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Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunities at NIST

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is now accepting applications for the 2012 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) programs at its Gaithersburg, Md., and Boulder, Colo., campuses. The programs provide research opportunities for undergraduate students to work with internationally known NIST scientists and gain exposure to cutting-edge research.

The SURF programs are supported by the National Science Foundation, and each summer, more than 100 students spend about 11 weeks at one of the NIST sites, meeting peers and gaining valuable hands-on research experience. In 2012, NIST expects it will host approximately 78 students at Gaithersburg and about 18 at Boulder.

The fellowship programs are open to colleges and universities located in the U.S. and its territories with degree-granting programs in computer science, mathematics, materials science, chemistry, biology, engineering, and/or physics. Applications are submitted by the schools, not the students, so students wishing to participate need to contact their college or university to let them know they wish to participate.

Nominated undergraduate students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a technical major. New applicants must be enrolled to continue their undergraduate education for fall 2011, but previous SURF participants who will graduate in spring 2011 are also eligible. Participants receive stipends and housing and travel allotments (as needed). The programs are expected to run between May and August, with some accommodations possible for alternate school schedules.

At the Gaithersburg campus, students can work in the areas of nanoscale science, engineering, computer science, mathematics, materials science, chemistry, biology, neutron research and/or physics. In Boulder, SURF students can participate in research in computer science, mathematics, materials science, chemistry, biology, engineering and/or physics.

Applications should be submitted through the ( Website under either Federal Funding Opportunity code 2012-NIST-SURF-G-01 (Gaithersburg site) or 2012-NIST-SURF-B-01 (Boulder site). Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. EST, Feb. 15, 2012, for Gaithersburg, and 5 p.m. MST for Boulder.

For more information on the SURF Gaithersburg program, visit: or see the Gaithersburg announcement and application at (link removed because it's no longer active)

Get more information about the SURF Boulder Program or see the Boulder announcement and application at (link removed because it's no longer active).

Released December 20, 2011, Updated January 24, 2023