Information for Applicants

Review the applicant information and program details below for more information and contact ORISE with any additional questions.

Additional Information

  • Eligibility

    The FBI Visiting Scientist Program is an educational and training program designed to provide college students, recent graduates, and university faculty opportunities to participate in project-specific FBI research, and developmental activities.

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    Because of the educational nature of these programs, participants must fall into one of the following categories:

    • Students must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university pursuing a degree in a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) or in Criminal Justice or Law and must maintain satisfactory progress towards completion of a degree. If you anticipate receiving your degree shortly, then you may apply. If you are selected, you will be required to show proof of degree completion before beginning the appointment.
    • Postgraduates must have received their degree in an appropriate STEM discipline or in Criminal Justice or Law within five years of the appointment start date or must complete all requirements for such a degree prior to the desired start date. If more than five years since receipt of degree, the applicant must have an academic background and experience in a relevant field and must be seeking to gain new knowledge/experience to expand career opportunities or to advance professionally. 
    • Faculty must be full-time faculty from an accredited U.S. college or university.

    Applicants must meet the following criteria at the time they apply: Only individuals possessing strong academic credentials, outstanding character and a high degree of motivation will be selected for the Visiting Scientist Program.

    • All candidates must be citizens of the United States.
    • All applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or above on a 4.0 scale and be in good standing with his or her undergraduate or graduate degree program.
    • Student applicants must be attending a college or university that is accredited by one of the regional or national institutional associations recognized by the United States Secretary of Education.
    • Applicants still pursuing their degree must be on track to complete their degree prior to the starting date.
    • Faculty applicants must be full-time, permanent faculty members at an accredited U.S. college or university.

    Appointment Requirements

    Applicants must meet all FBI Employment Requirements, pass an FBI Background Investigation, and receive a Top-Secret Clearance.

    There are specific elements that will automatically disqualify candidates for appointments with the FBI. Detailed eligibility and disqualifiers are available on the FBI's Eligibility Web Page.

    Applications will be considered without regard to race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, mental or physical disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or covered veteran’s status.

    To qualify for an opportunity, you must meet the eligibility requirements detailed for the specific opportunity in Zintellect. View open opportunities.

  • Diversity Inclusion/Culture

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    ORISE administers STEM internship and fellowship programs on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy and other federal agencies. The diversity of these programs enables individuals—whether undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, or faculty—to conduct collaborative research at national laboratories or one of more than a dozen federal agency partners nationwide. Interested applicants can review and apply to hundreds of postings for paid internships and fellowships that best meet their individual career interests and educational advancement needs on Zintellect. Recruiting/Outreach events, including a focus on enhancing connections and recruitment for underrepresented groups, are offered regularly by ORISE to provide candidates the opportunity to speak with program staff, mentors, and current/alumni participants to learn more.

    ORISE champions diversity, promotes creativity, rewards excellence, and encourages respect and an acceptance of differences. To support this commitment, ORISE operates a strong diversity program that includes training, educational programs, and awareness events for its employees and the community and is dedicated to recruiting and preparing the next generation of our nation’s scientific workforce.

  • FBI Hosting Laboratories

    ORISE gives students, recent graduates and U.S. faculty an opportunity to be paired with a staff scientist who will provide a hands-on research experience at one of the FBI laboratories listed below.

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    More information can be found about each facility by clicking below:

    • The Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit (CFSRU) provides technical leadership and advancement of forensic sciences for the FBI—as well as for federal, state, local, and international agencies—through applied research and development. Our research focuses on three primary goals: (1) the development of new capabilities; (2) improvements to existing capabilities; and (3) the defensibility of current and future capabilities.
    • The FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) consists of a cadre of special agents and professional support personnel who provide expertise in crisis management, hostage rescue, surveillance and aviation, hazardous devices mitigation, crisis negotiations, behavioral analysis, and tactical operations.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Answers to the questions most commonly asked by applicants.

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    All candidates must be citizens of the United States.

    Participants receive a monthly stipend to help defray living and other expenses during the appointment. Stipends rates are determined by the FBI, and are based on the participant’s educational level. A travel allowance is also awarded. A relocation allowance may also be granted in some cases.

    For some opportunities, you may be able to apply before you complete your degree if you are near completion. If you are selected, you will be required to show proof of degree completion before beginning the appointment. Refer to the individual posting qualifications for the individual specifications, as they may differ per opportunity.

    Typically, appointments are initially for one year, and may be renewed yearly up-to an additional 4 years based on program needs and funding availability. Refer to the program description in the opportunity posting you are interested in.

    Most opportunities only require one recommendation. However, some may require more than one; refer to each opportunity for the specified number of recommendations required. Selection officials will not be able to see your application until all recommendations have been submitted.

    You will enter your recommender’s contact information in Zintellect, and requests will be sent automatically when you submit your application. There is also a “send now” button that you can use to send the requests before you submit your application. It’s a good idea to let your recommender know to watch for an email from

    You may request more than the required number of recommendations. However, Zintellect will only accept the required number of recommendations in the order received.

    You can view the status of your recommendation and resend your recommendation requests from the application card on your dashboard after the application is submitted and before the deadline.

    You should obtain recommendations from people familiar with your educational and professional qualifications. At least one recommender should be a professor or other individual who can comment on your educational experience.

    Applications are reviewed and candidates are selected by FBI mentors from each FBI Office. Each opportunity will specify which FBI office the opportunity posting is for. Once selected, the FBI will notify ORISE of their selection(s), and ORISE will notify the selected candidate(s).

    If there is a specific deadline on the opportunity, selections are typically made within 2 months after that deadline. Other opportunities that do not specify a deadline are reviewed on a rolling basis as mentors seek applicants for additional projects as needed. If selected, the process between receiving your official appointment offer letter and your actual start date may vary depending on several factors including background checks, the security process, and other on-boarding items.  

    If you see the opportunity on Zintellect then it is still actively accepting applications. If no deadline is listed, then applications are considered on a rolling basis. You can always contact with any questions regarding the status of your application and/or the opportunity. 

    Please ensure that all the necessary application materials have been received and that you meet the required qualifications. Applications will not be reviewed without the required recommendations, so you may want to be sure your recommenders submit their recommendations on-time.

    All opportunities for the FBI Visiting Scientist Programs are listed in Zintellect.  ORISE advises frequently checking Zintellect for additional postings.

    Please ensure that all the necessary application materials have been received and that you have obtained the necessary educational qualifications. All opportunities require at least one recommendation be submitted for the mentor to view your application; however, CIRG opportunities require a minimum of two. Applications will not be reviewed without the required number of completed recommendations, so you may want to be sure your recommenders will submit their recommendations on-time.

    All opportunities for ORISE at FBI VSP are listed in Zintellect. Check back often for additional opportunities.

    Once the mentor has made a selection, the FBI VSP Program Coordinator will notify ORISE of the approval of the selection. ORISE will send the official appointment offer letter to the selected candidate once this approval is received by the FBI VSP Program Coordinator and the funding for the appointment is in place. 

    We strongly recommend against this. Your appointment is not guaranteed until both ORISE issues your appointment letter and the FBI VSP Program Coordinator has finished the required security/background checks that allow you to start. Contact to ensure you have everything in place to start before you move.  

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