Fund Details
National Institute of Standards and Technology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship - NIST SURF
Competition Type
Global/National - No Yale Endorsement


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) offers Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) at NIST laboratories in Gaithersburg, MD, and Boulder, CO.  These are fully funded nine- to eleven-week research opportunities for US citizens and permanent residents who are undergraduates majoring in science and engineering subjects considering graduate work.

Students with biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, materials science, mathematics, nanoscale science, neutron research and/or physics majors are always encouraged to apply; there may be research opportunities for students with other majors.

Please see the official website for details of eligibility, application, and available laboratory placements in a given summer.

Application Information:

IMPORTANT: As updated on NIST SURF Boulder and Gaithersburg application webpages, NIST SURF has removed the university nomination component from its application requirements.  Students must now directly apply on for acceptance into a program (search “SURF Program at Boulder” and/or "SURF Program at Gaithersburg").  The application will close on February 3, 2020 or when the number of applicants reach 350 for Boulder and 1000 for Gaithersburg.

A completed application includes the following (for details and official forms, see the official NIST SURF website):
  1. A questionnaire.
  2. A personal statement.
  3. A brief (two pages or less) resume which includes name, email, school name, GPA, research experience, technical skills, extracurricular activities, and graduation date.
  4. Official transcript(s) from undergraduate institution only.
  5. Two letters of recommendation - Please request the letters from individuals who are knowledgeable about your academic achievements and research experience which may include your professors, research mentors, or internship supervisors.
  6. Transcripts (unofficial copies are acceptable; each applicant's Yale College transcript is required, along with copies of any other college/university transcripts)
  7. Proof of U.S. citizenship
  8. Verification of health insurance.

Special Eligibility Requirements:

Applicants must be
  • currently enrolled undergraduates at US institutions at the time of application
  • US citizens
  • majoring (or intending to declare a major) in an appropriate STEM field, with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, and
  • considering going on to do a graduate degree in a STEM field.

Links to Additional Information:

  1. NIST SURF website
  2. Fellowships application advice
  3. Book a Fellowships advising appointment (even during much of winter break, via phone/Skype)
  4. Yale Science and Engineering Research website for undergraduates

Contact Information:

For questions about this application, please contact John Park at

Search Filters:

Current Year of Study
  • First-Year Student
  • Sophomore
  • Junior
  • Senior
    Term of Award
    • Summer
      Grant or Fellowship Purpose
      • Research
        Global Region or Country
        • -- United States (North America)
          Citizenship Status
          • U.S. citizens are eligible