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The ICAM Phenomenon

Since its inception in 2002, ICAM has grown from 9 founding branches in the United States to more than 75 branches worldwide as of March 2020, and led to new funding from the National Science Foundation, European Union, and private foundations. In addition, we have adaptive and rapid response to new opportunities made possible by a central fund commitment from our branches. The attractiveness of ICAM stems from the participation of leading international scientists and institutions in a rapidly decided and adaptive mix of cutting edge workshops, schools, junior and senior scientist fellowships, exchange awards and travel awards for young scientists, and novel science outreach projects in the areas of correlated electronic materials, soft condensed matter, biological matter and emerging materials in energy.  The document Benefits of ICAM Membership summarizes what a branch gains by joining.

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How to join ICAM:

If an institution wants to join ICAM, they must commit to the following:

  • A minimum 3 year participation.

  • Commitment includes support to the central fund of $12,500 annually or $30,000 up front for a 3 year membership, and allocation of a matching amount at the branch determined by the local scientists and administration. (Effective January 2023)

  • Each branch is then entitled to place at least one representative on each of the major ICAM committees Science Steering Committee.

  • If a branch joins during the middle of a fiscal year, we can prorate the branch contributions for that fiscal year.

  • The Sample Memo of Understanding is sent to the ICAM branch upon joining.

For further questions about the process, email Rajiv Singh at or the Program Coordinator at

Sample Memorandum of Understanding:

This document shall serve as a memorandum of understanding between the Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter (ICAM), a multidisciplinary program of the University of California and YOUR INSTITUTION.  In return for payment of institutional supporting costs of $30,000 in advance for a three-year commitment, or $12,500/yr for three years, YOUR INSTITUTION will become a branch of ICAM with the following rights and privileges:

  • YOUR INSTITUTION is entitled to name one member to each of the ICAM governing bodies: the Board of Governors, the Science Steering Committee, and the Fellows Committee.

  • YOUR INSTITUTION is eligible to host ICAM and I2CAM Exploratory Workshops for which, once approved by the Science Steering Committee, ICAM will provide up to $35,000 in external support.  The consortium agrees to commit an equivalent amount on ICAM-like activities at their home institution.

  • YOUR INSTITUTION is entitled to send at least two scientists to any ICAM-organized activity and up to four representatives to the branch members-only Annual Conference that brings together leading members of the ICAM community for 2.5 days each year.

  • YOUR INSTITUTION postdoctoral and senior scientists are eligible to apply for ICAM Postdoctoral or Senior Fellowships that make it possible for them to carry out research at a second ICAM campus in the U.S. or Europe through a stipend of up to $25,000 that supplements existing postdoctoral or sabbatical leave support.

  • The international component of ICAM, I2CAM (the International Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter) provides an unparalleled set of opportunities for both junior and senior researchers at YOUR INSTITUTION.  Junior researchers receive support to attend ICAM workshops and summer schools and to visit and develop collaborations at leading laboratories, while senior scientists receive support to initiate or expand collaborations with their colleagues at other ICAM branches.

Signed by ICAM Co-Directors Piers Coleman, Cristina Marchetti, and Rajiv Singh

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