I am looking for talented students and postdocs to join my lab. I receive a large volume of emails; please follow the instructions on this page before emailing me in order to receive a timely reply. Thank you in advance for your patience!

Specific Research Questions

If you are reaching out with specific technical research questions about papers and projects in the lab (regardless of whether you are applying), please feel free to email me (somilban at USC dot edu) at any point, with a subject line including the words research question. This will help me ensure that your email is sorted separately so that I can address your technical questions promptly. You may receive a faster response if you also email/CC the graduate student(s) listed on the paper(s), as they tend to have a lower volume of emails.

Prospective PhD students

Prospective graduate students are encouraged to apply to the ECE PhD program (the deadline is typically in mid-December). In your application, please make sure to mention me (Somil Bansal) under the faculties of interest.

Note that the home department of this lab is Electrical and Computer Engineering. If you do not apply to this department, it is possible that your application will not be automatically assigned to me. In some cases we may be able to accept students from the Computer Science department as well; however, in this case you must ensure that I am made aware of your application.

I read and take note of all emails. Because of the large volume of emails, I am not able to respond to individual emails. However, I encourage you to reach out to me after the application has been submitted. Please include your CV and 2-3 sentences about your research interests, projects, or papers that you like. I encourage you to read our most recent papers and think of which aspect of my research excites you the most. The students who are applying for/or have received fellowships are of particular interest. Please see the section below on some fellowship options for graduate students.

Please note that the admissions at USC are coordinated at the department level so, unfortunately, I will not be able to help with any admission-specific requests/questions. Please direct them to info@ee.usc.edu.

Prospective MS students

Please apply to the ECE MS program. I would love to chat more about potential research collaborations after you have been admitted.

Prospective postdoctoral scholars

Excellent postdoctoral candidates are encouraged to contact me with the following information:

  • academic CV and publication list
  • description of past and future research interests
  • names and contact information of 2 academic references.

I am happy to work with you to obtain external funding for your postdoctoral research. An extensive list of postdoctoral funding opportunities can be found on the UC Berkeley website.

Current UG/MS students

Typically, Master's and undergraduate students join existing projects and work directly with a PhD student, with the expectation that eventually, they will be leading their own projects. Taking my annual EE599 - Learning and Control for Safety-Critical Robotic Systems class and having excellent performance is a great way to get familiar with our work and learn the basic skills required to participate in our research. If you are interested in joining our lab, please fill out this form. As soon as there is an opening that fits your interests, we will reach out to you to discuss how you can join. Filling up the above form is sufficient, and there is no need to email us.

Fellowship options for graduate students

  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
  • DOD NDSEG Fellowship Program
  • Hertz Graduate Fellowship
  • DOD SMART Scholarship Program
  • Undergraduate fellowship options

  • USC Viterbi SURE Program
  • Robotics and Autonomous Systems REU Program
  • Viterbi-India Partnership Program
  • Postdoctoral fellowship options

  • The Air Force Science & Technology Fellowship Program