Yes, the SURF 2023 program format is hybrid. Fellowships will occur in person on both campuses and virtually.
SURF is an 11-week program, with accommodations available to address specific academic schedules (e.g., quarter systems).
You must live in the U.S. during your fellowship to have access to NIST’s network.
The SURF program is only open to U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents enrolled as undergraduate students at U.S. colleges or universities. Students with student visas (F1 visas) are not eligible.
Yes. Each SURF participant is required to have health insurance.
Yes, participants receive a stipend of $6600 for the 11-week program. In-person participants may also receive an allowance for lodging and travel.
Students who complete the 11-week program will receive a $6,600 stipend. There are a limited number of nine-week and custom fellowships available to accommodate school schedules. Participants whose school schedules prohibit completing the full program earn $600 per week.
A tax adviser familiar with the laws in your state is the best person to answer this question. The IRS website topic "Interest, Dividends, Other Types of Income: Grants, Scholarships, Student Loans, Work Study" may provide some guidance.
You will be paid through direct deposit. All participants must have an active account for direct deposit.
Approximately one of every three students receives an offer for a fellowship. About 150 students participate in SURF each summer.
Selection depends upon the number and quality of applications and the number of NIST projects available.
USAJobs provides a summary on how to apply for vacancies.
No, we understand that applicants need time to complete the entire application. Applicants can log in and out of the USAJobs portal as often as needed. However, you can’t change the references section after submitting the application. All applications must be completed and submitted by the announcement deadline.
Yes, applicants may update their applications before the application deadline, except that applicants cannot modify the references section after submitting the application. After the announcement closes, applicants cannot update their applications.
No; students apply to SURF on USAJobs.
Visit the USAJobs contact page for more information.
The personal statement is essentially an essay about you, why you are applying to the program, and why you think you deserve a fellowship. Our best advice is to take it seriously.
Use this opportunity to describe yourself and what you hope to do with your future and take advantage of the chance to identify your interest areas. Students are often placed on specific projects because they have the needed skills. The personal statement provides extra information to make decisions, and we use it to match you with a summer project.
Students frequently complete the program with a new perspective on a research field entirely different from their original interest area. In a few cases, these students have continued in the new field in graduate school. You may not know the exact topic area you want to work in, but you probably know what classes you like, what you don't, and why — use the personal statement to express this.
NIST has 11 laboratories, user facilities, and major programs. A person with one degree (or future degree) is often suited for work in more than one lab — another reason to keep your options open.
Your resume should include more than jobs held. The resume should also include information such as expected graduation date, relevant classes and skills (especially computer skills), hobbies, awards, and publications if any.
No, letters of recommendation must be included in the application submission on USAJobs. Note: Letter writers have five days after the vacancy announcement closing date to submit letters through the reference portal.
The information is collected near the end of the application process. After the "Documents Upload" section, the reference section is visible.
After the application is submitted, the letter writers should receive a system-generated email with additional details.
The system-generated email may be in your reference’s spam folder. Ask your reference to search for an email from noreply [at] msapps.monster.com (noreply[at]msapps[dot]monster[dot]com) or noreply [at] monstgovt.com (noreply[at]monstgovt[dot]com).
The reference's email server may also have a firewall blocking delivery. If this is the case, email surf [at] nist.gov (surf[at]nist[dot]gov). In the email, include the location of the application and the name and email address of the reference.
Your reference will receive an email notification in their email that you provided in your application immediately after you click the submit button in the application process. The email notification includes a link to access the portal for submission of the references.
Upon clicking the link, your reference will be redirected to the login site for the portal and should click on the “Continue to Sign In” option.
There are three options on the sign in page:
If your reference is not receiving the emails from the system, please ask them to check their spam folder. The emails will be coming from noreply [at] monster.com (noreply[at]monster[dot]com). Additionally, they must use the link from the original request email to access your reference request for the first time.
If the reference writer continues to experience challenges with the technical aspects of the portal, such as account management, they may contact Monster at:
Monster Helpdesk email: mgshelp [at] Monster.com (mgshelp[at]Monster[dot]com)
Monster Helpdesk number: 1-866-656-6831
Applicants are not able to modify the references section after submitting the application. Applicants may email surf [at] nist.gov (surf[at]nist[dot]gov). In the email include the location of the application and the name, email and affiliation of the reference.
Without exception, complete applications must be received electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the application deadline.
Applicants will receive offers by April 15, 2023. NIST strives to notify each student of their final status — whether or not the student has been offered a place in the program.
No, but NIST provides an allowance to students to assist with housing costs. The program plans to share a list of affordable housing options in the Gaithersburg and Boulder areas.
The SURF program provides a housing allowance up to $4,500 for students to arrange their housing. The program plans to share a list of affordable housing options in the Gaithersburg and Boulder areas.
SURF participants are encouraged to dress for success and in a safe manner. Staff on the NIST campuses generally wear "business casual" clothes such as chinos, Dockers, and khaki pants. No clothes with holes, please! Participants should have at least one professional outfit (suit, dress, sports coat, skirt, or shirt and tie). This outfit is used for the SURF Colloquium presentation to an audience of NIST scientists, guests, and fellow participants and for days when a special VIP visits the lab. Participants need at least one pair of closed-toed shoes for working in a laboratory or machine shop. In most laboratories, wearing sandals, open-toed shoes, or high heels is not allowed. Even with the casual dress atmosphere at NIST, it is not a college campus; participants are encouraged to look critically at their clothes. For example, suggestive clothing items and clothes that expose your midriff are inappropriate.