NIST PREP at Colorado School of Mines

With Colorado School of Mines (Mines) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) opportunities! 

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To develop a diverse, world-class pool of scientists and engineers to support NIST’s mission in measurement science and standards research, and to support the development of a general population that understands and appreciates measurement science and standards.

valdez-m-and-jones-r_prep-symposium-110623-nist-300x225 NIST Professional Research Experience Program

Marc Valdez (L) and Rob Jones at the NIST PREP Symposium, Nov. 6, 2023

A Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) opportunity through NIST at Mines is designed to provide valuable laboratory experience and financial benefits to Mines PREP Associate students, postdocs, researchers and faculty.

The program is intended to assure continued growth and progress of a highly skilled science, technology, engineering, math workforce in Colorado and the United States.

The goal of NIST PREP at Mines is research opportunities that provide to the institutions and people therein, to facilitate collaboration and help place students and career scientists with excellent training, as well as creating a community at Mines of students, faculty and researchers for NIST Boulder and Gaithersburg labs. NIST PREP staff work to ensure the hands-on research experience for students at NIST is robust, diverse, and connected.

Mines graduate student participants receive full tuition coverage and a monthly stipend. Undergraduate students receive a highly competitive hourly wage. PREP Post-docs and Fellows receive competitive financial incentives commiserate with experience. Work topics are of mutual interest to NIST and Mines and require certain deliverables by PREP researchers to maintain program qualification.

Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility

mines-logo-150-05 NIST Professional Research Experience ProgramThe Mines NIST PREP program is committed to reducing bias, education and the promotion and celebration of diversity and inclusion efforts. As part of Mines’ university DI&A goals to attract, retain and graduate a thriving Mines student body and employee community, NIST PREP at Mines works to cultivate an inclusive community culture of researchers, promotes and celebrates achievement, and aspires to shared responsibility, participation and accountability for DI&A efforts across the wider Mines community.

For more information about Diversity, Inclusion and Access at Mines, including resources and training opportunities available to all NIST PREP participating researchers, to DI&A campus events, community data and strategic plans, visit the Mines Diversity, Inclusion and Access page.

Professional Development for Mines NIST PREP Associates

As part of the latest round of funding of NIST PREP, Mines has included professional career planning to the program. All PREP associates should complete a professional development plan for their long-term career goals, as well as have opportunities to discuss their technical performance with their supervisors. 

PREP associates: Follow the instructions below to complete the Performance Review and Professional Development plans.

  1. Download forms. Discuss with your NIST Sponsor and Mines faculty advisor.
  2. Obtain Performance Evaluation and have form completed.
  3. Once evaluation is completed, obtain appropriate signatures (electronic is fine) and submit the Performance Rating form only, to the NIST PREP Coordinator.
  4. Ratings should be done once in the spring and once in the fall semester.
  5. Associates should re-visit their professional goals on a regular basis, with their advisors. However, the performance rating form is all that is required to submit to the Mines NIST PREP program.

Current Opportunities

For any of the following positions, please email your cover letter, including qualifications and an interest statement, and CV/resume to Please refer to the job title in the subject or in the body of the email. 

Student Opportunities

  1. Guided Wave Electromagnetics Group, graduate student researcher PREP-Associate-Job-Description-Multiphysics2_GRAD_Mines
  2. High-Speed Waveform Metrology Group graduate student researcher, Mines_prep-associate-job-description-boulder_template_revised8-11-2023

Researcher & Postdoctoral Opportunities

  1. NEW! Quantum Nanophotonics Group Superconducting Nanowire Single-Photon Detector Development postdoc
  2. NEW! Device Fabrication Group Design and Fabricate Micro- and Nano-Electronics postgrad 
  3. High-Speed Waveform Metrology Group: post bac PREP High-Speed Waveform Metrology Group 052523
  4. High-Speed Waveform Metrology Group: post-doc PREP Associate High-Speed Waveform Metrology Group 052523
  5. Field Strength Measurements postdoc: PREP-Associate-Job-Description-BOULDER-Field-Strength-Measurements

Please contact us at if you are interested in any of these opportunities!

Faculty and Senior Fellow Opportunities

There are no open faculty or senior fellow opportunities at this time.

NIST PREP and the CHIPS Metrology Program 

To address gaps in the semiconductor ecosystem, the CHIPS for America program is investing in four overlapping entities, all of which include some aspect of workforce training. These entities include the National Semiconductor Technology Center, the Metrology Program (NIST), the National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program and (up to 3) Manufacturing USA institutes.

