California NanoSystems Institute


The California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) is a multidisciplinary research partnership between the University of California (UC), Los Angeles (UCLA) and UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) established by the state legislature and California industry (3). CNSI was one of the first four Institutes for Science and Innovation, research entities focused on priority areas of science and technology in California. In 2000, the California state government provided $100 million from 2000-2004 as start-up fund to be split between the two universities additional support from outside sources (2).

The California NanoSystems Institute has many participating departments working on interdisciplinary research in nanosystems and nanotechnology. The CNSI is working to maintain California's position as a leader in nanotechnology research and development. The CNSI programs draw from a diverse make-up of traditional academic disciplines that are positioned within the economic and social context of development (1a).

Future Programs

A new CNSI graduate program is under development. CNSI is currently developing a graduate degree program for students interested in pursuing advanced studies in nanosystems research and technology. This program will be designed to include a number of multidisciplinary courses in nanosystems research spanning different schools across campus.  The goal of the CNSI education program is to nurture the future workforce of scientists and engineers with experience using nanoscience and nanotechnology to solve problems in biological and environmental engineering (1c).

Previous Graduate Education Programs

CNSI supported several graduate level programs in the past that are no longer available or have been replaced by other programs including: Nanotoxicology Research & Training Program, Pioneer Fellowship Program in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Graduate Student Fellowship Awards, Post Doctoral Student Fellowship Awards, and CSNI/Hewlett Packard Postdoctoral Student Fellowship Awards (1d).

Previous Undergraduate Education Programs

In the past, the Nanosystems Chemistry and Engineering Research (NanoCER) program was sponsored by the NSF and CNSI. Undergraduates interested in chemistry and engineering learned how to be scientists and engineers by participating in teams that developed new materials, devices and applications of nanotechnology.  During a 10-week summer program, participants conducted hands-on, team-based research under the supervision of mentors, including graduate student fellows from the NSF-IGERT Materials Creating Training Program. NanoCER participants made use of sophisticated instrumentation and fabrication facilities and attended weekly research seminars, research and career skills seminars, as well as workshops on technical writing and applying to graduate school (1e). Another program that has since been discontinued is the CNSI Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Awards (1f).

Industry Partners

UCLA's founding industry partners include Abraxis Bioscience (now Celgene), BASF, Intel and HP. Associate partners include ASML, Hamamatsu, International Rectifier, Keithley Instruments, Micron Technology, NEC, NOF Corporation, Photron, and Solarmer Energy (1b).

UCSB's partnerships include Applied Materials, HP Labs, Intel, Microsoft Research, Tegal, Sun Microsystems, and Veeco (3b).

See the CNSI UCLA and CNSI UCSB location pages for more information.


  1. California Nanosystems Institute at UCLA (2011). Retrieved on September 28, 2012
    1. "Education" from
    2. "Partners" from
    3. "Graduate Program" from
    4. "Graduate/Postdoc" from
    5. "REU NanoCER" from
    6. "Past Programs: Summer Undergraduate" from
  2. CCST (2010). Nanotechnology in California. Retrieved on November 14, 2012 from
  3. California Nanosystems Institue at UC-Santa Barbara (2012). Retrieved on November 14, 2012
    1. CNSI Brochure. Retrieved on November 14, 2012 from
    2. "Partnerships" from