Summer Opportunities at NIST


Application Deadline: Monday, February 1, 2016 (deadline passed)

For Purdue students interested in conducting research at the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), Purdue will submit a university proposal to recommend eligible students for the NIST Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program. Research opportunities exist at NIST laboratories at Gaithersburg, Maryland and Boulder, Colorado. SURF NIST website

If you are interested in the 2016 NIST SURF program, please contact the Purdue SURF office.

Why apply for the 2016 NIST SURF Program?

For the opportunity to...
  • Participate in a competitive, prestigious program
  • Receive pay to conduct research
  • Receive mentorship from researchers at one of the world's leading research organizations
  • Meet new friends and research colleagues from around the country
  • Live and work 25 miles from intriguing Washington, D.C., OR at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado for the summer

Learn more about the NIST SURF program from Dalton Chaffee who participated in 2015. His experience will help answer some of your questions. Dalton Chaffee, junior in Electrical Engineering, participated in the NIST SURF program at Boulder, Colorado.

Eligibility for NIST SURF

U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply. Applicants must be a sophomore or above at Purdue in an engineering or science program, and have a GPA above 3.0.


Visit the NIST SURF website

Purdue SURF requirements for NIST awardees

At the end of the summer, students are required to submit an essay about their experience at NIST.

Pre-selection Application Process

The pre-selection process will determine which applications will be submitted to NIST along with the Purdue University proposal. Students will be selected based on academic record, application information, and letters of recommendation.

How to apply for the NIST SURF program

Students may apply for the 2016 NIST SURF and the Purdue SURF program at the same time. If the student does not receive the NIST award, they will be considered for the on-campus Purdue SURF program.

  1. Notify the Purdue SURF office as soon as possible that you plan to apply for this program:, 765-496-2349
  2. If you are a past Purdue SURF participant, skip this step. If that is not the case and you want to be considered for the Purdue SURF program as well, complete the online SURF application form. On the application, you will be asked to include:
    • A description of any previous undergraduate research experience
    • A paragraph describing your motivation and commitment to participate in an undergraduate research program
    • A paragraph of your area of research interest as it pertains to the NIST research areas, and a paragraph describing your research interest in which you want to participate if selected for the Purdue SURF program
  3. Submit the following documents to the Purdue SURF office for your NIST application

If you have any questions, contact Purdue's SURF office:, 765-496-2349