The UCSB Materials Research Laboratory has, since its inception, established a strong tradition of international collaboration that has been crucial in helping to raise the reputation of Santa Barbara as a premier center for Materials Research. A key activity in this regard has been a series of bilateral workshops involving groups of MRL faculty (typically 10-15) attending 2-4 day bilateral workshops either on site or abroad (evenly distributed). This established strength in international activities enabled a successful outcome in the NSF IMI competition, and consequently, the International Center for Materials Research was created at UCSB (see www.icmr.ucsb.edu) in 2004 and disestablished at the end of 2016.
The Cooperative International Science and Engineering Internships (CISEI) program, a joint activity of the MRL and the ICMR initiated in 2006, sends UCSB and other US science and engineering undergraduates to international partner institutions for a 10-week summer research experience. At any given point in time, between 5 and 10 graduate students researchers from the MRL are traveling either for workshops or collaborations outside the country. Undergraduates and MRL graduate students have been key players in the Developing World Technologies activities of the ICMR and the UCSB College of Engineering (www.icmr.ucsb.edu/undergrad). Opportunities for MRL travel-support to post-doctoral scholars to attend workshops and carry out collaborative research in partner centers abroad also exist, and will be strengthened in this new funding period. Finally, at the faculty level, the MRL has a Distinguished Visiting Professor Program. Distinguished Visiting Professor spend at one month or longer at UCSB every year, and become deeply involved in the various MRL activities.