Research Opportunities

Employment Opportunities

The following is a list of current employment and collaboration opportunities available in the Materials Science and Engineering Division. Please contact us for more information.

Post Doctoral Opportunities

National Research Council Program The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in cooperation with the National Research Council (NRC), offers awards for post-doctoral research in the diverse fields of physical science in which NIST is actively involved. The NRC web site lists the research opportunities which are currently available at NIST. These represent the sort of projects that post-doc candidates and NIST advisors can work on. It is not exhaustive and is truly only limited by the intelligence and imagination of the post-doctoral candidate. Please note that the deadlines for NIST for the two application cycles are February 1 and August 1. For additional information and contact information, visit the NRC web site below.

More info: NRC/NIST Postdoctoral Program

More info: Materials Science

Postdoctoral Opportunities

NIH/NIST Joint Post-doctoral Program

The Materials Science and Engineering Division is actively participating in a new joint post-doctoral program between NIST and NIH. The goal of this program is to facilitate development of collaborations between these two institutes in order to leverage the expertise in cell biology at NIH with the expertise in the physical sciences and engineering at NIST. The post-doctoral fellows will have an advisor at each institute and split their time between the two laboratories. The research areas are strongly interdisciplinary and include topics such as tissue engineering, biomedical imaging, microfluidics, and MEMS.

More info: Joint Postdoctoral Program (NIH-NIST)

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program

A 12-week summer undergraduate research fellowship program with hands-on research in materials.

More info: Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program

Visiting Scientist Positions

International Guest Researchers The Materials Science and Engineering Division occasionally has opportunities for post-doctoral level researchers from outside the U.S. to work in collaboration with NIST scientists. The duration of the stay at NIST can vary from several months up to three years. Specific opportunities vary from year to year, but fall into the areas of interest of the Division.

Contact Materials Science and Engineering Division or Specific Project Leaders

Collaboration Opportunities

The NIST Materials Science and Engineering Division provides opportunities for industry, academia, and other R&D laboratories for collaboration on scientific research. We rely heavily on the input provided by outside industry and technical community to set our research priorities, and encourage you to contact us. The various cooperative research arrangements range from formal agreements to informal collaborations.

Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA)

Within the NIST CRADA program, the Materials Science and Engineering Division seeks industrial partners to work together to overcome technical obstacles to the implementation and use of materials by US industry and in international trade. Emphasis is on new measurement methods and standard materials that advance the goals of rendering US industry more competitive in the global economy. The CRADA itself is designed to protect the intellectual property rights of both NIST and its industrial partner.


In certain technology sectors we find that the problems are large and cut across many industries. In such cases, the Materials Science and Engineering Division will set up consortia in which multiple partners join to solve problems of mutual interest. These are often covered by CRADA's with the industrial partners.

Informal Collaborations

Often, we discover that our research overlaps with ongoing research in other laboratories. In such a case, individual scientists become "partners of opportunity" and NIST and the industrial or academic partner perform joint research with outcomes that are of expected benefit to both groups. When intellectual property is involved, these can be covered by CRADA's. Often, however, these collaborations arise spontaneously and the researchers jointly pursue the work when management can concur.

Contact Us

Potential collaborators should usually contact the principal investigator in the appropriate research area. Requests for general information and referrals can be addressed to

Created November 20, 2008, Updated June 27, 2013


  • Materials Science and Engineering Division
    100 Bureau Drive, MS 8550
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8550
    301-975-6400 Phone