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Student Employment

cone snail ID at HML
Students Mickelene Hoggard (Florida Atlantic University) and Meghan Grandal (Medical University of South Carolina) work to identify a specimen from NIST’s cone snail group before feeding it, using a lab reference book.
Credit: Alex Holt/NIST

Student Employment

NIST employs students and recent graduates of all ages and backgrounds through the Pathways Program. The Pathways Program offers clear paths to Federal internships for students from high school through post-graduate school and to careers for recent graduates, and to provide meaningful training and career development opportunities for individuals who are at the beginning of their Federal service.

The Pathways Program consists of three components: the Internship Program, the Recent Graduate Program and the Presidential Management Fellow Program. For more information about each of these programs, please click on one of the links below.

  • Internship Program
    The Internship Program is designed to provide students enrolled in a wide variety of education institutions, from high school to graduate level, with opportunities to work in agencies to explore Federal careers while still in school and while getting paid for the work performed. Students who successfully complete the program may be eligible for conversion to a permanent job in the civil service.
    For more info please visit
  • Recent Graduate Program 
    The Recent Graduates Program affords developmental experiences in the Federal Government intended to promote possible careers in the civil service to individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs. To be eligible, applicants must apply within two years of degree or certificate completion (except for veterans precluded from doing so due to their military service obligation, who will have up to six years after degree completion to apply). Successful applicants are placed in a dynamic, developmental program with the potential to lead to a civil service career in the Federal Government. The program lasts for 1 year.
  • Presidential Management Fellows Program
    The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program  is a flagship leadership development program at the entry-level for advanced degree candidates. Created more than three decades ago, the Program attracts and selects from among the best candidates and is designed to develop a cadre of potential Federal Government Leaders. 
  • Pathways Program - Frequently Asked Questions 

Other NIST programs include:

  • NIST NRC Postdoctoral Research Associateships Program
    NIST's Postdoctoral Research Program supports a nationwide competitive postdoctoral program administered in cooperation with the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council. The program brings research scientists and engineers of rare promise and ability to perform advanced research related to the NIST mission. The program shares NIST unique research facilities with the U.S. scientific and engineering communities and provides a valuable mechanism for the transfer of research results from NIST to the scientific and engineering communities.
  • Professional Research Experience Program (PREP)
    PREP provides valuable laboratory experience and financial assistance to undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students.
  • Summer High School Intern Program (SHIP)
    SHIP is a summer volunteer program for high school juniors and seniors. SHIP provides cutting-edge research experience for students interested in science.
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)
    A multi-week program, SURF offers opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in world-class research at NIST's unique research facilities.
  • Graduate Student Measurement Science and Engineering Fellowship Program (GMSE)
    GMSE offer unique research experiences, mentorship, and financial assistance to doctoral-level graduate students. Collaborative research relationships are developed between NIST, the doctoral-level graduate students and the students' academic institutions in research areas that are pertinent to the measurement science and engineering research priorities at NIST.
Created June 26, 2009, Updated March 8, 2024