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An Official Web Site of the United States Government
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Academia

Frequently Asked Questions

Search Tip: To search for a specific topic within this FAQ page, press CTRL + F (Mac users: Command + F) keys and enter a keyword. You can also search the PMF website for keywords on all pages.

  1. Our school holds career fairs, information sessions, etc. Can someone from the PMF Program Office come speak about the program?
  2. How can I be kept informed of new developments in the PMF Program?
  3. Can colleges and universities post the PMF application on their job sites?
  4. Which degree/disciplines will be most relevant or required?
  5. When is the application period?
  6. Who is eligible to apply?
  7. Are current Finalists eligible to compete for the next PMF application cycle?
  8. Are there opportunities for recent law graduates?
  9. What documents are required for the PMF application?
  10. Where can I find a general overview, application instructions, the timeline, and tips for our students?
  11. How will the timeline and application requirements differ from previous years?
  12. What will be the components of the assessments?
  13. Are there materials provided to students to prepare them for the application and assessment process?
  14. Will OPM provide information about the total number of applicants and names of Semi-Finalists/Finalists?
  15. How do Finalists learn about possible Federal Agency PMF appointment opportunities? Where are the positions located?

1. Our school holds career fairs, information sessions, etc. Can someone from the PMF Program Office come speak about the program?

The PMF Program Office receives numerous requests to speak at career fairs and information sessions throughout the year. In an effort to maximize resources, and get timely updates to all academia stakeholders, we leverage technology to deliver details about the program.

Academia stakeholder meetings are conducted, via a webinar to brief schools about the program and upcoming application timelines. We also provide marketing and outreach materials for school usage. We maintain a PMFCampus listserv for academia subscribers, partner with several affinity organizations (e.g., HSI, HBCU, NACE, NASPAA, PPS' Call to Serve) and conduct periodic webinars. Depending on other OPM initiatives, we may visit select schools and/or attend regional conferences to address as many schools as possible.

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2. How can I be kept informed of new developments in the PMF Program?

The PMF Program Office maintains a listserv called "PMFCampus." This listserv is specifically for school staff to voluntarily subscribe for updates to the program. To subscribe, go to the Academia\Getting Info webpage. Everyone is encouraged to monitor the PMF website's News and Events section for announcements throughout the year.

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3. Can colleges and universities post the PMF application on their job sites?

Once the annual PMF application period is announced, colleges and universities may post dates and information. And once the application launches, colleges and universities may post the link to the announcement on their school job site. Eligible applicants must follow the announcement instructions to apply. The official announcement will be posted to USAJOBS (www.usajobs.gov), with the keywords "Presidential Management Fellows", along with a direct link on the PMF website.

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4. Which degree/disciplines will be most relevant or required?

The PMF Program is open to all accredited advanced degree (graduate or professional) students. The advanced degree from an accredited institution makes Finalists eligible for the GS-09 grade/pay level. It does not necessarily mean the Finalists must appoint into a position directly related to their degree. However, some positions have positive education requirements where the Finalists must meet certain education requirements. Effective with the 2013 cycle, agencies have an increased need for those disciplines in the STEM categories (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

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5. When is the application period?

Typically, the application launches annually in the fall. Information about the annual PMF application, and any known dates, can be found under the Become A PMF\Application Process webpage.

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6. Who is eligible to apply?

Students who will meet all graduate degree requirements (even though awaiting graduation), including the completion or successful defense of any required thesis or dissertation, during the academic year (as identified under the Become A PMF\Application Process webpage), are eligible to apply.

Also, those who have obtained an advance degree from a qualifying college or university within 2 (two) years prior to the opening date of the announcement are eligible to apply.

More information can be found at Become A PMF\Application Process.

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7. Are current Finalists eligible to compete for the next PMF application cycle?

Yes, if the Finalist meets eligibility requirements. The eligibility has been expanded to include those individuals who have completed an advanced degree up to 2 years prior to the announcement. However, if a current Finalist initiates an application and the on-line assessment to the next class, his/her current status as a Finalist will be forfeited.

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8. Are there opportunities for recent law graduates?

The PMF Program is open to all advanced degrees, including J.D.'s. However, attorney positions in the Federal Government are hired under different appointing authorities and regulations. Finalists cannot be appointed as attorneys in the PMF Program.

There are a number of non-attorney positions for which a law degree is valuable. Examples include: Paralegal Specialist, Hearings and Appeals Specialist, Contract Specialist, Labor Relations Specialist, and Tax Examiner. Many Finalists with law degrees are appointed in policy and acquisitions positions. Similar information can be found under the Become a PMF\Eligibility\Attorneys webpage.

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9. What documents are required for the PMF application?

All applicants are required to upload a resume and a school transcript (unofficial is acceptable). Additional information about these documents can be found under the Become A PMF\Application Process\Application Tips webpage. Applicants who claim veterans' preference and/or reasonable accommodations for the assessment process are required to upload supporting documentation; information about these can be found under the Become a PMF webpage.

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10. Where can I find a general overview, application instructions, the timeline, and tips for our students?

All of this information can be found on this website. Information on eligibility requirements, application process, timelines, and tips can all be found under the Become A PMF webpage. General information and resources specific to academia can be found under the Academia\Resources webpage.

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11. How will the timeline and application requirements differ from previous years?

Information about eligibility, how to apply, and dates can be found under the Become a PMF webpage.

The Pathways Programs regulations eliminated the formal nomination process previously in place and have expanded eligibility to include those individuals who completed an advanced degree from an accredited institution up to 2 years prior to the application launch (e.g., the first day of the announcement opening period).

We will still collect resumes and supporting documentation from those applicants who claim veterans' preference and/or reasonable accommodations for the assessment process. In addition, applicants will be asked to upload a transcript. The transcript may be official or unofficial. Transcripts will be used to help identify eligibility, school accreditation, and agencies that need a copy for making PMF job offers to Finalists. Additional information on required documents can be found under Application Tips.

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12. What will be the components of the assessments?

The assessment process for the PMF Program is broken into two parts: an on-line assessment during the application process, and a half-day in-person assessment for applicants selected as Semi-Finalists.

A detailed Assessments Preparation Guide can be found on the Become A PMF\Assessment Process webpage.

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13. Are there materials provided to students to prepare them for the application and assessment process?

Yes. Applicants should thoroughly review the Become A PMF section (including all the Frequently Asked Questions) and the announcement when the application launches. An Assessment Preparation Guide is also made available under the Become A PMF\Assessment Process section.

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14. Will OPM provide information about the total number of applicants and names of Semi-Finalists/Finalists?

We will provide this information on-line. For the past few years, we have posted a list of names and their associated graduate school for both Semi-Finalists and Finalists. We are presently transitioning to a new Talent Acquisition System where our sort and search options will change. When this new system is complete, instructions will be made available.

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15. How do Finalists learn about possible Federal Agency PMF appointment opportunities? Where are the positions located?

Participating agencies have the option to post available PMF appointment opportunities to an on-line job bank, referred to as the PMF TAS (Talent Acquisition System).

In addition, a Job Fair event is conducted exclusively for Finalists and participating Federal Agencies. Finalists do not have to attend the Job Fair to secure a PMF appointment; however, it is an excellent source of Federal Agency contacts. Several Federal Agencies participate in the Job Fair; others may elect other means to fill positions. Finalists should contact the Agency PMF Coordinator for the agency they are interested in.

Most PMF appointments are located in the Washington, DC metro area.

Agencies post available positions throughout the year. Typically a boost in the number of positions occurs shortly after the beginning of a fiscal year (October) when agencies adjust their staffing and budget forecasts.

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UPDATED: 08-12-2014