Published: Feb. 2, 2024


This position is part of the National Institute of Standards (NIST) Professional Research Experience (PREP) program. NIST recognizes that its research staff may wish to collaborate with researchers at academic institutions on specific projects of mutual interest, thus requires that such institutions must be the recipient of a PREP award. The PREP program requires staff from a wide range of backgrounds to work on scientific research in many areas. Employees in this position will perform technical work that underpins the scientific research of the collaboration.

The Research Assistant will conduct research on open-path spectroscopy using a dual-comb spectrometer. This effort seeks to develop new methods for accurate and precise measurements of greenhouse gases and other atmospheric gases related to climate change and human health. The work is applied research and will be part of the associates PhD thesis.

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 Fiber Sources and Applications Group under the Spectrum Technology and Research Division

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop, deploy, and operate a fieldable dual-comb spectrometer for open path measurements.
  • Analyzes the resulting data to determine atmospheric concentrations of target gas species.


  • Knowledge of atmospheric chemistry, atmospheric measurements, data analysis.
  • Knowledge of spectroscopy or frequency combs.

Length of Term (if applicable)

  • START DATE: 05/20/24
  • END DATE: 05/19/25

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: $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.

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.