboration with BSOE, UC Santa Cruz engineering faculty will host students virtually from several international partner universities in research internships in summer of 2021.

“We have long aspired to establish a program of this kind in collaboration with UCSC faculty, to facilitate summer international research opportunities for students in both directions – partner university students seeking to intern with our faculty, and UCSC students seeking to intern abroad with faculty at these partner universities,” said George Sabo, director of Global Initiatives.

UCSC faculty provided descriptions of their research projects that were shared with partner universities and their students. Students then applied to specific projects and provided statements of interest, letters of recommendation, and CVs. Faculty reviewed nominees’ materials, and in many cases, interviewed them before making their final selections.

Overall, nearly two-thirds of all nominated students, the majority of whom are undergraduates, were selected by UCSC faculty to engage in virtual research internships. Participants hail from five partner universities: Amrita University and IIT Kanpur in India, KAIST in Korea, and Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia, and Imperial College London in the UK.

“All of these students aspire to one day pursue graduate work, possibly in the U.S., and perhaps even at UC Santa Cruz,” said Sabo. “These internships, virtual or otherwise, provide an excellent opportunity for students to grow their research experience and establish international connections with academics in their respective fields of interest.”

Students participating in the ISRP will follow an internship training plan developed by the host faculty, engaging with fellow researchers and graduate students remotely, and contributing to the research from their home countries under guidance from UCSC faculty. 

Global Engagement will host an online orientation and manage ongoing student services support for the interns throughout their 8-week internship program.

From summer 2022 onward, GE anticipates this internship program will run primarily in-person, hosting student research interns on campus instead of virtually. The program will also eventually expand to enable reciprocal summer research opportunities for UCSC students who want to go abroad as research interns at partner universities.

“We look forward to expanding this program in subsequent summers, to develop student research experiences across all academic divisions, and to strengthen connections between UCSC faculty and students at top institutions around the world,” said Sabo.

For more information, contact George Sabo, Director of Global Initiatives.

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