Applicant FAQ

What is the status of my application?

You can check the status of your application by logging in to the application system. “ORISE Reviewed” means your application has been reviewed by ORISE and released to NETL. Released applications are entered into an Applicant Pool for all NETL hosts to review.

I've applied to more than one position. Can the references be used for both applications?

Yes - your references will be attached to all of your applications.

Is it okay if we have more than 2 references?

Yes – we will accept 2 or more references.

Can my recommenders just e-mail the letters to you?

Yes - Please contact ORISE.

Are the references required if the application was requested by a specific researcher at NETL? They do not require the references.

The references are still required by the program. In order for your application to be complete, we must have 2 references.

How often should I re-apply?

Your application will remain on file for one year.

When will my application be reviewed?

NETL hosts review the applications on a regular basis, so there is no set timetable. If an NETL host is interested in your application, your status will change to “NETL Host Reviewed”. This does not guarantee that you will receive an offer, but it means that a host has requested additional information and is considering offering you an appointment. In most cases, someone from NETL will contact you to discuss the potential opportunity.

How do I enter the GPA if mine doesn't fit the 4 point system?

It is best to enter an equivalent number (conversion tables can be found online), If you do not have a GPA stated, it is best to enter 0.

I am a US citizen, but studying at a university that is outside of the US - am I eligible for the Professional Internship Program?

You are not eligible for the Professional Internship Program at this time. To be eligible, you must be an undergraduate or graduate student in good standing at a regionally accredited college/university, or a post-baccalaureate within one year of graduation

Foreign National Applicant Questions:

I hold an H1-B visa currently, and it would be a relatively straight-forward process to transfer that to NETL.

In order to participate in this program, you would have to have the J-1 or your green card because we do not accept the H-1B status. The J-1 is a short term status (5 years), so if you’d like to stay in the US for longer period of time, the J-1 may not be the best option for you.

You are welcome to contact our Immigration Specialists if you’d like to get further clarification about your options. Immigration can reached at

I am an international student at a university outside of the US - am I eligible for the Postgraduate Research Program?

If you have completed your master’s or doctoral degree, you are eligible for the Postgraduate Research Program.

Do we accept all types of J-1 immigration status? There are several types of J-1s (J-1 trainee, intern, J-1 academic, etc.). We only accept J-1 Short-term scholars, research scholars, and J-1 academic.

Foreign National Selectee:

When can I start my application for J-1 Visa?

An Immigration Specialist will assist you with the application paperwork, but that process does not begin until you have received your appointment letter and accepted the offer.

I am applying for CPT status.

Please make sure the university lists ORAU and/or ORISE as the “Employer” on the I-20. The Employee Location can be the address where your appointment will be located, or you may list our address:

100 ORAU Way, Oak Ridge, TN 37830.

Future Post-Graduate Participant:

What are the PhD program completion requirements for this program?

We have to receive verification from the university that you have completed all the requirements for your master's or doctoral degree before you can start your appointment. For verification, we will accept a Verification of Degree Letter, a copy of your diploma, or a copy of your transcript with the degree date.

Can I start my appointment once I have successfully defended my thesis?

We will need verification of degree before you can start your appointment. This is usually a letter from someone in your academic department stating all of the requirements for the degree have been completed as of (date). The letter must be on university letterhead and signed. A copy of your diploma is also acceptable as verification of your degree.

What if I have my master's degree? Could I start based on that degree, even if I haven't completed all the requirements for my doctoral degree yet?

If you received your master's degree within the past 3 years, you could start your appointment based on that degree, and comparable stipend rate. If you received your master's degree more than 3 years ago, then you would not be able to start until you have completed all the requirements for your doctoral degree.

Relocation, Housing, and Transportation:

Does Relocation cover the cost of traveling to the facility to find an apartment?

Yes, relocation does include the cost of house-hunting.

Is housing provided for participants?

No, housing is not provided.

What types of public transportation are available?

Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh is featured on Google Transit. This partnership with the Port Authority of Allegheny County allows visitors to search for public transportation routes using interactive Google Maps technology. Link for Pittsburgh public transportation:

Morgantown: Morgantown is featured on Google Transit. Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) The Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system is a unique and easy-to-use transportation solution for WVU students, faculty, staff, and the Morgantown community and more information can be found at; Mountain Line Transit Authority for more information please visit: or you can download the Bus Finder Mobile App.

Albany: Albany has the Albany Transit System. More information can be found at

Participant Travel:

Where do I get the Travel forms?

Please refer to your appointment letter and the documents listed on page 2 for the ORISE part of the process. If the meeting is considered a conference (by DOE’s definition), make sure you have approval for the conference. Email:

Debra Smerkol (for Pittsburgh inquiries) 

Tracy Giltner (for Morgantown and Albany inquiries)

What signatures do I need for my TAR?

The TAR (Travel Authorization Request) needs to be signed by you, your mentor, and finally Nancy Andres. It will then be forwarded to

Where do I find and submit Travel Expense Forms?

Information about Travel Expense Forms can be found on the Travel website.

Your TES (Travel Expense Form) does not need to be signed by your mentor or the Program Manager.