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Summer Undergraduate
Research Fellowship Program

SURFing the Engineering Laboratory

Application Deadline: February 14, 2014

(Applications will be accepted pending availabilities of funds)

The Engineering Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology offers a 11-week Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program (SURF).

The SURF program is designed to provide hands-on research experience in building and fire research technologies. This program builds on the phenomenal success of the three other SURF programs at NIST. NIST is located just outside Washington, DC. [directions...]

Research Opportunities in EL

The research opportunities within EL include a wide range of topics from: working in nanotechnology and MEMS, measuring the performance of full scale building structures and determining the economic benefit of building choices. This work requires a diversity of specific professional background training spanning all disciplines in the physical and computer sciences. A partial list of disciplines includes: chemistry, physics, materials science, mathematics, computer science, intelligent systems, information technology, fire science, computer engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, fire engineering, environmental engineering, economics…. For a detailed list of current research interests, please browse the Engineering Laboatory website:

The Fellowship will include a stipend, travel, and housing allowances. Applications should be submitted by an official representative of the school. If you have questions, contact Lisa Fronczek, Chris White, Tania Ullah or Chiara Ferraris.

There are SURF programs in every area of NIST. Check out their web pages as well! Please indicate your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice of the seven programs on your application. It will be considered by all seven, with a preference to the program applied to. Please clearly indicate the type of research you are interested in. This will allow us to find the best match with our mentors/projects.

2013 students

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More Information about the SURF Program

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

SURF a Application

Download an application and information packet then print out the required forms or call Anita Sweigert at (301)975-4200, e-mail:

Student Eligibility Criteria

  • GPA of 3.0/4.0, or better.
  • Must be U. S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Two letters of recommendation into the program by physical science or engineering professors/department chairs, student transcript, and letter of intent/personal statement.

Plan of Operation

  • SURFers work directly with NIST Research Advisors
  • SURFers participate in weekly seminar program, during which Fellows and Advisors present their research projects; SURFers also participate in extramural group activities intended to enrich the fellowship experience
  • Fellows are encouraged to present their research results at National Meetings
  • SURFers are encouraged, but not required to pursue their Ph.D. through NIST collaborative programs with local universities.
  • Research advisors will be encouraged to visit the host colleges to discuss NIST research



For more information contact:

Lisa Fronczek
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8200
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8200
Phone: (301) 975-6633


Dr. Chris White
NIST100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8621
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8621
Phone: (301) 975-6016


Dr. Chiara Ferraris
NIST100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8621
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8621
Phone: (301) 975-6711


Tania Ullah
100 Bureau Dr., Stop 8632
Gaithersburg MD 20899
Phone: (301) 975-8410