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SHIP Selection Process


After the initial application due on February 1, there are three stages to the selection process before a student is accepted into SHIP.

Stage 1:

Only a limited number of finalists for the program will be selected from the initial pool of applicants. All applicants will be notified of their application status by February 7. (After February 7, if you have not received your notification, then please contact ship@nist.gov for more information.) Only finalists for the program will be contacted to provide additional information. Do NOT send this information until you are asked to do so!  This additional information will be due in electronic form by February 21, and will consist of:

  1. One (1) brief resume which must include name, email, high school, GPA, and graduation date (Click here to see a sample resume.)
  2. One (1) copy of school transcript (an unofficial transcript is acceptable at this stage)
  3. Two (2) letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a science, engineering, or technical education teacher. Use one of these recommendation forms:
  4. Personal statement (maximum of one page) which will include:
  5. Form signed by you and your parents indicating your availability for a contiguous 8 week period during the summer if a position is offered and you accept. Use one of these forms:
  6. Our preferred format is for items #1-5 to be sent in a single PDF file to ship@nist.gov for NIST Gaithersburg finalists and shipB@nist.gov for NIST Boulder finalists. However, if your school cannot combine your materials (items 1, 2, 4 and 5) with the teacher recommendations (item 3), then it is acceptable to have your teacher email your recommendation separately.

If the recommendations are sent separately, the following is required: Items 1, 2, 4, and 5 must be sent as a single PDF file to ship@nist.gov for NIST Gaithersburg finalists and shipB@nist.gov for NIST Boulder finalists. Furthermore, the subject line of the email should include your full name (e.g., John Doe SHIP packet). Item 3 can be either PDF or MS Word only, and must also be sent to ship@nist.gov for NIST Gaithersburg finalists and shipB@nist.gov for NIST Boulder finalists. The subject line must contain your full name plus "SHIP recommendation" (e.g., Jane Doe SHIP recommendation). Please note that only one letter of recommendation can be sent per email message; teachers must not recommend multiple students with the same message.

Stage 2:

In the second stage, the full application packets will be sorted by research interest and reviewed by researchers within the appropriate NIST laboratory. Applications will be considered only by one laboratory. Some students may be contacted for an interview at the discretion of the NIST laboratory contact.

Stage 3:

Students will be notified by a NIST representative of their acceptance to SHIP, as well as the name and contact information of their NIST research mentor and their project. All students will be notified by April 1.

After acceptance into the program, you will be contacted by a NIST representative to complete the following forms:

Student Volunteer Agreement

AND if you are a NIST Gaithersburg SHIP student under 18 years of age:

Maryland Work Permit (use only the one from this website)

NIST Boulder SHIP students do not need to apply for a work permit

For the Maryland work permit, all students under the age of 18, regardless of state of residency, are required to fill out this form. Please follow the directions provided by the state of Maryland. For the employer section, this should be signed by your mentor at NIST.

Individual NIST laboratories may have additional forms that all must be filled out, but you will be informed of these by the NIST representative who contacts you.

You must complete the forms and return them to NIST no later than May 10. If you fail to submit your paperwork on time and complete, then there will not be sufficient time to process your paperwork prior to arrival, and you will not be able to do research during the summer. There are NO EXCEPTIONS to the deadline.