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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. (2) Students must provide 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 program in Gaithersburg, Maryland and what areas of NIST research interest the student.

The FY 2015 Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity notice contains the official program announcement with application due dates and all other requirements applicable to the 2015 SURF Program. Another copy of the FY 2015 announcement can be found on the website. 

You may either apply for the SURF program using a paper submission or via an online submission process. Users of will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit the application package and associated proposal information via the website. Applicants using the electronic submission process should follow the Application Instructions provided at when submitting a response to this funding opportunity. Applicants are encouraged to start early and not wait to the approaching due date before logging on and reviewing the instructions for submitting an application through For those that want to use the paper submission process, you may download the application via this website. Applicant institutions must submit one (1) signed original.

The SURF Program is anticipated to run between May 26 – August 7, 2015 or June 8 – August 7, 2015; adjustments may be made to accommodate specific academic schedules (e.g., a limited number of 9-week slots). Students residing in provided housing have until
August 9, 2015 to remove all belongings.

You will find a list of frequently asked questions here:

The Application Package includes the following documents that are downloadable PDF files readable with Adobe Acrobat Reader.

To see the breath of the SURF program, see examples from the past SURF student projects descriptions and activities:

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Please view a recent webinar to assist with questions pertaining to the SURF Program at NIST.

student filling out paperwork

General Information:
301 975 2371 Telephone
301 975 3035 Facsimile

100 Bureau Drive, M/S 1090
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1090