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NIST Summer Internship Program Makes It Easier for Students to Apply 


A large group of NIST Summer Undergraduate Research students stand on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. A bright green stick figure is drawn in on one side with the words Picture Yourself Here overtop
Each summer, SURF Fellows visit Capitol Hill to discuss STEM special topics with congressional representatives. This picture was captured at the 2018 visit. Next summer, you could be part of the visit!
Credit: K. Arnold/K. Irvine/NIST

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has made it more straightforward for students to apply to the agency’s prestigious Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program. Students can now apply for a paid fellowship directly through, without the assistance of their college or university. 

Since 1993, SURF students from across the country have had the opportunity to gain valuable, hands-on experience, working with cutting edge technology in one of the world's leading research organizations. 

“The SURF Program is designed to inspire undergraduate students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Brandi Toliver, NIST SURF Program director. “A research summer internship like this can give students the experience, skills and confidence to succeed in their research field after college.” 

Over the course of 11 weeks, SURF students contribute to the ongoing research of one of six NIST laboratories or facilities at either its Boulder, Colorado, or Gaithersburg, Maryland, campus. Students work side-by-side with NIST scientists or engineers in the Communications Technology Laboratory, Engineering Laboratory, Information Technology Laboratory, Material Measurement Laboratory, NIST Center for Neutron Research, or Physical Measurement Laboratory (which includes the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology).  

“This program offers a unique research experience that supports the NIST mission to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness,” said Toliver. 

Prospective applicants can register to attend two webinars on the 2019 SURF Program and application process: Dec. 19, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. Eastern and Jan. 10, 2019, at noon Eastern. Applications must be submitted through USAJOBS  no later than February 3, 2019 at 11:59 PM Eastern time. For more information about the program, visit the SURF pages on the NIST website

Released December 17, 2018, Updated February 13, 2020