The MLEF appointment starts on Monday, June 1, 2020 and ends on Friday, August, 7, 2020.  (Note: The MLEF Kick-off/Orientation will be held on Thursday, May 28, 2020 in Washington, D.C.  Participants will travel to D.C. on Wednesday, May 27th and will then travel to their appointment site on Friday, May 29th.)

There is possibility that you will be contacted for an interview.  Interviews will start as soon as early February and will continue through the end of April.

Selected candidates will receive a phone call and e-mail notifying them of their selection for the program.  Candidates who are not selected for the program will be notified via e-mail at the end of April.

If you accept an offer from the MLEF program, you are agreeing to:

  • Have coverage under a medical insurance plan for the duration of the program.
  • Be available for the full ten weeks of the program.
  • Complete your research project
  • Travel to the Kick-off/Orientation in Washington, D.C. and to the Technical Forum in Pittsburgh, PA
  • Conduct a 10 minute presentation at the Technical Forum
  • Complete program evaluation at the beginning and end of the program

Participants can be selected for one of several FE sites including, but not limited to:

  • DOE Headquarters: Washington, D.C. and Germantown, MD;
  • National Energy Technology Laboratory: Pittsburgh, PA, Morgantown, WV and Albany, OR;
  • Strategic Petroleum Reserve: New Orleans, LA;
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: Berkeley, CA;
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory: Livermore, CA;
  • Sandia National Laboratories: Albuquerque, NM;
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory: Los Alamos, NM; or
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory: Richland, WA.

No. Applicants are not able to select the appointment site. Mentors will make a selection based on an applicant’s qualifications and the need of their site.  

You can expect to complete a research project that aligns with the mission of the Office of Fossil Energy.  Specific tasks will be reviewed upon selection to the program.

Participants must be available for the following travel:

  • Kick-off/Orientation: Held on Thursday, May 28, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Participants will travel to D.C. on Wednesday, May 27th and will then travel to their appointment site on Friday, May 29th.  
  • Technical Forum: Held from Monday, August 3 to August 6, 2020 in Pittsburgh, PA. Participants will travel to Pittsburgh on Sunday, August 2nd and will then travel to their hometown on Friday, August 7th

The Technical Forum is the closing event for the program and takes place during the last week.  Participants conduct a 10 minute present highlighting their project and research findings.  Typically this event is held in Pittsburgh, PA.

The Technical Forum is held during the last week of the program. For 2020, the dates will be from Monday, August 3rd to Thursday, August 6th. Participants are expected to travel the forum site on Sunday, August 2nd. At the end of the forum participants travel back to their hometown. 

Participants are expected to be at their research site Monday through Friday and complete 40 hours each week towards their project.  Specific schedules will be determined by your mentor.  

No, participants do not earn leave during the program.

No, medical/health benefits are not provided during your program. You are required to have health insurance by the first day of your appointment and throughout the duration of the program. You may not continue in the MLEF Program if your insurance coverage lapses.

No, you do not need a security clearance.

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is a DOE institute focusing on scientific research and educating the next generation of scientists.  ORISE provides administrative support, event coordination and travel logistics for the MLEF program. Specifically, participants will primarily communicate with ORISE regarding stipends, travel, and lodging for the orientation and technical forum.

Yes.  You will need to have a government issued photo ID to be able to travel by airplane.  Also, you may need to present a social security card or U.S. Passport upon your arrival to the appointment site.  Specific forms of ID needed will be shared by the appointment site if selected.

Technical Forum

Yes. Participants are required to attend and present at the Technical Forum.

No. Travel from your appointment site to the Technical Forum is provided by the program.  Lodging is also covered by the program. Participants must stay at the designated lodging site. Expenses will only be covered for the designated travel dates.

No, meals are not be provided. However, you are eligible to receive per diem to help defray the cost of meal expenses.  

You will receive a stipend for the full 10 weeks of the program, including the Forum.


Your stipend will be dispersed on a bi-weekly basis via direct deposit to your bank account.  You can expect to receive the first stipend disbursement on Friday, June 19th to cover the first two weeks of the program.

Stipends are dispersed every two weeks starting with the third Friday of the program.  Therefore a total of five deposits will be made over a ten-week period.  .

If you are eligible to receive a housing subsidy, you will receive half of your total subsidy on Friday, May 29, 2020.  You will need to budget accordingly as you will not receive the next housing subsidy disbursement and your first stipend disbursement until Friday, June 19th

You should consult a tax professional for information on how your participation in the MLEF program may affect how you file your taxes. Since stipends are awards (not wages), ORISE will not withhold federal or state taxes.  In addition, Social Security or Medicare taxes are not withheld. You are not self-employed, and therefore do not pay self-employment taxes.


Yes, it is the participant’s responsibility to find and arrange their own housing prior to the start of the program.  It is strongly recommended that housing arrangements be finalized at least four weeks prior to your move-in date of Friday, May 29, 2019.

No.  The program does not pay for housing.  However, participants who are selected for an appointment that is more than 50 miles from their permanent address may be authorized to receive a housing subsidy.  The subsidy cannot be used to offset your permanent housing costs.

The housing subsidy is intended to offset the cost of short-term housing if you need to move out of your permanent housing to participate in the program.  The amount of the housing subsidy depends on the appointment site and is determined using a cost of living multiplier.  The housing subsidy is provided for nine-weeks to eligible participants.

You should arrange your housing with a move-in date of Friday, May 29, 2020 and a move-out date of Sunday, August 2, 2020 for a total of nine weeks.  During the last and tenth week of the program, you will stay at the designated hotel for the Technical Forum therefore you do not need housing for that time nor will you received a housing subsidy for the last week of the program. 

Travel and Local Transportation

No. You are responsible for transportation at your appointment site.  This includes transportation to and from your summer housing to the appointment site. 

The program will pay for travel costs directly associated with your participation in the program. This includes:

  • One trip from your permanent address to Washington D.C. for the orientation
  • One trip from Washington D.C., to the appointment site
  • One trip from the appointment site to the Technical Forum
  • One trip from the Technical Forum to your permanent address

Participants have the option to drive from their permanent address to their appointment site. Reimbursement for mileage will be at the current government rate using the most direct route according to Rand McNally. Reimbursement for mileage will only be made for travel in your personal vehicle for up to a maximum of $600.00 each way.