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ITRG Opportunities

Work at NIST!  Join us and be part of a team providing research or support toward efforts that stimulate innovation, foster industrial competitiveness, and improve quality of life. Search openings at USAjobs or NIST current job openings

Gaithersburg NIST Campus
NIST's Gaithersburg Maryland Campus ​​​​​

Learn more about the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Communication Technology Laboratory, and the Internet Technologies Research Group at its Gaithersburg MD campus.  

Contact: itrg-contact [at] (subject: Interest%20in%20working%20with%20ITRG) (itrg-contact[at]nist[dot]gov) to learn more, or discuss applying for any of the opportunities listed below. 

Network Research Opportunities at NIST
Network Research Opportunities at NIST

Types of Positions / Opportunities:

  • Full-Time Staff Positions - Open to U.S. citizens. Specific current vacancies will be posted on the USAJobs site.  We are always interested in being contacted by outstanding candidates with interests or experience in the topic areas described below.  See general information (pay, benefits, work-life programs, etc.) on Careers at NIST.
    • ITRG is always looking for highly motivated candidates who can contribute to NIST’s research and development projects that design, model, analyze, prototype, test, measure, and standardize cutting-edge technologies for advanced networking and distributed information systems. New employees will contribute to NIST research through design and analysis, development of software, design, and execution of modeling and measurement experiments, data analysis and visualization, publishing of research results, and participation in consensus standards development processes.  If interested contact itrg-contact [at] (subject: Interest%20in%20working%20with%20ITRG) (itrg-contact[at]nist[dot]gov) to start the conversation about your career at NIST.
  • Faculty Appointments - NIST employs faculty staff from academia.  Individuals hired are given a one-year, excepted service appointment which can be renewed.  Employment may last through the summer only or throughout the year.  Typical working arrangements are full-time for sabbaticals and summers, or part-time through the academic year.  Potential applicants should contact itrg-contact [at] (subject: Interest%20in%20working%20with%20ITRG) (itrg-contact[at]nist[dot]gov) with their detailed resume/curriculum vitae and a brief statement of interest in one or more of the topics below.

  • NRC Postdoctoral Research Associateships - Open to U.S. citizens (non-citizen postdocs, see Foreign Guest Research below). Candidates and their research proposals are evaluated in a competitive process managed by the National Research Council (NRC) Associateship Programs. Application deadlines are typically February 1 and August 1. These two-year postdoctoral appointments commence within one year of selection.  Areas of interest include but are not limited to the topics described below.
    • For more general information, see NIST NRC Postdoctoral Research Associateship Program
    • Applicants are sought for multiple postdoctoral research positions.
    • Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss potential proposals (contact itrg-contact [at] (subject: Interest%20in%20working%20with%20ITRG) (itrg-contact[at]nist[dot]gov)) before submission.

Opportunities for Students:

  • The Pathways Internship Program offers paid Federal internships for students from high school through post-graduate school and to careers for recent graduates.  The Pathways Program consists of three components: the Internship Program, the Recent Graduate Program and the Presidential Management Fellow Program.

      • Internship opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students interested in Network Security & Resilience Research
      • Note: CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) students, NIST internships count toward your required Federal service.
      • Please contact itrg-contact [at] (subject: Interest%20in%20working%20with%20ITRG) (itrg-contact[at]nist[dot]gov) to start the conversation about your internship at NIST (and allow us to be on the lookout for your application).
  • The Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) is designed to provide valuable laboratory experience and financial assistance to 

    Group photo of NIST SURF students
    NIST SURF summer students

    undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and faculty.  The program is intended to assure the continued growth and progress of a highly-skilled science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce in the United States.

  • The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program is designed to inspire undergraduate students to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) through a unique research experience that supports the NIST mission. 
  • NIST Graduate Student Measurement Science and Engineering (GMSE) Fellowship Program provides doctoral-level graduate students with opportunities and financial assistance to obtain laboratory experience within the NIST laboratories in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines related to NIST measurement science and engineering research. 
  • The Summer High School Intern Program (SHIP) is a NIST-wide summer intern program for students who will have finished their junior or senior year of high school by the start of the program and are interested in scientific research only. 

