Thermoset polymer particles are used in many applications requiring lightweight particles possessing high stiffness, strength, temperature resistance, and/or resistance to aggressive environments. The present invention relates to the use of two different methods, either each by itself or in combination, to enhance the stiffness, strength, maximum possible use temperature, and environmental resistance of such particles. One method is the application of post-polymerization process steps (and especially heat treatment) to advance the curing reaction and to thus obtain a more densely crosslinked polymer network. In general, its main benefits are the enhancement of the maximum possible use temperature and the environmental resistance. The other method is the incorporation of nanofillers, resulting in a heterogeneous “nanocomposite” morphology. In general, its main benefits are increased stiffness and strength. Nanofiller incorporation and post-polymerization heat treatment can also be combined to obtain the benefits of both methods simultaneously. The present invention relates to the development of thermoset nanocomposite particles. It also relates to the optional further improvement of the heat resistance and environmental resistance of said particles via post-polymerization heat treatment. Furthermore, it also relates to processes for the manufacture of said particles. Finally, it also relates to the use of said particles in the construction, drilling, completion and/or fracture stimulation of oil and natural gas wells; for example, as a proppant partial monolayer, a proppant pack, an integral component of a gravel pack completion, a ball bearing, a solid lubricant, a drilling mud constituent, and/or a cement additive.