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Monday, September 1, 2014

Become a PMF

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As a Finalist, you are in the final stages of becoming a PMF. Now, with your Finalist status, you're eligible to be appointed to a PMF appointment in a participating agency after:

  1. We officially announce Finalists to all participating agencies.
  2. You complete all advanced degree requirements (not necessary to have graduated), including successful completion or defense of any thesis or dissertation.
  3. You complete any background investigation required by the hiring agency.

The Finalist status expires 12 months after the date Finalists are officially announced. For example, Finalists for the PMF Class of 2014 were selected on April 10, 2014; they have until April 10, 2015, to be appointed to a PMF position. This means the Finalist must have accepted a PMF appointment offer and physically start by the appointment eligibility deadline.

Placement Eligibility

To be eligible for placement as a Fellow with a participating Federal agency, Finalists must complete all graduate degree requirements (including any required thesis/dissertation) by August 31st of the year following the application period or earlier to start a PMF appointment. If a Finalist does not complete their degree requirements on or before August 31st, he/she will be ineligible for placement in an agency as a PMF and will lose their status as a Finalist. Hiring agencies have the responsibility to confirm placement eligibility and may request a transcript. Eligibility for a PMF appointment will end 12 months from the date that Finalists are officially announced.

Throughout the appointment eligibility period, we will send broadcast emails to all current Finalists to check their status. The Finalists' Status Email will ask if they are: (1) still seeking appointments, (2) accepted a PMF appointment from an agency, (3) have already accepted a PMF appointment and physically onboard with the appointing agency, or (4) requesting withdrawal from further consideration. This email is sent several times throughout the appointment eligibility period.

Class of 2014 "PMF STEM" Finalists are only eligible for PMF STEM positions and PMF Finalists are only eligible for PMF Finalist positions (not PMF STEM positions).

Next Steps

Photo of job fair

You now have to get hired into a PMF position, pass a background investigation, and go through the agency's on-boarding process. It can take several months to pass a Federal background investigation for a security clearance (if applicable). Because you'll want to have as much control as possible over when you start your PMF position, it is important to plan ahead. Finalists should:

  1. Review the Memo to Finalists under the Become A PMF\Current Finalists webpage. The memo will be updated to reflect the current class upon selection of Finalists.
  2. Start collecting information for the background investigation (see additional information below).
  3. Check for PMF appointment opportunities in the PMF TAS (Talent Acquisition System). Participating Federal agencies will post appointment opportunities when available. Please check the PMF TAS often.

Typically a number of opportunities are posted around the time Finalists are selected and officially announced. Finalists should monitor the PMF TAS for new opportunities and contact Agency PMF Coordinators for any opportunities. While Federal agencies are highly recommended to post such opportunities to the TAS, we recommend contacting them directly..

Since many agencies typically hire towards the end of a fiscal year or beginning of a new one (October 1st), appointment opportunities may become available .

Finalists should log into their account at to search for appointment opportunities.

Agency PMF Coordinators

To access the current list of Agency PMF Coordinators, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the login screen for Finalists and Fellows at
  2. At the top of the screen, you will see a link to "View Finalists and Coordinators".
  3. Click on the link to be redirected to the various sorted lists of Finalists and Coordinators.
  4. Click on the "List of Agency Coordinators" tab to view the current list of Agency PMF Coordinators by agency/sub-agency.

Updating Your Contact Info

All communications are conducted by email. Both current Finalists and Fellows use the PMF TAS (Talent Acquisition System) to update their personal contact information (e.g., name changes, home mailing address, personal phone numbers, and personal email address). Upon appointment as a Fellow, the appointing agency's Agency PMF Coordinator can update your appointment and work contact information. NOTE: The PMF TAS is the system used to post PMF appointment opportunities, how Finalists will be recorded as PMFs, how rotational opportunities will be posted, and more.

Updating Your Resume and Application Documents

Once the application period closes, the application system prevents uploading any updated or new documentation, including resumes and transcripts. Finalists may send updated resumes and/or new supporting documents directly to respective Agency PMF Coordinators or hiring officials.

Since the original resume and application documents are used to determine eligibility until selection of Finalists, these remain intact. While resumes are not keyword searchable, Federal agencies may search by several criteria collected during the application process (such as, foreign languages, degrees/disciplines, type of degree, veterans' preference, skill sets and competencies, and preferred geographic location).

If a Finalist has a change to their claim for veterans' preference (e.g., updated supporting documentation), he/she should send an email to the PMF Program Office, along with a copy of the updated documents. We will review and re-adjudicate accordingly.

When a Finalist accepts a PMF appointment offer, the appointing agency's Human Resources Office will validate a Finalists' transcript to ensure all degree requirements have been met before the Finalist can physically start their appointment.

Preparing for a Background Investigation

These investigations can be lengthy and may require you to provide extensive information regarding your background. The most common Standard Form (SF) used by agencies is the SF 85, Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions. You are highly encouraged to review this form and start collecting the requested data ahead of time. Some Federal agencies require agency-specific forms for this purpose; if this is the case, they will inform you. Common forms can be found under the Resources section.

All new hires into the Federal Government must complete some level of a background investigation before being issued government identification and/or starting employment (e.g., the Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Smart Card Program). If you are offered an appointment, the appointing agency's human resources office will send you the necessary paperwork and instructions. The PMF Program Office does not initiate or perform such investigations.

It is common for background investigations to be longer than normal for those with any overseas activity (e.g., attending school overseas, residing overseas, military stationed overseas, etc.).

Depending upon the circumstance, it is possible that prior background investigations will not transfer from one Federal agency to another and many agencies have unique requirements.

Upon Appointment

Once a Finalist accepts an appointment offer from a participating agency, the Agency PMF Coordinator will update their status in the PMF TAS. The PMF TAS provides a means for Coordinators to enter a Finalist's appointment, employment information, and Entry on Duty (EOD) start date. In some cases, a Finalists' EOD start date may reflect "12/31/20XX" to show he/she is pending an official start date; this is typically due to a pending background investigation by the appointing agency or because the Finalist is working on completing his/her graduate degree requirements by the August 31 deadline.

Once a Finalist accepts an appointment, he/she is encouraged to send an email to with the subject of "PMF Appointment." The email should contain the following information, if known:

  1. first and last name,
  2. personal email address,
  3. the agency/sub-agency to which appointed or accepted an appointment with,
  4. projected start date,
  5. job title,
  6. pay schedule, job series, and pay grade (e.g., GS-0343-09),
  7. name and email address of the position's supervisor, and
  8. the Agency PMF Coordinator associated to the agency/sub-agency.

Based on this information, the Finalist's status will be updated in our database. Your status as a Finalist changes to a Fellow once you start your appointment.

Appointment Eligibility Extensions

Hiring agencies may formally request an appointment eligibility extension for a specific Finalist they are interested in hiring and cannot bring onboard by the one year deadline; this is typically a result of a lengthy background investigation.

An agency can ONLY make a request, via its designated Agency PMF Coordinator, if it has made an official appointment offer to the Finalist, the Finalist has accepted the offer, and the extension request is submitted to the PMF Program Office BEFORE the appointment eligibility deadline.

If the PMF Program Office approves such a request, the extension is only valid for that Finalist and the agency making the request. If, for whatever reason, the requesting agency rescinds the offer, the extended Finalist will lose further consideration if the appointment eligibility deadline has passed. The Finalist must still meet eligibility and the position's qualifications.

UPDATED:  07-10-2014