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Welcome to SURF at Gaithersburg, MD

Program Dates: May 23-August 5, 2016

Dear Student or Colleague:

You and your school are invited to participate in the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Gaithersburg, MD Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program for students majoring in science, mathematics and engineering. Note that applications for participation in the SURF program are only accepted from colleges or universities, and not from individual students. Please prepare a single proposal from your institution to the NIST SURF program. This proposal, using the forms provided, will include a portion completed by an institutional representative and a set of materials provided by each student applicant. Students can participate in any one of the seven NIST laboratories:

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

The student application form should indicate in which laboratory he/she is most interested. The applications will be considered by the student's first choice, then second choice and finally by all programs, with consideration of the student's preferences and research interests. Please circulate the information about this program to other appropriate academic departments and administrative staff at your institution.

SURFing is a partnership, supported by NIST, NSF, and the participating colleges/universities. We anticipate providing meaningful research opportunities for approximately 130 students in the Gaithersburg site-wide program. The NIST facilities are located just outside Washington, DC.

The NIST site in Boulder, Colorado, also operates a SURF programs with a distinctly separate application. Students are encouraged to review research opportunities in Boulder. An application for one SURF program does not constitute an application for the other.

The SURF Program 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).

Further information for individual Laboratories can be found through the website


The Application Package is available here:


You will find a list of frequently asked questions here:


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Related LinksSURF Brochure 
NIST Administration building
©Robert Rathe

General Information:

Dr. Brandi Toliver (SURF Program Manager)
E-mail: brandi.toliver@nist.gov

Upcoming SURF Webinars for 2016 Program

 Are you interested in learning more about NIST, the SURF Program application process, or acquiring tips to make your application stand out from the crowd? If you answered "yes" to any of these statements, you are invited to attend an upcoming webinar. Please use the links below to register for an upcoming webinar.

-January 21, 2016 at 2:00 PM (ET): https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=gzz7p9h5copo

-January 27, 2016 at 1:30 PM (ET):