Published: Oct. 20, 2023


The Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) is a special partnership between the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado Boulder. PREP provides research opportunities to CU undergraduate and graduate students, as well as researchers with a Bachelor's, Master's, or PhD in NIST labs to gain research experience alongside NIST scientists.

Research Location 

At NIST in the High-Speed Waveform Metrology Group under the RF Technology Division.

Opportunity Description

In conjunction with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the candidate will develop metrology standards and circuits for the characterization of state-of-the-art transistors up to a 1 THz. Using new instrumentation and commercial software, the candidate will develop and validate transistor models with improved architectures in III-V semiconductor technologies. Characterization will include on-wafer scattering parameter up to 1 THz and nonlinear electrical measurements from [75 – 260] GHz, frequency bands intended to host to high-speed communication beyond 5 and a variety of emerging wireless applications.

Key Responsibilities

  • DC and RF devices measurements.
  • Contribute to developing transistor models on the linear and nonlinear behavior of transistors.
  • Develop approaches to integrate measurement error and process variation in models.
  • Work as a team and with external collaborators to design, integrate, and test mm-wave devices and circuits.
  • Studies will result in a series of publications, providing important changes to existing products, processes, techniques, or practices.
  • Present technical results.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering or Physics, or related field.


  • Basic skills in semiconductor devices.
  • Ability to master electrical measurement techniques such as: DC characterization, nonlinear network analysis, load-pull, and small and large signal network analysis.
  • Ability to operate and adjust instrumentation systems, spectrum and network analyzers.
  • Ability to code with, or learn to code with: Matlab, Visual Basic, and Lab View is required.
  • Ability to develop simulations in microwave electronics simulation software (e.g. HFSS and ADS) is desirable.
  • Must be good with handling small parts.

Length of Term

START DATE: 10/1/23
END DATE: 12/31/24

Eligibility to be in PREP

  • Applicants must be enrolled full-time at the University of Colorado Boulder master’s degree or doctoral degree program in physics, mathematics, applied mathematics, engineering, or closely related program.
  • Must currently possess a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • Must be a degree seeking student through CU Boulder.


  • Pre-comps rate $2,924.00 per month
  • Post-comps rate $3,079.00 per month


  • Graduate Research Assistant Contract Pay based on pre-comps/post-comps rate.
  • Tuition, fees, and insurance paid for by PREP during the academic year while in PREP.

Interested in Applying?

If interested, please send your resume/CV to Lisa Valencia at The finalist will be required to submit their resume/CV, transcript, one letter of recommendation, and the PREP application.

Privacy Act Statement 

Authority: 15 U.S.C. § 278g-1(e)(1) and (e)(3) and 15 U.S.C. § 272(b) and (c) 

Purpose: The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) hosts the Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) which is designed to provide valuable laboratory experience and financial assistance to undergraduates, post-bachelor’s degree holders, graduate students, master’s degree holders, postdocs, and faculty. 

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. This collection of information is needed to facilitate administrative functions of the PREP Program. 

Routine Uses: NIST will use the information collected to perform the requisite reviews of the applications to determine eligibility, and to meet programmatic requirements. Disclosure of this information is also subject to all the published routine uses as identified in the Privacy Act System of Records Notices: NIST-1: NIST Associates. 

Disclosure: Furnishing this information is voluntary. When you submit the form, you are indicating your voluntary consent for NIST to use of the information you submit for the purpose stated.