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Guest Researcher Association Overview

The Guest Researcher Association (GRA) was formed in October 2000 by a voluntery international group of guest researchers at NIST. The goal of the Association is to help current and new guest researchers settle into Gaithersburg or Boulder by providing information on many topics including housing, social security, visas and health insurance. The GRA is led by the executive council which elects officers for the daily work.

We also provide the oppurtunity for members to share their experiences for the benefit of others. We do this in two, equally important ways; by means of this website (including a discussion forum) and by means of establishing a strong social network. We organize weekly and annual events such as soccer tournaments and hikes, and welcome new ideas for group activities. Membership in the GRA is FREE and gives access to services such as classifieds posting on the GRA website. We are a non-profit organization.

We encourage you to come to our meetings and participate in our activities. We especially ask you to think about running for a position on the GRA board as we are always looking for new people to replace those who leave NIST. Please contact us at gra(at)nist(dot)gov with any questions or comments you may have.

Enjoy your experience as a NIST Guest Researcher !

Feel free to create an account and help us building your community website !

Contact the GRA

By email: gra(at)nist(dot)gov
By phone: David 301-975-8583, Philippe 301-975-2601
By mail: David Lechevalier, GRA President
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8260
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8260

Guest Researcher Association FAQs

  • What is the GRA?

The GRA is the Guest Researcher Association at NIST. It was created in 2001 by Marine Giraud who was a guest researcher at NIST/Gaithersburg from 2000 to 2002.

  • Is the GRA only for guest researchers?

Of course not, anyone at NIST may join the Association. We do primarily cater to guest researchers, but lots of NIST employees also find us a valuable resource.

  • How much does it cost to be a member?

For now it's free, and will remain so for as long as we can manage, even though we have to pay for internet hosting and domain name. Contributions are always welcome!

  • You seem very busy, can I help?

Yes, yes and yes! If you want to help, please email us and we will get in touch with you.

Guest Researcher Association - Comments From previous Board Members

When I arrived in the USA from the UK I didnt know anyone at all at NIST or in the USA. Moving countries and staring a new job / aspect of your studies can be daunting at the best of times, but having no-one to help you with the most basic requirements is tough. I found the GRA to be a lot of help to me back then in 2004, they had a lot of advice for me about accomadation, insurance, social security and many other topics that I needed to know about in order to settle into my new life over here.

Through the GRA I have also made a number of good friends from all over the world, infact I am still making them now! Every happy hour or lunch that we have I meet at least one new person. I think this is an excellent aspect of the association as we have so much diversity in our members and in the GRA board itself. You will not find this diversity in many future places of employment and it is one of the aspects of NIST that is unique and should be rejoiced. Although our association is very diverse we still have many things in common - many of us are here on visas from other countries, we are all in similar fields of work / research, many of us are in the same stages of our career and have the same future goals. These similarites simulate much conversation and feeling of cammaraderie between our members. It also allows people who are knew to NIST and to the area to feel a little more at home in their surroundings.

I believe that the association is a valuable resource especially to all guest research staff at NIST and I am very passionate about my current role as president. Saying that, I also think that the association is helpful to those at NIST who are from the USA - the website is very informative (including travel tips on places in and out of the USA) and our social events are not exclusively for foriegn nationals.

We have a dedicated group of people on the board who spend part to their free time helping to arrange social events and update the web-site to keep the association running smoothly. Working on the GRA board and helping to run events is a very rewarding job to be doing. There is a lot of work involved and we are always looking for new people with new ideas to volunteer to help us make the association flourish.

In closing, I would like to say that the GRA is and has been a important part of my time here at NIST and I think that the success of the association is important for many reasons, but especially for the assistance of those who are new to the USA and to NIST. For those of you who are attending events and especially those who are helping to keep the assciation running - keep up the good work!

Thanks Susan (President of the GRA February till August 2006)

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