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News Update 2/19: We are canceling this summer's internship program. We regret that SHARP will not be offered in 2013, but budget and administrative arrangements prevent us from continuing the program this year. Please do not arrange for transcripts or letters to be sent.

For other summer science programs please take a look at or the Institute for Broadening Participation.


One of our 2011 participants won last year's Intel ISEF national competition!

Check out this article in Engineering Innovations about an earlier group!


University of California, Berkeley

Summer High-School Apprenticeship Research Program (SHARP)

June 17 - July 12, 2013

Program Description

The Nanoscale Science and Engineering (NSE) Graduate Group at the University of California, Berkeley enthusiastically continues our summer high-school apprenticeship research program (SHARP).  In SHARP, high school students have the opportunity to do hands-on scientific investigations in a dynamic research environment at UC Berkeley.  The students will work with graduate student researchers in NSE faculty laboratories, gaining first-hand experience in how science and engineering research is conducted.

The NSE faculty is a multidisciplinary group with research expertise over a very broad scope of disciplines, including electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, physics, biology, chemistry, materials science, and computation.  Our research focuses on information, biomedical, and manufacturing technologies that will transform science and our economy in the next decades.  The research encompasses studies of nanostructure building blocks and new ways to seamlessly integrate those building blocks into new materials, devices and systems. By 'mixing and matching' components having different electronic, magnetic, optical, and structural properties, our ultimate goal is to create 'designer materials' and designer systems that will have capabilities far exceeding those found in nature.

Program Activities

Laboratory Research

Each SHARP student spends Monday through Thursday working with her/his own graduate student mentor on a research project. Research project topics will all be related to the engineering and study of microscopically small (nanometer scale) structures and materials.  These projects will be located in physics, chemistry, bio-engineering, and materials labs, as well as chemical, mechanical, and electrical engineering labs.

Discussion Meetings, Training and Workshops

The SHARP students will have group meetings to discuss their research progress every week under the direction of an experienced high-school science teacher. On Fridays, there will be lab classes in semiconductor processing, experimental design, data analysis, presentation skills, as well as computer workshops and various sports activities. Guest speakers will also be scheduled.

Program Time Requirements

The program lasts for 4 weeks, from June 17 to July 12. For the course of the program, SHARP students will spend 8 hours a day in the laboratory and/or in related meetings.  The work day starts at 8:30 am and runs until 5:30 pm.

SHARP students are expected to attend every day of the program, and should consider their commitment to this program as they would to any job.

Lunches are provided for any group meetings during the week, but any personal transportation and dining arrangements are the responsibility of the students.  No transportation or housing will be arranged for the students, since all participants are expected to have local living situations.

Educational Stipend

A Completion Ceremony will be held on Friday, July 12.  The SHARP students will be presented with a certificate and $1,000 educational stipend at the Ceremony.

Application Requirements

Students must satisfy the following minimum requirements:

  •          Currently enrolled in high school as a junior (11th grade) student.
  •          Completion of trigonometry or higher level math by the end of this school year.
  •          Completion of two years of high school science by the end of this school year.  At least one of these courses must be chemistry or physics.
  •          Living in Berkeley or nearby townships during the summer with family or guardians.
  •          Students must be US Citizens or Permanent Residents to apply for the program.

The application package must include:

  •          A completed application cover sheet (attach answer pages as necessary)
  •          Official high school transcript
  •          Two teacher recommendations in sealed and signed envelopes, mailed along with the application package.  One of the letters should be from a math or science teacher in your high school. (A recommendation from an employer could also be interesting to us!) Please remind your recommenders to include an email address or contact info in their note.
  •          A type-written essay, no longer than 500 words, covering the following topics:

Explain why you are interested in the SHARP program, and what you feel you can contribute to it.  In particular, we would like to know about your interest in science, your ability to work with groups, and any previous work experience you’ve had. Some prompts you might consider: What have you always been curious to ask a scientist? Have you ever had a situation where you had to tackle a problem with little preparation? How did you handle it? How would SHARP connect with your future career plans? What do you hope to get out of participating?

SHARP Student Selection Criteria

The selection process includes two steps: application review and personal interview.  The application packages will be reviewed by a committee consisting of NSE faculty members and staff.

A subset of students will be invited for on-site interviews in mid-March. Personal interviews will be the final screening process. Students who are not available for a personal interview cannot be accepted to the program.

The selection criteria include:

  •          Interest in science/engineering activities that matches work going on in NSE
  •          Ability to participate as a responsible and effective team member
  •          Ability to communicate
  •          Experience in previous science courses
  •          Experience in previous jobs (including volunteer work)

Submission Deadline

Complete application must be postmarked by March 1, 2013. LATE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED

Tip: Make your application easy for readers to evaluate by using one-sided 8.5 x 11 paper with pages numbered and your name on each sheet. Avoid staples where possible. Attaching additional pages is fine so long as it comes neatly!

Click here to download the Application Cover SheetPDF file (size: 57K)

Our program director is Prof. Connie Chang-Hasnain, Whinnery Chair Professor of EECS

Complete applications should be mailed to:

Avi Rosenzweig, BNNI


550 Sutardja Dai Hall

University of California

Berkeley, CA 94720-1726

Inquiries can be sent to:

Avi Rosenzweig, voice: 510.643.6681 / fax: 510.643.6974



08 group

Description | Activities | Requirements | Criteria | Deadline