Oak Crest collaborates with several Southern California universities, providing the opportunity for graduate students to conduct research in our laboratories. Formal programs established with California State University Los Angeles and Cal Poly Pomona allow graduate students to conduct all or part of their Masters thesis research at Oak Crest with an Oak Crest faculty member as a co-advisor. For institutions without a formal graduate research arrangement, research collaborations provide a mechanism for graduate students to work on joint projects in our laboratories while maintaining their ties to the university campus. For example, an NSF-funded project with Prof. Michael Hoffmann at Caltech investigating secondary organic aerosol formation by isoprene oxidation involves the work of a Caltech graduate student in both laboratories and under the direction of Caltech and Oak Crest faculty.
Graduate students conducting research at Oak Crest are exposed to a unique research environment, providing experience in an entrepreneurial setting generally unavailable in traditional academic departments. At Oak Crest, graduate students become an integral part of a research team. Along with one or more Oak Crest faculty, who are conducting laboratory research as well as mentoring student researchers, graduates provide a long-term continuity for projects. Additionally, graduates have the opportunity to develop mentoring skills as they, along with faculty, lead research teams comprised of pregraduate, undergraduate, and high school researchers.