Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of pneumonia and wheezing in infants and the elderly, but to date there is no licensed vaccine. We developed a gold nanorod construct that displayed the major protective antigen of the virus, the fusion protein (F). Nanorods conjugated to RSV F were formulated as a candidate vaccine preparation by covalent attachment of viral protein using a layer-by-layer approach. In vitro studies using ELISA, electron microscopy and circular dichroism revealed that conformation-dependent epitopes were maintained during conjugation, and transmission electron microscopy studies showed that a dispersed population of particles could be achieved. Human dendritic cells treated with the vaccine induced immune responses in primary human T cells. These results suggest that this vaccine approach may be a potent method for immunizing against viruses such as RSV with surface glycoproteins that are targets for the human immune response.