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PML SURF Program

The Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) encourages undergraduate students to apply to its Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program.

SURFing the Physics Lab is a NIST-NSF Partnership, which provides an opportunity for the Physical Measurement Laboratory of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Division of Physics of the National Science Foundation to join in partnership with American colleges and universities, stimulating outstanding physics students to pursue scientific careers by exposing them to the world-class atomic, molecular, optical, ionizing radiation,and medical physics facilities in the NIST Physics Laboratory, and strengthening undergraduate physics curricula by forming the basis for ongoing collaborations.

Research areas in PML

  • Atomic, molecular, and optical physics
  • Environmental radioactivity
  • Industrial radiation dosimetry
  • Neutron physics
  • Laser cooling and trapping
  • Detector development
  • Physics of radiation therapy
  • Quantum optics
  • Ultraviolet optics and optical properties
  • Helio- and astrophysics
  • Bioelectronics
  • Power electronics
  • National electrical standards and smart grid metrology
  • Nanotechnology
  • Quantum-based electrical measurements and devices
  • Electronics reliability
  • Electronic materials metrology
  • Molecular electronics
  • Organic electronics

Student Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be enrolled as an undergraduate at a U.S. university or college with a scientific major.
  • Intend to pursue a graduate degree (M.S. or Ph.D.) in engineering, physical science, or information technology.
  • GPA of 3.0/4.0, or better.
  • Must be a U. S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Two letters of recommendation into the program by physics, chemistry 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.

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


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SURF Program Quick Facts

  • Application Deadline: February 14, 2014
  • Program duration 11 weeks (May 27, 2014 to August 8, 2014)
  • In 2014, fellowships include a $ 5,500 stipend, and travel and housing allowances
  • Applications must be submitted by the school’s academic departments
PML SURF Students 2012
PML SURF Students 2012

Electrical & Electronics Engineering

Name: Joseph Kopanski
Phone: 301-975-2089

Name: Richard Steiner
Phone: 301-975-4226