SURF/NIST (Gaithersburg)

National deadline:  February 13, 2015

Eligibility requirements:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident
  • Undergraduate
  • 3.0 grade point average
  • Considering pursuing a graduate degree (M.S. or Ph.D.).
  • Students with physics, material science, chemistry, applied mathematics, computer science, or engineering majors are always encouraged to apply. There may be research opportunities for students with other majors.

Award summary and conditions:  Summer research opportunity to work with researchers at NIST, one of the world’s leading research organizations. SURF students receive stipend, and housing and travel allotments (as needed). Funding for students comes via a federal grant issued to the school from NIST. Students who complete the full 11 week program will receive a $4,500 stipend. Students that can not make the full 11-week program will be paid at $409.09 per week.


The only real expenses that students should expect to pay out-of-pocket are personal entertainment and food. To help control the food expenses, the student apartments have a full kitchen with dishes, utensils, pots and pans. There are free continental breakfasts daily!


This is a competitive program that reviews both the university and student portion of the application to determine the final list of SURF awardees. The NIST SURF program will support approximately 100 students.


The SURF Program is anticipated to begin in  late May and end in early August; adjustments may be made to accommodate specific academic schedules

Application process:

You may either apply for the SURF program using a paper submission or via an online submission process. Users of  will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit the application package and associated proposal information via the website. Applicants using the electronic submission process should follow the Application Instructions provided at  when submitting a response to this funding opportunity.  

For those that want to use the paper submission process, you may download the application via this website. Applicant institutions must submit one (1) signed original and two (2) copies of the application.

Application materials:

  • Student application form
  • resume
  • two letters of recommendation
  • transcripts (unofficial copies acceptable)
  • personal statement of commitment to participate and description of prioritized research interest
  • verification of U.S. citizenship or permanent legal residence, (e.g.  copy of birth certificate, passport, or green card)
  • institutional application

Faculty Representative:  Keith Raether
Announcement date:  end of March or early April.

Contact information:

Anita Sweigert
100 Bureau Dr., Stop 8400 (Bldg 221/Rm B160 for FedEx, UPS, deliveries)
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8400

Telephone: 301-975-4200
Fax: 301-975-3038