  • Domestic / Foreign Guest Research Positions - ITRG has opportunities for guest researcher appointments ranging from 1 to 5 years with, with stipends up to $5,300 per month (for those without support from their home organization) are available.  Topic areas and desirable skills/interests are described below. Applicants are currently sought for new guest researcher positions with appointments to begin in the January - June time frame.  Minimum appointment is 1 year, maximum appointment is 5 years.  Potential applicants should contact itrg-contact [at] (subject: Interest%20in%20working%20with%20ITRG) (itrg-contact[at]nist[dot]gov) with their detailed resume / curriculum vitae and a brief statement of your interests in one or more of the topics below.

  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grants - The list of specific SBIR topics and call for proposals typically goes out early in the calendar year with short (~2 month) submission deadline.    See the NIST SBIR site for application details. For more examples see the list of SBIR Past Awards.

Technical Topics of Interest:

ITRG's primary focus is upon Trustworthy Networks Research, where we seek to improve the security, resilience and performance of the communication infrastructures that underlie our network-centric society. Our work cultivates trust in current and emerging network technologies by developing and applying innovative measurement techniques, improving the quality and timeliness of consensus standards, and providing tools and guidance necessary to expedite adoption of emerging network technologies.  

Current project areas within this program include:

  • The Advanced Security Architectures for Next Generation Wireless project works with mobile wireless, internet and virtual computing industry to improve the security and resilience of emerging designs for 56 / 6G core networks and radio access networks (RANs).  
  • The Zero Trust Networks project seeks to define the basic principles of zero trust architectures and to develop standards and guidance for their implementation in modern enterprise environments and in the core infrastructure of next generation wireless networks.
  • The Robust Inter-Domain Routing project includes collaborative research with leading Internet companies to design and standardize technologies to improve the resilience and security of the Internet’s global routing system. 
  • The Trustworthy Intelligent Networks project works with industry and academia to improve the trustworthiness and applicability of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to future networks and distributed systems.  
  • The High Assurance Domains project works with the IETF, Messaging Malware Mobile and Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG), Department of Defense and the Federal CIO Council to research and develop new technologies to address key trust and security issues in enterprise networks. 
  • The Software Defined and Virtual Networks project works to develop test and measurement techniques to advance the state of the art in network virtualization, network service function chaining, software defined networks, technologies and techniques to address robustness and security of virtualized network services.  
  • The Trustworthy Network of Things project works with industry to design, standardize, test and foster adoption of network-centric approaches to protect IoT devices from the Internet and to protect the Internet from IoT devices.  
  • The USGv6 Program works with the IETF and Federal CIO community to provide technical leadership in standards profiles, product testing programs, and deployment guidance to foster the global transition to the next generation Internet Protocol (IPv6).
  • The Measurement Science for Complex Information Systems project aims to develop and evaluate a coherent set of methods to understand behavior in complex information systems, such as the Internet, computational grids and computing clouds. Such large distributed systems exhibit global behavior arising from independent decisions made by many simultaneous actors, which adapt their behavior based on local measurements of system state. 

Please see individuals project descriptions for examples of our contributions including research publications, standards specifications, software tools, guidance documents, workshops, etc.

Expertise of Interest:

  • Emerging Network Technologies
    • cloud native network virtualization / service based architectures (kubernetes, openshift, AWS, Azure), core Internet technologies (BGP, DNS, IPv6), software defined and programmable networks (SDN, P4), IoT protocols, next generation wireless technologies (5G/6G/O-RAN), network security testing and formal verification, applications of AI to security, protocol design and standardization (IETF, IRTF, O-RAN Alliance, 3GPP), network software development (Python, Rust, C, Java, git, CI/CD),  network measurement and data science.
  • Protocol Design, Analysis and Standardization
    • Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Internet Research Task Force (IRTF), North American Network Operators Group (NANOG), Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) Alliance.
  • Internet Scale Measurement and Data Analysis
    • Measurement and monitoring of Internet infrastructure and high performance networks.
  • Rapid Prototyping
    • Open-source reference implementations of emerging protocol specifications.
  • Analytical, Simulation & Emulation Modeling
    • Internet scale modeling for performance, scalability, vulnerability, robustness.
  • Deployment guidance and profiles
    • Fostering commercial adoption and deployment
  • Test and Evaluation of Emerging Implementations
    • Test tools designed to assist implementers and early adopters of emerging network technologies.
    • Test methods for formal product interoperability and conformance.

Please see individual project descriptions for details on the technologies, techniques and tools being used in our projects.






Created August 10, 2022, Updated February 10, 2024