Physical Measurement Lab Research Intern

Support the advancement of measurement science, infrastructure, and comms tech through research!

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8 Weeks, Full Time

The PML supports the research community in such areas as communication, defense, electronics, energy, environment, health, lighting, manufacturing, microelectronics, radiation, remote sensing, space, and transportation. The research areas include atomic, molecular, optical, radiation, and chemical physics, as well as electro-technology. The PML also develops new electronic devices and techniques to serve the US industry's need for standardized measurements.

Examples of Research Activities: Atomic, molecular, and optical physics, radioactivity in environmental sensing, industrial radiation dosimetry, cooling and trapping of atoms with lasers, detector development, quantum optics, ultraviolet optics and optical properties, helio- and astrophysics, bioelectronics, smart grid metrology, nanotechnology, quantum-based electrical measurements and devices, electronics reliability and materials metrology, molecular and organic electronics, micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) for integrated circuits and nanoelectronics.

Relevant Academic Interests and Coursework: Physics, computer science, electrical and mechanical engineering, mathematics, biochemistry, chemistry, and computer science.

The Summer High School Intern Program (SHIP) is a NIST-wide summer intern program for students who will have finished their junior or senior year of high school by the start of the program and are interested in scientific research only. All other high school applicants who do not want a summer research position should go to NIST Student Employment Programs for information on other NIST Programs. Students selected for this competitive volunteer program will participate in cutting-edge research at NIST, and will work closely with NIST staff scientists and engineers on a specific research problem.

Previous PML SHIP Projects

  1. Intercalation of Heavy Transition Metals into Dichalcogenides
  2. Using Legendre Polynomials to Model Functions of Light Intensity in Lens Design and 2D Profiling
  3. Developing a portable Fourier-transform filtering instrument to measure greenhouse gases
  4. Characterization of Terahertz Metasurfaces
  5. Photomultiplier System and Recapture Penning Trap for mini-EBIT
  6. Loading Metallic Ions into a mini-EBIT with Pulsed Laser Ablation
  7. Ionic Transport Through Graphene Pores
  8. Analysis of Photoemission Electron Microscope (PEEM) Images
  9. Forensic Toolmark Analysis Project
  10. Stability of Low Dielectric Constant Materials Under UV Light
  11. Quantum Memories in Pr:YSO Crystals

During their tenure at NIST in Gaithersburg, MD, the students will not be paid, and are expected to provide their own housing and transportation. The program requires a commitment for a contiguous 8-week period (nominal hours of 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM). This program is open only to United States citizens.

The following links will provide more information about SHIP:

Program Dates:

The online application, including letters of recommendation, is accepting applications only between January 1 and February 14, 2023.

The 8-week program is tentatively scheduled to start on Tuesday, June 21, 2023. The SHIP poster sessions (which all students are required to attend and participate in) will be held August 9-11, 2023 for Gaithersburg, MD/ August 10-11, 2023 for Boulder, CO.

If you have any additional questions, please write to .

About PML

The Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML) ( view PML brochure) develops and disseminates the national standards of:

  • length, mass, force and shock, acceleration,
  • time and frequency,
  • electricity, temperature, humidity,
  • pressure and vacuum,
  • liquid and gas flow, and
  • electromagnetic, optical, microwave, acoustic, ultrasonic, and ionizing radiation.

PML's activities range from fundamental measurement research through the provision of measurement services, standards, and data. PML applies its measurement capabilities to problems of national significance through collaborations with:

  • industry,
  • universities,
  • professional and standards-setting organizations,
  • and other agencies of government.

PML supports the research community in such areas as:  communication, defense, electronics, energy, environment, health, lighting, manufacturing, microelectronics, radiation, remote sensing, space, and transportation.

PML establishes spectroscopic methods and standards for infrared, visible, ultraviolet, x-ray, and gamma-ray radiation; investigates the structure and dynamics of atoms, molecules, and biomolecules; develops the electrical, thermal, dimensional, mechanical, and physical metrology for measuring the properties of precision measurement devices and exploratory semiconductor, quantum electronic, nanoelectronic, bioelectronic, bio optical, optoelectronic, and quantum information devices and systems; and examines the thermophysical and interfacial properties of streams of flowing fluids, fluid mixtures, and solids.

It develops and disseminates national standards by means of calibrations, measurement quality assurance, standard reference materials, technology transfer, education/training, and a comprehensive weights and measurement program to promote uniformity and accuracy at the international, federal, state, and local levels.

It generates, evaluates, and compiles atomic, molecular, optical, ionizing radiation, electronic, and electromagnetic data in response to national needs; measures and improves the accuracy of the fundamental physical constants; and develops and operates major radiation sources for measurement science and metrology.

PML is participating in the American Physical Society - Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Alliance.

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Physical Measurement Lab Research Intern
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Support the advancement of measurement science, infrastructure, and comms tech through research!

Apply Now