CITRIS Workforce Innovation

Collage of photos of students working in various research and fabrication labs.

The CITRIS Workforce Innovation Program helps UC students pursue world-changing research and accelerate their careers.

The program offers select University of California students the opportunity to inform their career decisions through eight-week internships, where they’ll build in-demand skills through on-the-job experience. Participants will receive training in leadership and project management, and will be supported throughout the internship program by dedicated CITRIS staff, as well as the community of peers in their cohort. 

CITRIS and the Banatao Institute invite undergraduates from all majors at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz to apply for placements in one of five areas of emerging IT innovation important to the state of California: aviation, climate resilience, digital health, robotics and semiconductors.

Students who represent the rich diversity of the University of California, including women, people from underrepresented backgrounds, Pell Grant recipients, undocumented students and first-generation students, are encouraged to apply.

Internship duration:
June–August 2022

Who can apply:
Undergraduate students at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz

Note: Applications for 2022 CITRIS Workforce Innovation Program have closed.
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Internship areas

Interns will have an opportunity to work in one of five areas of emerging IT innovation important to the state of California:

  • Aviation: Expanding use of uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs), electrification of flight, leveraging data to improve air transport
  • Climate Resilience: Improving energy efficiency, water use, food security, food tech, AgTech, decarbonization of transportation and other industries. For UC Berkeley students, additional placements are available through our partnership with the CITRIS Climate Cal Energy Corps program (separate application required).
  • Digital Health: Delivering quality care and improving access, expanding data analytics and telehealth technologies
  • Robotics: Augmenting human experience and capacity with automation and sensing
  • Semiconductors: Advancing next-generation micro- and nanoelectronics and related emerging technologies, including quantum computing

Intern expectations

  • Earn $25 per hour for eight weeks, 30 hours per week
  • Receive real-world experience (remote or in-person) at an established company, startup, national lab, government agency or nonprofit engaging in an emerging area of innovation
  • Participate in a series of pre-internship workshops to gain technical, communication and leadership skills
  • Learn practices to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset before starting job placements
  • Work on projects to add to their professional portfolio
  • Provide a fresh perspective and creative ideas to address concrete problems
  • Network with peers and industry professionals

Host organization obligations

  • Provide a structured internship experience focused on active mentorship 
  • Ensure that 75 percent of work scope is experiential learning and no more than 25 percent of duties are administrative in nature
  • Complete a brief training in best practices for hosting interns to maximize student experience
  • Commit to providing a welcoming and inclusive work environment 
  • Conduct at least two professional reviews — one at midpoint and the other during the last week of the internship

Timeline

  • January: Applications open Monday, Jan. 31
  • March:
    • Internship applications were due Friday, March 18, at 11:59 p.m. PT
    • Host organization applications were due Wednesday, March 23, at 11:59 p.m. PT
  • March–April: Internships are assigned
  • April: Selected students are notified the second and third weeks of April
  • May–June: Pre-internship training workshops take place
  • June: Internships begin, running through August 2022

For more information, please contact workforce@citris-uc.org.

Info session

Did you miss the CITRIS Workforce Innovation Program info session on March 4? The video is now available:

Applicant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Undergraduate students from all majors who are currently enrolled at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Merced or UC Santa Cruz are eligible to apply.

You will be placed at a company, nonprofit organization or government agency working in aviation, climate resilience, digital health, robotics, semiconductors or quantum computing.

Your host organization will develop its own scope of work, so projects will vary. Since this is an experiential learning internship, you will apply your skills to solve real-world problems at least 75 percent of the time, and no more than 25 percent of your work will be administrative in nature.

Yes!  Even if you have little or no work experience, you can apply to the program to gain skills that will increase your employment prospects when you enter the job market. CITRIS will also provide workshops to prepare you for your internship.

The CITRIS Workforce Innovation Program will try its best to match students interested in a particular domain of innovation with a suitable host partner in need of interns. Some host partners may have specific requirements. Depending on the number of hosts available, we may not be able to place all applicants.

You will be paid approximately $25 per hour for an appointment of eight weeks at 30 hours per week. Total compensation will be around $6,000 for the full internship. 

If your appointment is in a campus lab or other campus program, or if the work for a host organization can be completed remotely, you will be employed by your campus. If the host organization requires that you work on site, you will be employed by the company or organization.

Yes, graduating seniors are eligible, but they must commit to participating in the full program if matched with a host. Preference may be given to students earlier in their academic careers.

Yes. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen. Fellowship options are available for select internships.

Yes, undocumented undergraduate students can participate in this program. Work authorization has no bearing on eligibility or the evaluation of your application.

Final internship placements will be made in early April. Students will have a chance to meet with their prospective host organization before finalizing the placement.

The CITRIS Workforce Innovation Program will provide ongoing support to you and your entire cohort. Staff will hold weekly check-ins and be available for “office hours.”

For more information, please contact workforce@citris-uc.org.