Guided Engineering Apprenticeship in Research

2020-2021 Cohort Application

Applications due Sunday April 19, 2020 at 11:59pm.


GEAR is a year-long research apprenticeship program for second year students in the Jacobs School of Engineering*. Students applying for the 2020-2021 cohort should be in their second year at UC San Diego during the 2020-2021 academic year. As a GEAR Research Apprentice, you will work with a teammate on a research project within a Jacobs School of Engineering faculty research lab. In this program you will participate in:

  • Research Lab Placement: Teams receive a research project and mentorship from faculty and graduate students in Winter & Spring 2021.
  • Mentorship: Receive additional mentorship from IDEA Engineering Student Center mentors throughout the year.
  • ENG 20 "Introduction to Engineering Research": All GEAR Research Apprentices will take this 2-unit course in Fall 2020 to get an orientation to engineering research and write a research proposal.
  • Workshops & Socials: Stay connected with GEAR Research Apprentices while learning tools and skills to support your research during Winter & Spring 2021.
  • View Project Posters Presentation: Research teams create and present a poster to showcase their research study at a poster session during Spring 2021.

*Students in Computer Science & Engineering or CSE-related majors, please apply to the CSE Early Research Scholars Program run by Dr. Christine Alvarado in CSE.

“The lab I was placed in is very encouraging...I also love that the program is structured, and I feel like I have support and can reach out to multiple people if I need help...”

“I like how easy it is to communicate with everyone and how accessible it is to reach out if I need help. I also like having the push to read more research papers and explore ideas I otherwise would not have looked into.”

Am I eligible?

  • You are definitely eligible if you:
    • Are a Jacobs School of Engineering student in the BENG, ECE, MAE, NANO, or SE department. Students majoring in CSE or CSE-related majors should apply to the CSE Early Research Scholars Program, which is tailored to CSE.
    • Have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA at the end of the Winter 2020 quarter (at time of application).
    • You have been at UC San Diego for less than one year. For example, you will be in your second year at UC San Diego during the 2020-2021 academic year. This same rule applies to transfer students.
    • You do not have any prior or upcoming engineering research experience.

  • You might be eligible if you:

    • Will be in your third year at UC San Diego in 2020-2021.
    • Have minimal prior or upcoming engineering research experience. In the application, you will be asked to explain why you feel that you will benefit from GEAR.

Join us during one of these webinar information sessions to learn more about the program from staff and get your questions answered. GEAR is offering joint webinars with the CSE Early Research Scholars Program(ERSP).

  • Applications are Due April 19, 2020 at 11:59pm.
  • Students will be notified about whether they have been accepted into the program by early May.
  • If accepted, you will be expected to enroll in ENG 20 for Fall 2020.
  • Please complete the application form linked below. You will be asked to complete three brief essay questions:
    • Please describe your research interests. What engineering research topics or Jacobs School of Engineering labs are you most interested in? (350 words max)
    • GEAR is a year-long program with a specific structure that includes a 2-unit course and a minimum hours requirement. Why are you interested in this long-term commitment through the GEAR program, as opposed to a quarter-long or a less structured experience? (350 words max)
    • One goal of GEAR is to promote and increase diversity in the engineering community. We hope that GEAR participants will promote diversity and inclusion values within engineering to support students who are underrepresented in STEM. We would like to know about your understanding of what diversity and inclusion means in the engineering profession. Explain your understanding of how being from an underrepresented group* affects a person's experience in engineering and how you came to have this understanding. (350 words max) *Underrepresented group may include factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, ability, sexual orientation, or first generation to attend college.

FAQ

  • What is the time commitment?
    • We expect you to commit to all three quarters in the 2020-2021 academic year.
    • Fall 2020 Quarter: Total time commitment is 12-15 hours per week. This includes the 2-unit ENG 20 course (6 hours of lecture and assignments), lab and related independent learning (6-8 hours), and meetings with GEAR staff (up to 1 hour) each week.
    • Winter 2021 Quarter: Total time commitment is 8-10 hours per week. This includes lab (6-8 hours), independent learning and attending GEAR workshops, (1-2 hours), and meetings with GEAR staff (up to 1 hour) each week.
    • Spring 2021 Quarter: Total time commitment is 8-10 hours per week. This includes lab (6-8 hours), preparing your poster and attending GEAR workshops (1-2 hours), and meetings with GEAR staff (up to 1 hour) each week.
  • What credit do I get for this?
    • You will receive a 2-unit credit for ENG 20.
    • If accepted, meet with your department/major advisor(s) to decide whether you should take research hours as 199 credit, Co-Curricular Record, or on a volunteer basis.
  • Is this a paid experience?
    • No, GEAR is not currently a paid experience.
  • What projects are available? Do I get to pick my project?
    • Projects are not finalized until summer or the start of Fall Quarter. We will ask you about your skills and interests and match you with a lab based on that information.
    • Students/faculty will be matched by the start of Fall Quarter.
  • I have already been working in a lab or plan to work in a lab over the summer. Can I stay with that lab as part of GEAR?
    • No. Given that you have already worked in a lab, GEAR will not be a good fit for you. The program is meant to introduce students to research for the very first time. If you have already had some experience with a lab, some parts of ENG 20 and GEAR will feel repetitive to you.

This program is supported in part by an Innovation Grant from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.