Center for Probing the Nanoscale: An NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center
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Membership Guidelines

Stanford faculty, post-doctoral researchers, graduate students and IBM research staff are eligible for membership in the Center for Probing the Nanoscale (CPN).  There are two levels of membership in the CPN for senior researchers (Stanford faculty or IBM research staff.)

CPN Member: Open to members of the Stanford faculty or the IBM research community who are developing novel nanoprobes or probing methods, or are applying existing probes to study new systems or new regimes.  Each year a CPN Member may nominate one graduate student for a CPN Prize Fellowship (see details here). Alternative support from the end of the Fellowship through Ph.D should be arranged between the student and advisor. 

Benefits to CPN Members include:

  • Nomination of a graduate student for the CPN Prize Fellowship.
  • A description of their CPN-relevant research will be displayed on the CPN website and used for NSF Annual Reports. 
  • Members are invited to participate in quarterly CPN theme group meetings and on-campus retreats.
  • Members can present at CPN-sponsored events such as the Annual Workshop, CPN seminar series or Probing the Nanoscale course.
  • Members can plug into numerous CPN broader-impact outreach programs.
  • All students working in the Members group on nanoprobe-related research may participate in CPN events.

CPN Investigator: Open to members of the Stanford faculty or the IBM research community who are developing novel nanoprobes or probing methods.  Due to limited resources, we expect to make few or no additions at this level of membership prior to our 5-year renewal. Each Investigator receives funding for the support of graduate students (or, in special cases, postdocs) and purchase of supplies.  CPN Members may also have their non-CPN-funded group members who do nanoprobe-related research participate in CPN events. Each Investigator is expected to:

  • Participate in quarterly meetings for the appropriate CPN theme group.
  • Make a significant and timely contribution to the NSF Annual Report. At minimum, provide a list of CPN-related publications, presentations, and outreach activities, plus a one-page description of research accomplishments with at least one figure.
  • Participate in NSF Site Visits in years 2 and 4 of the 5-year grant (including rehearsals and other preparation), and contribute figures or slides to the NSE Grantees Meeting presentation each December. 
  • Participate in the CPN Annual Workshop.
  • Contribute to the Center’s broader impact through one or more of the following outreach programs each year:
    • Summer Institute for Middle School Teachers: plan lesson, deliver presentation. 
    • Probing the Nanoscale (AP275) course: prepare and deliver 2-3 didactic lectures on nanoprobe techniques, for graduate students. 
    • Continuing studies course Probing the Nanoscale World: prepare and deliver 2-3 inspiring lectures on nanoscale measurements or phenomena, for non-scientists.
    • Societal and Ethical Implications of Nanoscale Science seminar series: participate in a panel discussion.
    • Organize a focused mini-workshop, or help organize the CPN Annual Workshop.
Graduate Students and Post-Doctoral Fellows

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows working on nanoprobe research with a CPN Member or CPN Investigator are considered CPN Fellows and are eligible to participate in CPN sponsored events.

CPN Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellows (both Prize Fellows and those funded by CPN Investigators):  Receive a 50% GRA salary and tuition or a GRA Supplement to an external Fellowship.  CPN Fellows currently receiving funding are expected to:

  • Submit a short description of their research for the NSF Annual Report (in cooperation with their faculty sponsor, as applicable). 
  • Participate in quarterly meetings of the appropriate CPN theme group.
  • Give an oral or poster presentation of at least one CPN-sponsored event such as the Annual Workshop or NSF Site Visit, preferably more than one.
  • Participate in one CPN outreach event such as the Summer Institute for Middle School Teachers.

Alumni CPN Fellows remain affiliated with the Center.  They are invited to participate in CPN Fellows programs and are encouraged to remain engaged in CPN research by attending the Annual Workshop, quarterly theme meetings and other CPN sponsored events.

CPN Associate: Undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows can become CPN Associates by emailing  Associates are invited to attend CPN-sponsored events as well as quarterly theme meetings.

How to become a CPN Member

To apply for CPN Membership Stanford faculty and IBM researchers should send a one paragraph description of their nanoprobe related research to:

Applications can be submitted at any time prior to a CPN funding deadline.  Applications will be reviewed by the CPN Executive Committee and new memberships will be announced on an ongoing basis.

Students and postdoctoral fellows can apply to become CPN Associates simply by sending an email to

For more information visit the CPN website ( or contact Maria Wang at (650) 723-4490.

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