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The 2020 SURF application is closed. We plan to announce info about the next competition in December 2020.

Interested in learning tips to enhance your application? Want to learn more about NIST and the SURF experience?  You're invited to listen to a previously recorded webinar.  Also, check out the FAQ's

***Note: SURF Boulder has a 350 applicant limit. The application may close ahead of the deadline.

This webinar is for students to learn more about the National Institute Standards and Technology (NIST) and provide tips to submit a competitive application to the SURF Program.


The application process for the SURF Program has changed this year. Students must apply on USAJobs.Gov to be considered for acceptance into the program. To apply to the SURF Program, a USAJOBS profile is required. If you do not have a profile, please create it here . To learn more information about NIST,  the SURF Program, and the revamped application process, you are encouraged to view a recently recorded webinar

Note: The university component has been removed from the application requirements. Thus, universities should not submit proposals nominating students to participate in the SURF Program.

A completed application contains the following:

  1. Questionnaire  which includes the personal statement. The personal statement (maximum of 6000 characters including spaces) should include
    • Description of scientific interest
    • Project preference and why you selected that project
    • Expected impact if accepted
    • Description of future plans after graduating from undergraduate studies
  2. A brief (two pages or less) resume which includes name, e-mail, school name, G.P.A., research experience, technical skills, extracurricular activities, and graduation date (example resume )
  3. Transcript(s) from undergraduate institution only (unofficial is acceptable).
  4. Two (2) letters of recommendation - Please request the letters from individuals who are knowledgeable about your academic achievements and research experience. Feel free to ask your professors (current and past), research mentors, or internship supervisors. 
  5. Proof of U.S. citizenship: Proof includes a copy of an unexpired U.S. Passport, birth certificate, or naturalization certificate. 
  6. Verification of health insurance (copy of insurance card)

The SURF Program at the Boulder campus is anticipated to run between May 18 – July 31, 2020 ; adjustments may be made to accommodate specific academic schedules . Students are expected to participate in the program until July 31, 2020. (Cancelled)


NIST SURF Program Contact 

Created October 19, 2009, Updated April 23, 2020