The research activities of IDEALS rest on an Integrated Research and Education Platform that contains a range of programs intended to transform the experience of all graduate students and postdocs to develop leadership skills, a global perspective, and the skills for success in academic and industrial workplace environments. These practices include the following:

Advanced Materials Manufacturing and Metrology (AM3) Training Program

Students receive practical training in materials science device fabrication and characterization at the CUNY ASRC. The training contains an initial intensive training boot camp at the ASRC NanoFabrication Facility (NanoFab), followed by tracks in areas of specialization according to the needs and objectives of the individual student.

The AM3 boot camp is a two-week immersive experience that includes presentations on cleanroom design and operation, introduction to lithography, etch, deposition and metrology, high volume semiconductor manufacturing, entrepreneurship in nanotechnology, etc.

Following the boot camp, the AM3 participants have the opportunity to enter into the competitive “NanoFab Fellowship” program to learn the fundamentals of experimental design and process control, as well as becoming proficient in a NanoFab tool set. Among possible tracks to follow are: depositions, lithography, etching, characterization and metrology, statistical process control, manufacturing level approaches and techniques.

Entrepreneurship, intellectual property, and commercialization training

The students involved in IDEALS have exposure and formal training in aspects of commercialization, entrepreneurship and intellectual property development thereby expanding their professional opportunities. Our Outreach Partner, TSU, is helping us to develop academic curricula that incorporate entrepreneurship training based on what they learned in developing their Ph. D program.

Comprehensive Mentoring of Students

IDEALS provides comprehensive mentoring practices and opportunities to our graduate students and postdoctoral researchers that will further enhance their educational experience, develop leadership skills and prepare them for success in professional work, as academicians, industrial scientists or other professionals. These include the following:

Research Visits: Students have opportunities to spend research visits at external institutions both within and outside the country (universities, industry and national labs). These working visits will enhance their research exposure and help them build a useful professional network.

Two exchange agreements are already in place:

  • Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm
  • Strathclyde University in Glasgow.

Multi-disciplinary Mentoring: Students are mentored by at least two faculty mentors from complementary disciplines to facilitate multidisciplinary training and a sense of belonging to the Center.

Grant proposal development training: All IDEALS students are strongly encouraged and mentored to apply for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) program.

Leadership and management skill development: Students are preparing to run a student-led research grant (SLRG) competition in which students write, evaluate and award research grants, funded by the Center, to pursue original innovative ideas that advance their research.

A student/postdoc-organized monthly seminar series is held every year.

Ethics Training: All students receive training in ethical practices in research. Some of the speakers in the Seminar Series sponsored by IDEALS are selected to address this important topic.