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Applications of Nanoscience Summer Institute

Propose and conduct your own experimental research project

A student in a white lab coat, protective glasses and gloves pours a red liquid from a cup into a beaker.

Use scientific methodologies and techniques to explore current research topics

As of 4/6/2022, Applications of Nanoscience Summer Institute is closed to new applicants.

The Applications of Nanoscience course is designed for high school students with a background in chemistry and a desire to learn the basics of pursuing a viable, scientifically-sound technology and bringing it to market. As a model, students will explore a few important applications of nanoscience while also learning the basics of reviewing existing scientific literature, design-thinking, and entrepreneurship. They will then go through the process of proposing a product in pursuit of bringing their nanotechnology-based idea to market, and perform preliminary research to validate the science behind their idea. During this two-week program, students have the unique opportunity to explore questions similar to those currently investigated by the scientific community. The program involves the combination of vigorous scientific methodologies and techniques with business projects that are both fun and exciting. At the end of this course, students will demonstrate their newfound knowledge by working on a team project to experience the process of team research and pitching a business and a product to technology investors.

Fees and Payment Info

The program fee includes the unit fees for the UCLA coursework offered as part of the program and thus varies by UC student status. In addition to the program fee, students are assessed other campus and administrative fees during the summer. This is a summary of fees that commonly apply to the selected student type.

Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California. Visit the fees, payment, and financial aid section for important disclaimer, as well as more details on fees, payment instructions, and information on delinquency, refunds, and financial aid.


Students living in on-campus housing will be charged an additional housing fee.


Program Fee $2,500
Registration Fee $350
IEI Fee $61
Document Fee (for first-time Summer Sessions students) $50

Meet your instructors

Sarah Tolbert


Sarah Tolbert is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA. Research in her group focuses on self-organized nanoscale materials and includes both organic templated inorganic phases and colloidal materials. Current work in her group is aimed at understanding and controlling structure and periodicity in complex nanostructured composite materials, and in exploiting that periodicity for a range of structural, optical, and electronic materials applications.

Projects in Professor Tolbert’s group range from examination of nanoscale phase transitions in surfactant templated inorganic solids to the designed assembly of electro-active composite materials. Professor Tolbert’s honors include a National Science Foundation Early CAREER Development Award, the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, a Beckman Young Investigator Award, and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship.

The program is built around five nanoscience experiments. The sciences underlying each experiment will be explored through the guidance of a team of PhD candidates and/or Postdoctoral Scholars, under the direction of Professor Tolbert.

Image of Sarah Tolbert