FAQs

No, SIMS is completely free to the participants. 

No, it will not. On a need basis, SIMS will provide students with the technology needed to support their learning.

The research projects within SIMS are diverse, coming from many different areas of science. You can get an idea of the projects we'll have by looking at past years on our website.

Once students are selected to participate, they will be sent descriptions of this year's research projects. Students will have the opportunity to rank them according to their preference. We do our best to form research teams of students who are excited about their topic and have the necessary, complementary skills to succeed. However, there is always the possibility that SIMSters may not work on a project that is directly related to their specific major. Regardless, experiencing academic research so early in one's undergraduate career is an invaluable experience, and our interns have found an enormous benefit from having such diverse research experience under their belts.

The classes do not transfer credit, as they are only two weeks long and cannot cover the entire quarter curriculum. However, you will receive a "head start" on your math and physics coursework from the teaching assistants who have taught the course before. They prepare you extremely well for the first 3-4 weeks of classes (generally up to your first midterm!) and give you a slight edge over the other students taking those classes.


Yes, AB540 students are eligible to participate! Please indicate your status on your application.

The only requirement for SIMS is to have attended a California High School.

You can email your recommenders your request and the link to the letter. If you forget to send them the link, the email request from the SIMS application will automatically be sent to your recommenders once you submit your application.

It is best practice to request a letter of recommendation from someone who can truly speak to the best of your abilities and character--and to ask them far in advance of the due date. If you can, give your recommender at least three week's notice.

Yes! Please be sure your recommender includes your name.

Please indicate that you are waiting to receive your scores. Email us once your scores come out.

Due to the overlapping program dates and our busy schedule, you cannot participate in both programs. However, we encourage you to apply to both and decide which to attend after the decisions are sent out. If you choose to apply to and participate in SIMS, please make sure you do not miss the summer drop deadline for FSSP.

Please note: the academic preparation you receive in the two weeks of SIMS does not count for university credit. You will receive a "head start" on your math and physics coursework from the teaching assistants who have taught the course before. In FSSP, you would take a quarter's worth of courses for units, but you would not participate in research as you would in SIMS.

Due to the overlapping program dates and our busy schedule, you cannot participate in both programs. However, we encourage you to apply to both and decide which to attend after the decisions are sent out.

Please note: in SIMS, you will receive a "head start" on your physics and math coursework taught by graduate students who have TA'd for those courses in the past. You do not receive academic credit for this work. However, you will receive research training that will help you join a research group on campus, which few undergraduate students have when entering UCSB.

 

It varies with our funding, but cohorts are either 28 or 32 SIMSters.

SIMS is a program for incoming freshmen students. However, the Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships offers several undergraduate research experiences for current community college students and transfering students, in addition to our general undergraduate research experiences. 

Before the program, SIMS Peer Mentors will participate in virtual mentor training and program development meetings. We will do our best to arrange the training at a time that does not conflict with your other commitments (i.e., REU’s, courses, other academic commitments). However, please keep in mind that participation in Peer Mentor training is REQUIRED.

Yes, having any research experience prior to the SIMS program, even if it is during the summer before SIMS, satisfies this requirement.

You must be an active participant during the required hours of the SIMS program. There will be breaks in between virtual events and staff meetings that are your free time. SIMS must be your priority during the 3-week program.

No. You may still be eligible if you have industry research & development experience. However, due to the nature of the SIMS program, we are only able to consider Peer Mentor applicants who have first-hand experience in scientific research (academic or industry), culture, expectations, and norms to help students acclimate to the research environment.