Skip to main content


The National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) offers the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program for students majoring in science, mathematics and engineering. There are two NIST SURF programs, one program of ~20 students in Boulder, CO ( and one with ~120 students in Gaithersburg, MD ( These are paid internships, available in the many different types of research laboratories at both NIST locations.

NIST requires that applications be submitted by the student’s university. If you wish to apply to either or both of these programs, you must submit to me the items below no later than 5:00 p.m. Central on Monday, February 5, 2018 . If you are applying to both programs, provide separate copies of items requested by both programs. All documents must be either in PDF format submitted to me electronically (preferred) or in hard copy submitted to me in the VUSE Dean's Office (SC 5332 ).

Best regards,
Associate Dean Cynthia B. Paschal

Application materials required from student:

  1. Application checklist
  2. Application form
  3. Resume (IMPORTANT: be sure to include any laboratory skills or computer languages, etc., you have)
  4. Personal statement - include the following:
    • why you have an interest in STEM
    • descriptions of previous research opportunities or related projects
    • why you wish to participate in the SURF Program
    • in which lab you are interested in conducting research
    • what you hope to gain from the experience
    • your career interests and whether or not you plan to attend graduate school

    See personal_statement_example.pdf for an example statement.

  5. Two letters of recommendation (may be sent by recommenders directly to Dean Paschal)
  6. Transcripts (unofficial copies acceptable)
  7. Verification of U.S. citizenship or permanent legal residence (e.g. legible copy of birth certificate, passport, or green card)