NIST Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Laboratories’ SURF program is designed to inspire undergraduate students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through a unique research experience that supports the NIST mission. 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 and home to three Nobel Prize winners. Travel expenses and a stipend are included.

Application Deadline: March 4, 2019


  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Current undergraduate
  • Pursuing a degree in a science, math, engineering, or technology field
  • At least a 3.0 GPA (3.5 for first-year applicants)

Application Process:   While this scholarship does not require office involvement, applicants are encouraged to contact the office to discuss applying or to request feedback on their application materials.

Applications for NIST SURF are submitted online directly through USA JOBS and are comprised of the following materials:

  • Application form 
  • Resume (include any laboratory skills or computer languages, etc.)
  • Personal statement (including statement of research interests, see note below)
  • Two letters of recommendation
    • Letters will be uploaded by you in the USA JOBS portal
  • Transcripts (unofficial acceptable)
  • Verification of citizenship (copy of passport, birth certificate, etc.)
  • Proof of health insurance coverage

Note:  The personal statement is an essay about you and why you think that you should get into the program. Use it to describe yourself and what you would like to do with your future. Often this letter can give the reviewers the information they need to recommend acceptance into the program. The SURF reviewers also use this information to match you with a summer project, so make sure to mention if there is an area you really like.


Year at Time of Application: 
First-Year Student, Sophomore, Junior, Senior or Beyond
Duration of Award: 
No Preference
Direct Submission
Area of Interest: 
Engineering, Life Sciences, Information Technology and Computer Science, Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Statistics
Earliest Application Deadline: 
Jan. – April
Penn-State Sponsored: 
Fellowship Components: 
Financial Need