NanoJapan-International research experience for undergraduates program: Fostering U.S.-Japan research collaborations in terahertz science and technology of nanostructures
The international nature of science and engineering research demands that students have the skillsets necessary to collaborate internationally. However, limited options exist for science and engineering undergraduates who want to pursue research abroad. The NanoJapan International Research Experience for Undergraduates Program is an innovative response to this need. Developed to foster research and international engagement among young undergraduate students, it is funded by a National Science Foundation Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) grant. Each summer, NanoJapan sends 12 U.S. students to Japan to conduct research internships with world leaders in terahertz (THz) spectroscopy, nanophotonics, and ultrafast optics. The students participate in cutting-edge research projects managed within the framework of the U.S-Japan NSF-PIRE collaboration. One of our focus topics is THz science and technology of nanosystems (or ‘TeraNano’), which investigates the physics and applications of THz dynamics of carriers and phonons in nanostructures and nanomaterials. In this article, we will introduce the program model, with specific emphasis on designing high-quality international student research experiences. We will specifically address the program curriculum that introduces students to THz research, Japanese language, and intercultural communications, in preparation for work in their labs. Ultimately, the program aims to increase the number of U.S. students who choose to pursue graduate study in this field, while cultivating a generation of globally aware engineers and scientists who are prepared for international research collaboration.
terahertz science and technology; nanostructures and nanomaterials; global education; undergraduate research