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NIST Application deadline: February 12, 2016
***Note: Your university may have an earlier deadline

Applications consist of two parts:

(1) The student's university must submit a grant proposal that provides details about its academic program and must nominate one or more students. Inclusion of a narrative on each student is strongly encouraged.

(2) Students must provide an application cover sheet, student application 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 NIST Boulder program and what areas of NIST research interest the student.

The NIST headquarters site in Gaithersburg, Maryland, also operates a SURF program with the same application. Students are encouraged to review research opportunities in the Gaithersburg SURF program. An application for one SURF program does not constitute an application for the other.

The names of contacts at schools that have participated in SURF in the past are available here. Students may contact these school representatives about submitting part 1 of the application (see above) to SURF NIST Boulder.

The SURF NIST Boulder program will run from May 16 through July 29, 2016; adjustments will be made to accommodate specific academic schedules (e.g., quarter systems).

The Information Package includes:

The Application Package includes the following downloadable PDF files, readable with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader:

Notice: NIST will disburse funds to college and university awardees via the Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP) system.


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

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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.


Apply on Grants.gov

Institutions are required to apply to the SURF NIST Boulder on Grants.gov.

Apparently schools that use COEUS to submit on Grants.gov may encounter an error if they follow the application instructions. Instead of using a longer descriptive field in form SF-424, Item 15, simply state either “SURF Boulder” or “SURF Gaithersburg,” depending on the location to which the application is directed.

Instructions for Applying for the NIST Announcement 2016 NIST SURF FFO:

The following forms are available as part of the Grants.gov application kit and can be completed through the download application process.

  1. SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance
  2. SF-424A, Budget Information – Nonconstruction Programs
  3. SF-424B, Assurances – Nonconstruction Programs
  4. CD-511, Certification Regarding Lobbying

The list of certifications and assurances referenced in item 21 of the SF-424 is contained in the SF-424B.

In order for an application to be considered complete it must meet all the application documentation requirements stated in the Federal Funding Opportunity notice.

Applicant are required to scan or create the necessary documents and then attach them to the application in Grants.gov. The following forms and documents are required, but are not available on Grants.gov:

Institutional Description and Formal Proposal

Student Information – one of each for each student that is being nominated:

  1. Student application form (see left column)
  2. Official transcript
  3. Personal statement
  4. Resume
  5. Two letters of recommendation
  6. Verification of citizenship or legal permanent resident

For further information or questions regarding applying electronically for the 2016 NIST SURF FFO announcement please contact Christopher Hunton at 301-975-5718, e-mail christopher.hunton@nist.gov .

The Grants.gov registration process must be completed before a new registrant can apply electronically. If all goes well, the registration process takes from 3 to 5 business days. If problems are encountered, the registration process can take up to 2 weeks. Only authorized individual(s) will be able to submit the application, and the system may need time to process a submitted application. Applicants are strongly encouraged to start early and not to wait until the approaching due date before logging on and reviewing the instructions for submitting an application through Grants.gov. It may take several days or longer from the initial log-on before a new Grants.gov system user can submit an application. Applicants should save and print the proof of submission they receive from Grants.gov. If problems occur while using Grants.gov, the applicant is advised to (a) print any error message received, and (b) call Grants.gov directly at 800-518-4726 for immediate assistance. Assistance from the Grants.gov Help Desk will be available around the clock every day, with the exception of Federal holidays. Help Desk service will resume at 7:00 a.m. Eastern Time the day after Federal holidays.