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NIST Application Deadline: Closed for Summer 2016; Check back in the Fall for Summer 2017 Program Information
***Note: Your university deadline could be earlier


Applications consist of two parts:

(1) Students must provide student cover sheet, student application information form, copies of their transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a 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 wants to participate in the SURF program in Gaithersburg, Maryland and what areas of NIST research interest the student.

(2) The student's university must submit a grant proposal that provides details about its academic program and must nominate one or more students. Additionally, the university submits the student and university application materials via Grants.Gov. 

The FY2016 Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity notice contains the official program announcement with application due dates and all other requirements applicable to the 2016 program. Another copy of the announcement can be found on the Grants.gov site. 

Applicants are required to apply for the SURF program online via Grants.gov. On Grants.gov will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit the application package and associated proposal information via the Grants.gov website. Applicants should follow the Application Instructions provided at Grants.gov when submitting a response to this funding opportunity. Additionally, applicants are encouraged to start early and not wait to the approaching due date before logging on and reviewing the instructions for submitting an application through Grants.gov . NOTE: NIST can only extend application submissions under special circumstances (i.e. weather conditions) as outline in the Federal Funding Opportunity.

The SURF Program at the Gaithersburg campus is anticipated to run between May 23 – August 5, 2016 or June 6 – August 5, 2016; adjustments may be made to accommodate specific academic schedules (e.g., a limited number of 9-week slots). Students residing in provided housing have until August 7, 2016 to remove all belongings.

You will find a list of frequently asked questions here:


The Application Package includes the following documents that are downloadable PDF files readable with Adobe Acrobat Reader.

  • Institution Application Component
  • Student Application Components
    • Cover Sheet (one should be completed and submitted for each student)
    • Student Application Information Form
    • Resume
    • Transcript
    • 2 Letters of Recommendation
    • Personal Statement
    • Proof of U.S. citizenship or Permanent Residency
      NOTE: The student application packet is required to be submitted to the University Contact for inclusion in the institutional application.


To see the breath of the SURF program, see examples from the past SURF student projects descriptions and activities:

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SURF Webinars

Unable to attend the SURF webinars? Click on the link below to listen to a previously recorded webinar to learn hints to completing the student and university application components.

student filling out paperwork

General Information:

Dr. Brandi Toliver
SURF Program Manager
E-mail: Brandi.Toliver@nist.gov