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When and How to Apply

Applicants must submit the following for each individual Research Opportunity for which they are applying.:

Resume or CV. Please ensure that the resume includes: 

  1. the title of the Research Opportunity;
  2. how the applicant became aware of the Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program;
  3. country of citizenship;
  4. veterans preference (if applicable);
  5. names of colleges/universities attended;
  6. type of degrees earned and the years they were received;
  7. names, phone numbers, and contact information of 3 references; and
  8. an e-mail address at which the applicant can be reached. (NOTE: If your e-mail address changes after the closing date, it is your responsibility to send the new e-mail address to the following: and the appropriate Human Resources contact.) 

Educational Transcripts. Proof of completed education must be provided, including copies of undergraduate and graduate transcripts. If you are selected, you will be required to provide official transcripts. If your transcripts are not in English or illegible, provide a listing of all course work with grade and credit hours. If the degree is in progress, provide proof of being in a PhD program. The degree must be completed prior to appointment.  

Research Proposal. The Research Proposal is the most important part of the application package, and we strongly urge applicants to coordinate the development of the proposal with the Research Advisor(s). Each research proposal should be a maximum of eight standard pages in length (single space, Times New Roman font, font size 12) and should contain:

  1. research objective(s);
  2. links to USGS science program strategy;
  3. how and where research is to be conducted;
  4. name of Research Advisor(s) (RAs) -- the RAs are listed in the Research Opportunity description;
  5. required scientific facilities.

Budget Estimate. In addition to the 8-page proposal, a separate budget estimate is required. This estimate should detail anticipated operating expenses for fieldwork, access to specialized equipment/facilities, conference travel, publications, computer hardware/software, and so on. 

List of Literature References. If applicable, a list of references associated with the research proposal may be included and will not count toward the 8-page limit.

List of Publications. Include articles in journals, proceedings volumes, etc., and abstracts, reports, maps, etc. Do not submit copies of publications unless requested. Abstracts of up to 3 papers, reports, and so on, or a chapter from your Ph.D. dissertation may be submitted. 

Foreign Education Documentation. Proof of completed education includes copies of undergraduate and graduate transcripts, if needed to qualify. Foreign accreditation equivalency can be provided after an employment offer is made.

Supporting Veterans Preference Documentation if claiming 5/10 points. 

*Note: Applicants must address the USGS scientific needs described in the Research Opportunity description appropriately. The submitted proposal must demonstrate that the applicant is equipped with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties for the specific Research Opportunity. If they do not, they may not be considered for a Mendenhall Fellowship.

For More Information: For information regarding a Research Opportunity, please contact the Research Advisor(s). For information regarding the recruitment process or the status of an application, please contact the Human Resources Office contact.

Application Material Submission

The USGS strongly encourages the electronic submission of applications. All materials should be submitted in PDF format through the USAJOBS web link. PDF files submitted should not be larger than 5 MB. If a file is larger than 5 MB, applicants must split the contents of the file so that no one unit submitted is larger than 5 MB.

Applications should be prepared as follows (preferably in PDF):

  1. Research proposal ONLY
  2. Budget estimate
  3. Resumé or CV
  4. Educational transcripts
  5. List of literature references cited in the proposal, if applicable
  6. Supporting veterans documentation, if applicable.

Clicking on the "APPLY HERE" button next to each Research Opportunity in the Table of Research Opportunities will take applicants to the USAJOBS application for that particular Opportunity. For technical assistance for submitting an application through USAJOBS, contact the HR Specialist listed as the Point of Contact listed in this announcement.

PDF conversion tools are readily available via the Internet. Some examples can be accessed at the following sites:

Disclaimer: Hypertext links and other references to non-USGS products and services are provided for information only and do not constitute endorsement or warranty, express or implied, by the USGS, DOI, or U.S. Government, as to their suitability, content, usefulness, functioning, completeness, or accuracy.

If a complete application package is not submitted, the applicant will not be considered for the position. Requests for deadline extensions will not be granted. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure the successful conveyance of the application package. Applicants will receive a confirmation e-mail upon receipt. Application packages must be received by 11:59 p.m. (U.S. Eastern Time) on the closing date of the announcement. It is against the law to submit applications for employment using Government paid postage envelopes or mail services (18 USC 1719). Such application packages will not be considered. Application material will not be returned.

What Happens Next

The Human Resources Office will provide the hiring official with application material for review and consideration. The Research Advisor and/or hiring official will review the application material and contact candidates for interviews as needed. A subject matter expert panel will be convened. If an applicant is chosen for an opportunity and meets the qualification requirements, the Human Resources Office will contact the applicant and make a firm job offer. For Research Opportunities with multiple duty stations, the selection of the official duty station will be made by the USGS.

For some additional details, such as a description of the criteria used to evaluate applications, please visit the Questions and Answers page.