NIST’s Professional Research and Experience Program (PREP) provides valuable laboratory experience and financial assistance to community college students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, academic affiliates or faculty, post master’s degree holders, and post-bachelor’s degree. This official collaboration between participating universities and NIST aims to provide research opportunities to students and graduates.
Researchers from various academic departments apply for PREP appointments. In return, NIST researchers have access to students, recent grads, postdocs, senior researchers, and faculty who bring new ideas and experiences that can strengthen the agency’s research programs.
Check with participating colleges and universities for upcoming PREP deadlines.
The purpose of this program is to:
If your accredited institution offers a two-year or four-year degree in academic science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, you can apply to establish and manage a research relationship with NIST labs in Boulder, Colorado, Gaithersburg, Maryland, or Charleston, South Carolina. PREP is a five-year cooperative agreement. Calls for application to the next award will be posted in March 2027.
See our Notice of Funding Opportunity for more information.
University of Colorado - Denver Consortium
University of Colorado - Denver
New Mexico State University
The Johns Hopkins University - Morgan State University HBCU Consortium
When NIST has an opportunity and funding for a researcher, we partner with PREP university to advertise and recruit for those roles. PREP researchers must be affiliated with a participating university.
PREP is open to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals with the appropriate visa to work at NIST.
If you are interested in a PREP opportunity you can apply through an advertised vacancy.
Visit the websites below to view available PREP openings.