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About Us

To learn more about the structure and eligibility requirements of the program, please see our about page.


For a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the program unrelating to structure, try out the FAQ page



What is the Qualcomm Institute?

The Qualcomm Institute is the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), which also has a division at UC Irvine. Named in 2013 for nearly $26 million in philanthropic gifts from Qualcomm, Inc., and the Qualcomm Foundation from 2000-’13, the Qualcomm Institute is an organized research institute on the UC San Diego campus, where researchers from different disciplines come together to study and develop new technology, software, hardware and systems to address needs and issues in our economy and society.

Program Overview

The Qualcomm Institute Summer Undergraduate Research Scholars program provides UCSD undergrads with the opportunity to perform hands-on research under the guidance of a UCSD faculty advisor over a 10-week period during the summer. The student can either assist in an ongoing research project or propose a new project. Summer Scholars must attend weekly seminars to learn more about applying to and preparing for graduate school, funding opportunities for research, communication skills, connecting with currect UCSD grad students, career opportunities in academia and industry, and how to make a strong scientific presentation. All Summer Scholars must display the results of their research at a poster session at the end of the program, at which point a Certificate of Merit will be awarded.

Program Structure

  • Scholars dedicate 40 hours/wk for 10 weeks to their research projects and participate in weeklyseminars, presentations, and tours as scheduled, which all count toward the 40-hour work week.
  • Research presentations: Scholars give updates on their projects and receive feedback from faculty advisors, grad students and fellow scholars.
  • Enrichment Seminars: Give insight into academic research and career planning.
  • Building Tours: Expose students to cutting-edge research done in the Qualcomm Institute.
  • Social Activities: Mingle and connect with your peers.

All tours, seminars etc. will be highlighted on the Summer Scholars Calendar as soon as dates and locations have been finalized. Click here for the 2014 calendar.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a UCSD undergraduate student registered for Spring quarter or an incoming freshman registered for Fall quarter. Graduating seniors are also eligible.
  • Preference given to students with GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and must submit an unofficial transcript (e.g., a screenshot or printout of Academic History)
  • Must have a UCSD faculty advisor who is, or is willing to become, an Academic Participant in the Qualcomm Institute.
  • Letter of recommendation from faculty advisor, including approval of research proposal

Research Proposal Requirements

  • Research proposals must fit with the Strategic Vision and Mission Statement, notably in connection with research in telecommunications and information technology, or their impact on new advances in a range of fields and applications important to the economy and quality of life.
  • Where applicable, proposals should indicate the enabling technologies (wireless, photonics, cyberinfrastructure and/or nano-micro-electromechanical systems (nano-MEMS), and/or the application area emphasized in the institute’s strategic vision (culture, health, energy and/or environment).
  • The research proposal must consist of a clear thesis which explains the problem/question that your research project will address, and a brief explanation of your planned approach or possible approaches to answering the main problem/question you presented in your thesis.

Scholarship Information

  • $3,000 total processed in two payments: $1,500 awarded end of 5th week, another $1,500 awarded upon successful completion of the program.

Selection Process

A selection committee composed of several UCSD faculty members will review the applications. The committee makes their selections based on the following criteria:
1. Meet all the eligibility requirements
2. Recommendation letter from UCSD faculty advisor
3. Quality of research proposal
4. How well the proposed research aligns with the institute’s strategic vision and mission statement.