1. What is the Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) Fellowship Program?
The Department of Energy (DOE) CBFO Program provides the opportunity to conduct mission-oriented research in DOE's CBFO in Carlsbad, New Mexico. CBFO is responsible for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and the National Transuranic (TRU) Program. The office's mission is to provide safe, compliant, and efficient characterization, transportation, and disposal of defense-related TRU waste. Its vision is to enable a nuclear future for our country by providing safe and environmentally responsible waste management. For more information, see About the Program.
2. What is ORAU?
See About ORAU
3. What kinds of opportunities are available through the CBFO Program?
- Paid internships
- Research opportunities
- Individual development
4. What does the internship provide?
- Travel reimbursement (subject to program approval and travel policies)
- Training and development
- Hands-on experience
- Research and technological opportunities
5. Who can participate in this program?
See the Applicant Information page.
6. Can I apply if I am not a citizen of the United States?
No, only U.S. Citizens are eligible for this program and proof of citizenship is required upon selection. No exceptions are allowed.
7. Can current students participate in the CBFO Program?
Eligible students may hold appointments during the summer or part-time appointments during the semester dependent on the requirements of the open positions.
8. What if I can only participate for a portion of the appointment period due to other commitments?
Participation requires a commitment for the duration of the appointment period. You should plan to be at the facility for the specified term and avoid obligations that will interrupt your appointment.
9. How do I apply for the CBFO Program?
See the Applicant Information page
10. When can I apply?
The application will be open based on the needs and available funding of the CBFO Program. There is not a set schedule for open appointments. See the Applicant Information page for current opportunities and application deadlines.
11. Is my application data secure?
Absolutely, ORAU follows all federal rules and regulations regarding personally identifiable information and data collection.
12. Do my transcripts need to be official?
Yes. However you will not need to provide them until you are selected.
13. How long does the application process take?
CBFO will determine how long applications will be accepted, and how long the review process will take. Once the selection has been made, there are several steps that must be completed before the candidate will receive notification.
14. Do I have to have health insurance coverage to apply or can I wait until I'm selected to acquire it?
You must have health insurance and provide proof of coverage in order to begin your appointment. That means that you will not be able to start your appointment or be eligible to receive a stipend payment until you have health insurance. Since some insurance providers have a waiting period from the time you apply, you may need to plan ahead in order to start your appointment at the desired time and still serve the full appointment. See Health Insurance for more information.
15. How are applications judged?
Participants are selected by CBFO. Your application will be judged on your educational experience, your interests, and skills. Be sure to carefully complete the application and return all required documents by the deadline.
ORAU staff will prescreen applications to ensure that all required materials have been received and that the applicant has attained the required education level and meets all other eligibility requirements. ORAU staff is not otherwise involved in the selection process.
16. When and how will I find out if I've been selected?
You will receive an official appointment letter via e-mail from ORAU notifying you of your selection. CBFO or your mentor will not make the appointment offer. Official notification must come from ORAU.
17. What are the chances of getting selected?
The number of CBFO Program appointments vary each year. There is no way of knowing how many applications will be received for any given cycle, nor what the quality of those applications will be. One thing is certain, however: If you don't apply, you certainly won't be selected.
18. Where are the internships located?
Carlsbad, New Mexico.
19. Will the program pay for my transportation to the internship site?
Yes, the ORAU SEP Travel will arrange and pay for travel from your home or institution if your permanent address is 50 miles or more from your appointment site. If you choose to drive, you will be reimbursed at the current federal reimbursement rate for actual mileage from your home or institution to the appointment site, up to the cost of the lowest available commercial airfare. Reimbursements are made according to the ORAU federally approved travel policy. See Travel for more information.
20. Will I be required to have my personal vehicle at the site?
The appointment may be located in an area without public transportation and having your personal vehicle may be required. You are responsible for your own daily transportation to and from your DOE internship site. Contact ORAU for more information as needed.
21. Does the CBFO Program pay for housing? Or is there a housing supplement?
You are responsible for the cost of your own housing at the appointment site during your internship. CBFO may provide a housing supplement. Contact ORAU for more information as needed.
22. How long will my appointment last?
Appointments are for up to one year and may be renewed for up to five years based on program needs, satisfactory performance by the appointee and continued availability of funding. Shorter appointments are also available, based upon program needs and candidate availability. Summer internships are typically 10 weeks in length.
23. Is there any flexibility in start and end dates?
That is dependent on the needs of CBFO. Start and end dates are subject to approval by CBFO and must be confirmed in writing in follow-up correspondence to you from ORAU. See About Appointment for more information.
24. Can I travel before I receive my appointment letter?
We do not advise that you do this. Your appointment is not guaranteed until you receive, sign, and return your official letter. Additionally, if CBFO does provide travel assistance, it is important that you work with ORAU to verify that costs are allowable and will be reimbursed. See Travel for more information.
25. Do I get any vacation during the appointment period?
The program does not include vacation or sick leave; however, you are not expected to be present on days that your facility is closed due to a Federal holiday.
26. What is the stipend amount?
Stipends will be based on academic level and relevant skills and/or experience and may include additional allowances for housing and insurance. Travel to/from appointment may also be included (based on approval and travel policy).
27. How often do I receive a stipend payment and where does it come from?
Your stipends will be directly deposited into your bank account in accordance with the ORAU schedule provided. You should be prepared to cover all expenses for the first 30 days of your internship. See Stipend Information.
28. What is my tax liability for the stipend I am paid as a participant in this program?
All stipends paid to you are reported to the Internal Revenue Service. ORAU administers all stipend payments and does not withhold taxes from these payments. Participants should give consideration to filing Form 1040-ES on a quarterly basis and paying estimated income taxes in order to avoid late payment penalties. Participants should consult a tax professional regarding state and federal income tax requirements. See Stipend Information.
29. Can I receive undergraduate credit or my fellowship experience?
You will need to check with your school to see if your experience qualifies for college credit. Your mentor or ORAU can provide you with the appropriate documentation.
30. By participating in this program, do I become an employee of the administrator, the host facility, or DOE?
No, none of the above. You will be considered an educational program participant and will not enter into an employer/employee relationship with the administrator, the host facility, or DOE. You do not receive any employment-related benefits, such as paid vacation or sick/medical leave or unemployment compensation.
31. Do I have to prepare a report or give a presentation at the end of my appointment?
Both you and your mentor will be asked to evaluate the experience at the end of the appointment. You may be asked to participate in seminars, poster sessions, and symposia, and to prepare written or oral presentations at the end of the appointment.
32. What should I expect from the mentoring relationship in the CBFO Program?
Your mentor should provide the following:
- On-going technical guidance and advice
- Appropriate materials, equipment, technical and clerical support, and office space
- A nurturing and stimulating intellectual atmosphere
See Mentor Information and Responsibilities for more information
33. If I have questions, whom should I contact?
E-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Barbara Dunkin, program specialist at 865-574-6440.
If you have questions after you are appointed, contact your mentor, CBFO Program Manager, or ORAU for assistance.
34. Are there other educational programs administrated by ORAU that I might be eligible for?