Organizational Setting

The Columbia MRSEC is centered at Columbia University and City College of New York, both large research universities with strong faculties in Materials Science. Both universities are fully committed to supporting the MRSEC, with institutional commitments for dramatically enhanced shared laboratory facilities, including a greatly expanded cleanroom at Columbia and a new cleanroom at CCNY, new electron microscopy facilities and major renovations to the materials characterization facility at Columbia. The MRSEC program includes Principal Investigators (PIs) at Columbia and CCNY. In addition, there is one PI at Barnard College and Stanford University. In addition to faculty investigators, the MRSEC maintains active collaborations with national laboratories and industrial partners, as well as several other academic institutions. 


The Columbia University MRSEC is managed by Director James Hone with the support of Associate Director Colin Nuckolls. The Executive Committee is advised by the External Advisory Board which consists of members from industry, academia, and national labs. 

The two IRGs are each led by two faculty PIs and two postdoc fellows.The fellows perform research across multiple groups and work closely with the IRG leaders to develop and steer research. In addition, they organize monthly IRG symposia in which PAS3 researchers present recent results and discuss future directions.

Funding for all research within PAS3 is allocated on an annual basis, aligned with the University’s fiscal year (July-June). An annual retreat is held in late May to present results, discuss future directions, and encourage informal interactions. Following the retreat, faculty participants submit annual funding requests that include brief summaries of results and plans for the next year’s research. Evaluation of requests and ultimate allocation of funding is based on evaluation by the IRG leadership and PAS3 executive committee,with review by the EAB.

A student leadership committee comprising the three postdocs plus four graduate students helps to organize major MRSEC activities and sets priorities for educational programs for MRSEC participants. The student leadership committee advises the executive committee on educational priorities for PhD/postdoc participants, organizes social events to build coherence among center participation, and aids in organization of center programs and events. 

Student Leadership Committee: