Office of Reserach Services


National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)
Download a flyer about NIST-SURF
MTSU NIST-SURF Internal Application Form (Right click the link, save to your computer, and open with Adobe Reader.)
MTSU NIST SURF Recommendation Form (Right click the link, save to your computer, and open with Adobe Reader.)

Spend part of your summer working elbow to elbow with researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the world's leading research organizations and home to four Nobel Prize winners. Gain valuable hands on experience, work with cutting-edge technology, and sample the Washington D.C., or Boulder, CO, area.

SURF students receive stipend, housing, and travel allotments (as needed). Funding for students comes via a federal grant issued to the school from NIST. Students who complete the full 11 week program will receive a $5,500 stipend. The only real expenses that students should expect to pay out-of-pocket are personal entertainment and food.

This is a competitive program that reviews both the university and student portion of the application to determine the final list of SURF awardees. The NIST SURF program will support approximately 100 students.

NIST-SURF Student Eligibility
  • Applicants must be undergraduates and selected to participate by at a U.S. university or college with a technical major. MTSU's Internal Application Deadline is January 27th 2014.
  • A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (out of 4.0) or better is recommended. Students with physics, materials science, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, or engineering majors are encouraged to apply. There may be research opportunities for students with other majors including forensic science.
  • The program is open to United States citizens and permanent residents.
  • Applicants must be covered by health insurance through their school or family.
  • For NIST Boulder, new applicants must be enrolled to continue their undergraduate education for fall 2014. For NIST Gaithersburg, applicants must be enrolled in undergraduate classes at the time of application (Spring 2014).
MSTU Information Session

An information session covering application requirements and procedures as well as a question and answer session will be held in SU 210 at 4pm on December 4th, 2013. This session will be led by Dr. Alicja Lanfear of the Forensic Institute for Research and Education (FIRE) and Dr. Samantha Cantrell of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORS). If you interested in applying but are unable to make it to this information session please contact Dr. Lanfear at

In addition, Dr. Lanfear will host a writing assistance and application review session at 4pm on January 16th, 2014 in LIB 446.

Some useful tips for writing your personal statement are available here:

MTSU's Internal Application Requirements

For your benefit please plan on attending the information session on December 4th, 2013 at 4pm in SU 210. This session is not mandatory, but will cover all application procedures and requirements as well as serve as a Q&A session for interested students.

1. Complete the MTSU NIST-SURF Internal Application form by no later than 5pm on January 27th 2014. You can download this form here. (Right click the link, save to your computer, and open with Adobe Reader.) Application includes the following components:

a. Resume
b. Unofficial copy of your transcript
c. Personal statement of commitment to participate and description of research interests
d. Verification of U.S. Citizenship or permanent legal residence (e.g. Copy of birth certificate, passport of green card)

2.  Ask two faculty members to write you a letter of recommendation and have both complete the MTSU NIST-SURF Recommendation Form by no later than 5pm on January 27th 2014. Faculty can download this form here. (Right click the link, save to your computer, and open with Adobe Reader.)

Successful applicants will be notified by February 7th, 2014 and may be required to submit additional documentation by the February 14th, 2014 NIST-SURF deadline.

Email Dr. Alicja Lanfear

Research Fields
Research Opportunities in the fields of:
Chemical Science and Technology
Electronics and Electrical Engineering
Information Technology
Materials Science and Engineering

NIST-SURF Gaithesburg, MD
Research Opportunities in the fields of:
Biological Sciences
Computer Science
Materials Science (including forensic science)
Physical Sciences

Download a flyer about NIST-SURF