Application Selection Process and Notification

VFP Application Review and Selection Overview

Application Eligibility and Compliance:

  • To be considered, an applicant must meet all eligibility criteria and have submitted an application comprising all required materials by the closing date.
  • To assess eligibility, and prior to the merit assessment and evaluation, an initial review of all applications will be conducted to verify applicant eligibility and ensure all the required application materials have been provided.
  • Only those applicants meeting all requirements will be advanced for merit review and selection. The application materials uploaded and received through the online system will provide the sole basis for the evaluation and selection. 

Application Merit Review

  • The merit review will comprise a thorough, consistent, and objective examination of eligible applicants based on pre-established criteria. Application evaluators must be independent of the applicants, must comply with all applicable DOE rules or directives concerning evaluation and merit review.
  • Faculty applicants will be assessed based upon vita; the research proposal; research, experience, and training in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM); strength of recommendations letters; expressed scientific interests; and the applicant's background, experience, accomplishments, and interests as they relate to the research programs and projects at the selected host DOE laboratory.

Selection and Placement:

  • The number of VFP faculty and student participants is contingent upon the availability of funds, programs, and staff.
  • Following the merit review, highly reviewed applications are viewed by laboratory scientific and technical research advisors in coordination with the DOE Laboratory Education Directors. Research advisors select those faculty applicants whose skills, knowledge, and research interests are best aligned with the research projects they are interested in collaborating on. Research advisors will make additional decisions regarding participating students based on student qualifications and availability of funds.
  • Final selection and appointment is made at the discretion of the host laboratory Education Director, with final authority residing with the Associate Director, Office of Workforce Development Teachers and Students, Office of Science. DOE employees must comply with regulations governing conduct of employees codified in 10 CFR Part 1010 and Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch at 5 CFR Part 2635.
  • Recruitment and selection of participants is done without regard to race, gender, age, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, mental or physical disability, or status as a veteran.


  • Notification of an appointment offer is made by a host laboratory Education Director, via a congratulatory email message through the online application system, followed by a formal official offer package. The offer package will provide details regarding the stipend, housing, travel, program orientation, identify of the research advisor and research project, the institutional setting, any special requirements, and the expected deliverables.
  • Following acceptance of an offer of appointment, faculty members are encouraged to continue detailed discussions about the planned research with their laboratory co-PI.
  • Final appointment at the host laboratory is contingent upon submission and acceptance of all required application materials; proof of citizenship or citizenship status; and the outcome of a formal background check (if required).