NIST has been selected as the bureau within the Department of Congress to implement and house these new units. 

The Metrology Program Grand Challenges include over $109M in funding to 29 approved research projects. Current projects are helping to develop new measurement instruments, measurement methods, and measurement-informed models and simulations for advanced microelectronics design and manufacturing. Additional projects will be selected. 

Researcher Associates – Accepting Applications on a Rolling Basis

• NIST is seeking several full-time Researcher Associates for the CHIPS R&D Metrology Program.
• Researcher Associates will be a full-time physical scientists ZP-III position with a salary range of $76,860 – $119,760 per year
• Boulder, CO and Gaithersburg, MD duty stations

• Visit, to see the rolling announcement.• Qualified candidates should send their cover letter and resume to with the subject line “CHIPS R&D Metrology Researcher Associate – [Full Name].”



The following are types of positions supported through the program, and depend on availability of positions at NIST

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Graduate students

These are the bulk of current NIST PREP participants at Mines. Students are enrolled full-time and are seeking a master’s degree or doctoral degree relevant to the technical work at NIST. The periods can be from one year to six years, in collaborations between Mines and NIST scientists. If there is mutual interest, PREP appointments can be extended into Postdoc and Postgrad positions after graduation.

collaboration NIST Professional Research Experience Program

Undergraduate Students

Part-time work on NIST research projects during the academic term, and as well as summer internships. Depending on mutual interest, some students may be offered renewable tenure periods in one-year increments, if funding allows and in collaboration with NIST.  The minimum period is one academic semester.

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Bachelors or Master’s Degree holders

Can spend up to three years in the PREP, working on technical projects as preparation for later study in a PhD program or a more permanent position in industry.

research NIST Professional Research Experience Program

Post-doctoral Scholars

Working on projects in all scientific areas where NIST Boulder or Gaithersburg are active.

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Faculty and Senior Research Fellows

To be determined by both Mines and NIST.

Qualifications of a PREP Associate

  • PREP student researchers (undergraduate and graduate) must be enrolled full time in a program toward an applicable degree at the recipient’s institution. PREP researchers participating as bachelor’s and master’s degree holders, post-doctoral fellows, senior researchers, and academic affiliates must have earned an applicable degree (a B.S., B.A., M.S., M.A., Ph.D., Sc.D. or equivalent doctorate) before beginning their appointment in PREP. Furthermore, participating PREP researchers may be considered for the next PREP research category after the years of eligibility are met and degree requirements are fulfilled for the initial category of the appointment. For instance, a postdoctoral fellow may transition to a senior research fellow appointment five (5) years after their initial appointment, subject to the approval of both Mines and NIST.
  • Applicable disciplines include engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry, applied mathematics, materials science; for information about the types of research conducted at NIST, visit NIST’s Projects/Programs (hyperlink to come) listing​ and select the Boulder or Gaithersburg Campus.
  • Interested undergrad and graduate students must be in good academic standing, be enrolled full-time, and have a Mines faculty reference.
  • Additional desired qualifications include: research publications/conference presentations, technical work experience, and computer programming/software expertise.
  • PREP researchers are expected to take part in workshops or other activities designed to
    support their professional and education goals provided at the PREP institution.

Want to get involved?

Mines Faculty

Please identify potential NIST sponsors see NIST’s Projects/Programs listing and send an email introducing yourself and your research and mentioning your interest in a NIST PREP collaboration. You are also welcome to contact Ms. Kelly Hummel at or at any time if you have any questions.


Potential NIST Sponsors

Interested in sponsoring a Mines student on your project? Please inquire with the program coordinator for NIST PREP, Ms. Linda Derr, via email

You can begin the search for potential Mines faculty partners and research groups via Directories – Colorado School of Mines. Keep in mind certain dates of terms, listed below. Our Grad students must be paid in full each academic semester. The minimum length allowed for a Mines graduate student NIST PREP appointment is one full academic year.

Mines PREP Grad student payroll timeline would be:
May 1 – Aug 31 (Summer)
Sept 1 – Dec 31 (Fall)
Jan 1 – April 30 (Spring)


A link to the Mines academic calendar can be found here: Academic Calendar – Registrar (


Mines undergraduate students are generally paid following the same timeframe above, but the NIST PREP appointment minimum for Mines undergraduate students is one academic semester.



Mines NIST PREP Contacts:

Mines NIST PREP Program Email,

Program Manager, Kelly Hummel,

Program Director, Prof. Ryan Richards,

Program Outreach Coordinator, Dr. Christian Beren,