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NIST SURF stands for the National Institute of Standards and Technology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Students intern at NIST labs located in either Gaithersburg, MD or Boulder, CO.  Students must be undergraduates at a U.S. university or college with a scientific major, have a G.P.A. of 3.0 or better, 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 encouraged to apply.  There may be research opportunities for students with other majors.


Selection Criteria:

  • U.S. citizenship or permanent resident
  • Undergraduates ONLY
  • G.P.A. of 3.0 or better
  • Are considering pursuing a graduate degree (M.S. or Ph.D)

How to Apply:

Visit the NIST SURF web site to obtain access to an application.  Deadline is January 31, 2024.  The application components include:

  • Application
  • Current Resume/CV
  • Transcript (unofficial transcripts only)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Letter of intent or personal statement
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
  • 2024 deadline is January 31


Selection Process:

Beginning in spring 2019, applicants to NIST SURF can aply directly to NIST SURF and no longer require an institutional nomination to compete.  Please reach out to Melissa Mandos at with any questions.

Please note: You may apply to both the Gaithersburg and Boulder programs; however, if you win both you can only select one.