Published: Feb. 2, 2021

NIST-PREP (Professional Research Experience Program)

A special partnership between the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and CU-Boulder, PREP places undergraduates, graduate students and post-doctoral researchers in NIST labs to gain research experience alongside NIST scientists. Applicable majors include most engineering departments, biochemistry, chemistry and physics.

Find out more.


About the Program

Created by NIST Boulder in 1991, the Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) is designed to provide valuable laboratory experience and financial assistance to undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and faculty.  The program is intended to assure continued growth and progress of a highly skilled science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) workforce in the United States.

PREP is a 5-year cooperative agreement between NIST laboratories and participating PREP Universities to establish a collaborative research relationship between NIST and U.S. institutions of higher education in the following disciplines including (but may not be limited to) biochemistry, biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, engineering, electronics, materials science, mathematics, nanoscale science, neutron science, physical science, physics, and statistics.

PREP Brochure

Participating NIST Laboratories and User Facilities

PREP researchers contribute to on-going research in the NIST laboratories at PREP Boulder (operating on the Boulder, Colorado site) or PREP Gaithersburg (operating at the Gaithersburg, Maryland and Charleston, South Carolina sites).  You are encouraged to visit the laboratory's webpages to learn about the multi-disciplinary nature of the NIST laboratories and laboratory facilities.

Participating PREP Universities

PREP operates  two distinct sub-programs. The following PREP universities were selected based on the criteria mentioned in the  Notice of Funding Opportunity 

PREP Boulder 

  • Brown University

  • Colorado School of Mines

  • University of Colorado Boulder

  • University of Colorado Denver

PREP Gaithersburg 

  • Brown University

  • Georgetown University

  • JUMBO Consortium (Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University, and State University of New York Binghamton)

  • Montgomery College

  • Towson University

  • University of the District of Columbia

  • University of Maryland College Park