National Institutes of Standards & Technology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (NIST SURF) (students)

Optional campus draft deadline: ​11:30 pm on January 12, 2021

Direct application deadline: February 14 2021 OR when the program has received the application limit, which may be sooner than the closing date.  Thus, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit the on-line application and supporting documents ahead of the application deadline. See the SURF announcement posting on USAJobs.Gov. (**Pro tip: give yourself extra time to navigate USAJobs.Gov and still get your application in before the deadline.)

Please note that the NIST SURF Program is going virtual for the 2021 Summer.  To be considered for virtual opportunities sponsored by the Boulder and/or  Gaithersburg sites, applicants must apply at the following websites: 

-SURF Boulder: Click here
-SURF Gaithersburg: Click here

*Listen in to an official webinar to learn more: details via the official NIST website.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) offers Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) at NIST laboratories in Gaithersburg, MD, and Boulder, CO (though opportunities are remote for 2021).  These are fully funded eleven-week research opportunities (and a few nine-week opportunities). The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship is designed to inspire undergraduate students to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) through a unique research experience that supports the NIST mission. Please see the official website for details of eligibility, application, and available laboratory placements in a given summer.

Eligibility

Who is eligible?

  • Currently enrolled undergraduates who are
  • US citizens or permanent residents
  • majoring in chemistry, computer science, physics, engineering, materials science, fire research, nanotechnology, information technology, mathematics, biology, manufacturing, statistics, or another STEM discipline, with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, and
  • considering going on to do graduate work in a STEM field

What makes a strong application for this fellowship?

  • Genuine interest on the part of the student,
  • Thoughtful choice of proposed placement(s),
  • A well-written essay, which sets out the student’s reasons for reasons for wishing to undertake a NIST SURF, along with relevant background/experience,
  • Letters of reference from appropriate STEM faculty/research PIs.

Where can I learn more?

  • Find details of eligibility, applications, and available placements in a given summer via the official NIST SURF website.
  • Watch the informational webinar on the official website.

 

How do I apply?

Since institutional nominations are no longer required, students should now apply directly for NIST SURF.  We are, however, offering an optional draft deadline for students to receive feedback on their application materials in advance of the direct application deadline. Interested applicants are warmly encouraged make an appointment with Kate Dailinger, Program Director, Fellowships, through Handshake (note that Career Education is open during Winter Session, and appointments may be via telephone or GoogleHangouts). *Cannot find an available appointment? Drop by Fellowships Pop-Up Advising: no appointment required. See our Events listings for details of virtual pop-ups. 

Application checklist

☐ Two letters of reference (ideally from Wellesley faculty who have taught you in a relevant STEM class or supervised STEM research; if applicable, a letter from the PI of a research experience outside Wellesley may also be helpful). 

☐ A completed official application student application form

☐ A resume, including any STEM research experience, as well as laboratory skills, computer languages, etc.

☐ A personal statement, including statement of research interests (both broadly speaking and specifically addressing the choice of laboratory placements for the NIST SURF)

☐ Transcripts (your Wellesley College transcript, along with any applicable  study abroad transcripts and/or transfer institution transcripts; unofficial copies, including the version of your Wellesley transcript you can access online, are acceptable)

☐ Verification of US citizenship or legal permanent residence

 

Application timeline

Fall semester/winter break
Prospective applicants should consult application material and review the official NIST SURF website; they should ideally request letters of reference before the end of the fall semester, so as to give their recommenders plenty of time to write at a busy season.

Optional draft deadline: 11:30 pm on​ January 12, 2021

Applicants who wish to receive feedback on their application materials should submit them to fellowships@wellesley.edu by this date. 

Direct application deadline: February 14, 2021
Start your application early and give yourself plenty of extra time to navigate USAJobs.gov so that you'll get your application in before the deadline.  The application will close if they reach their application limit before the deadline, so applicants are strongly encouraged to submit the on-line application and supporting documents ahead of the final February 14 deadline (11:59 pm EST).

March or April
NIST SURF results typically announced

Mid-May through the end of July or early August, depending on the program (see official website for specifics)
NIST SURF takes place - the 2021 Program will be virtual.

(**Fun fact: did you know that a Seven Sisters alumna played a role in starting the NIST SURF program?  Read more about Katharine Blodgett Gebbie.)

 


Questions?
Email fellowships@wellesley.edu or call Caitlin Roberts-Donovan at 781.283.2347.