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NIST Seeks Proposals for $20 Million Recovery Act Program

Grants Will Fund Measurement Science and Engineering Fellowships

GAITHERSBURG, Md. – The U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced that it is establishing a financial assistance program to help selected institutions develop and implement a NIST measurement science and engineering fellowship program. The new fellowship program is funded under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.

"Measurement science and engineering research is critical to fostering innovation," NIST Deputy Director Patrick Gallagher said. "This fellowship program will create jobs and promote long-term investments in the nation's science infrastructure, which is important for future economic prosperity."

NIST expects to award up to $20 million to support up to five grants to U.S. higher education institutions, nonprofit and commercial organizations, or state, local or Indian tribal governments to partner with NIST in managing the fellowships. The awards will last for up to three years.

The program is designed to provide financial assistance to increase the number of research and collaboration opportunities at NIST in the measurement science and engineering fields, which contribute to the agency's mission to advance innovation.

Grant awardees will offer paid fellowships on a competitive basis to:

  • train qualified graduate and undergraduate students from U.S. colleges and universities or postdoctoral researchers, and to
  • provide collaborative research opportunities for practicing scientists and engineers in the public and private sectors.

Fellows under this program will work on projects with NIST research scientists and engineers at the agency's programs in Gaithersburg, Md., Boulder, Colo., and Charleston, S.C. NIST expects the program to support approximately 100 fellowship positions, with the exact number to depend upon the levels and durations of the awarded fellowships. The awards could range from part-time and summer fellowships for undergraduates to full-time positions for postdoctoral fellows or practicing scientists and engineers.

Increased training opportunities at NIST provided by these fellowships will foster the infrastructure and expertise in measurement science needed to develop and commercialize new technologies. The air conditioning and refrigeration industry, for example, has saved millions of dollars over the past 20 years due to NIST's work on the measurement of the thermophysical properties of alternative refrigerants (i.e., alternatives to ozone-depleting compounds).

In the future, new measurement techniques in the energy field, for example, may advance understanding of solar cell materials to convert sunlight into electricity more efficiently.

The deadline for applications is 3 p.m., Eastern time, July 27, 2009. Applications may be submitted on paper to:

National Institute of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 1060
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1060

Applications may also be submitted via the Internet at ( Search for Funding Opportunity Number 2009-NIST-ARRA-MSE-FELLOWSHIP-01 or CFDA Number 11.609.

For more detailed information on the Measurement Science and Engineering Fellowship Program, see:

  •, Funding Opportunity Number 2009-NIST-ARRA-MSE-FELLOWSHIP-01 or CFDA Number 11.609
  • The NIST Recovery Act Web site for the Measurement Science and Engineering Research Fellowship Program
  • Federal Register notice, "Recovery Act Measurement Science and Engineering Fellowship Program" (FR Vol. 74, No. 103, p. 26206, Docket Number: 090306281–9287–01).
Released June 15, 2009, Updated January 24, 2023