The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) designed the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program to inspire undergraduate students to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) through a unique research experience that supports our mission. Since 1993, the SURF program has hosted more than 3,000 undergraduate students from across the nation at NIST’s laboratories in Boulder, Colorado; Gaithersburg, Maryland; and Charleston, South Carolina. In an effort to prioritize the health of our staff and our future student fellows, SURF is going virtual for the first time.
As the SURF managing program director for the past seven years, the highlight of each year for me is watching participants blossom into confident researchers by the end of the program and leave with an expanded network of friends and mentors. Due to the pandemic, the SURF Program was cancelled last year. Delivering this news to students, especially those who accepted offers to participate in the 2020 program was among the most difficult tasks I’ve had to complete while managing the program. After delivering the news, I thought about the impact that summer internships had on me when I was an undergraduate and how the students who thought they would be working at NIST must have felt. Some students were missing out on their last opportunity to gain research experience before graduation while other students were missing out on the opportunity to earn funds to assist with college expenses. It was at that moment that I decided to advocate for a virtual program for summer 2021, assuming NIST remained in a remote work environment. Shifting to a virtual program has allowed us the opportunity to be more creative in preparing students for STEM careers. Though participants may not get to work with the latest laboratory equipment or play in the annual soccer tournament, we think SURF will still offer a challenging and rewarding experience.
The virtual SURF Program includes:
If this opportunity sounds interesting to you, we encourage you to attend an upcoming virtual Lunch and Learn to hear more about SURF and ask questions about the application process. We plan to share more details about the virtual program with incoming fellows after selections are completed.
I would like to attend your STEM Program.
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What is the best way to attend Your STEM program?
I was refered here as a Cyber security student, by my Professor at Riverland college.
Brandi, this says it is aimed at undergraduates. Are they pursuing a course at the same time as their SURF activities? Is there expected to be a relationship between undergrad topic and the SURF topic?
Is this program running this summer 2022?
Yes, the SURF program will be happening virtually in summer 2022. Details can be found here: https://www.nist.gov/surf