Wednesday, February 1, 2017

National Institute of Standards and Technology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships

The NIST Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program sponsors  a 11-week summer internship program for undergraduate students enrolled at U.S. 2-year and 4-year institutions majoring in chemistry, computer science, engineering, materials science, fire research, nanotechnology, information technology, mathematics, biology, manufacturing, statistics, or other STEM discipline.

The program provides students with hands-on research experience under the mentorship of a NIST scientist or engineer in Boulder, CO or Gaithersburg, MD. Students can work on projects in any one of the seven NIST facilities:

  • Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology
  • Communications Technology Laboratory
  • Engineering Laboratory
  • Information Technology Laboratory
  • Material Measurement Laboratory
  • NIST Center for Neutron Research
  • Physical Measurement Laboratory

Citizenship Requirements
The program is open to United States citizens or U.S. permanent residents only.
International students are not eligible to apply to the SURF Program.

Classification Requirements
Applicants must be enrolled as undergraduates in U.S. Colleges or Universities as of the application deadline date. Successful applicants must make arrangements to receive their fellowship and stipend funds from their educational institutions.

Note: Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents and enrolled in universities outside the United States, are not eligible to apply to the SURF Program.

Academic Requirements
Students must have a G.P.A. of 3.0/4.0 or better (recommended), and are considering pursuing a graduate degree (M.S. or Ph.D.). Students with physics, material science, chemistry, applied mathematics, computer science, or engineering majors are always encouraged to apply. There may be research opportunities for students with other majors.

For more information, please visit:

NIST Application Deadline: February 15, 2017
***Note: Your university deadline could be earlier

Applications consist of a student component and university component:
Student Component - Students must complete the following application components and submit to the university contact for inclusion in the institution application.
  • Application Checklist
  • Student application information form
  • Resume (example resume )
  • Transcript - Please submit unofficial transcripts only.
  • Two letters of recommendation - Please request the letters from individuals who are knowledgeable about your academic achievements and research experience. Feel free to ask your professors (current and past), research mentors, or internship supervisors. 
  • Letter of intent or personal statement : The letter should contain information that helps the review committee make an informed decision about the student, such as why the student wishes to participate in the SURF program in Gaithersburg, Maryland and what areas of NIST research interest the student. (example personal statement )
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or U.S. permanent residency: Proof includes a copy of an unexpired U.S. Passport, birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or unexpired green card. 
University Component - The institutional representative completes the proposal and financial forms and submits them with the student application via Grants.Gov. 
  • Federal Forms - SF-424, SF-424A, SF-424B, CD-511, and SF-LLL (optional)  (see instructions)
  • Proposal - Provides background information about the academic institution such as degree programs, university accolades, and the names/description of students nominating to participate in the program. (see sample proposal )
  • Submits Items 1 and 2 in addition to the student application component via Grants.Gov.
For JMU the contact person for the University Component is: 
James Madison University
Office of Sponsored Programs