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This page can be found on the web at the following url:
https://www.pmf.gov/become-a-pmf/application-process/

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An Official Web Site of the United States Government

Become a PMF

Application Process

Applying is only the first step

Photo of men shaking hands

The PMF Program accepts applications annually. When the application is live, you can find the details for submitting an application in the announcement on USAJOBS by going to the “How to Apply” section. The announcement will lead you to the Apply Site of the PMF Talent Management System (TMS). You do not need a USAJOBS account to access the application; however, establishing one can help you prepare for the annual PMF application and other Federal opportunities as well as give access to a resume builder you may use when applying.

We strongly encourage you to review the entire Become A PMF section of this website, including the Frequently Asked Questions.

Applying to the Program is only the first step in becoming a PMF. Individuals who meet the eligibility requirements apply in the Fall. 

During the application process, you must complete two online assessments and submit documents, such as a resume and advanced degree transcript. Additional information about resumes and transcripts can be found under the Application Tips section. If you claim veterans’ preference and/or a reasonable accommodation for the assessment process, you will be instructed to submit supporting documentation. The approximate amount of time to complete the application and online assessment is anticipated to be no more than 2-3 hours; however, you do not have to complete the entire application and assessment all at once. You may start and finish each step of the application while the announcement is open; however, once you start a part of the online assessment, you must complete it at that time. It is very important that you closely follow the directions to confirm your eligibility and ensure you submit a complete application in a timely fashion. Applicants are highly encouraged to complete and submit their application early.

Once the application closes, applicants will be reviewed for eligibility, complete applications, and assessment results. The assessment process is planned to take place in two stages: the first during the application period and the second during a Semi-Finalist stage after the results of the application and online assessment are reviewed. All applicants will be notified of their status, including whether they have reached the Semi-Finalist stage, following the close of the application. Similarly, those who complete the Semi-Finalist stage will be notified of their status following the completion of that stage. Top scoring applicants will be selected as Finalists. Finalists have 12 months of appointment eligibility to apply for an appointment as a Fellow with a participating Federal agency. Your two-year fellowship begins once you secure a PMF position with a participating Federal agency and are onboard.

For technical support during the application process, please select the "Help" link in the upper right-hand corner (on the blue menu bar) on the Apply Site. You will be redirected to the Application Help webpage; which will be updated to reflect help instructions during the application process.

For more information on this year's application, including a timeline, visit the 2023 Application page. The PMF Program Office hosts several informational webinars for potential applicants prior to the application. Any such webinars will be listed on the Application page and/or posted to the News & Events section.

System and Browser Requirements 

The browser requirements and settings for the systems used during the application and on-line assessment process appear below. To prevent inconsistencies and any technical problems, applicants should refrain from using other browsers not supported. 

It is recommended that you clear your cache by deleting your browser history under your Tools/Internet Options menu before creating a user account and applying to the program.

In order for the application and on-line assessment to display and function properly on your computer, we recommend the following:

  • Use a broadband internet connection. Dial-up connections affect the performance of the system and are not recommended.
  • Use one of the following recommended browsers:
    • Google Chrome (version 77 or higher),
    • Safari (version 12 or higher),
    • Microsoft Edge (version 44 or higher), or
    • Mozilla Firefox (version 69 or higher).
  • Enable JavaScript and Cookies.
  • Disable Pop-up blockers.

Depending on the browser you are using, you may not see some icons during the application; this may be caused by your browser's Compatibility View. You may want to use other browsers (e.g., Google Chrome). You can also go to www.whatismybrowser.com to check your browser and version. 

Document File Types

The following outlines the document file types accepted during the application process:

  • File format must be in gif image (.gif), jpeg image (.jpg), png image (.png), rich text format (.rtf), Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), Adobe pdf (.pdf), or Word Perfect (.wpd)
  • File size must not exceed 5MB (megabytes) per file
  • File must not include macros, passwords, expirations, or scripts of any kind

Please avoid using spaces or special characters as part of the file name when uploading as part of the application (e.g., "university transcript.pdf") or periods or commas; instead, use an underscore or dash (e.g. " _ ", "-"). Any file uploaded with spaces in the file name will automatically be converted to show underscores.

NOTE:  Please do not submit any letters of recommendation or any documents containing photos. All documents must be accessible, legible, and in English.

Contact Information

All general inquiries regarding the application and assessment process must be sent via email to pmfapplication@opm.gov; this serves to document your request. The mailbox will be monitored during the application period and assessments. Contact the application Help Desk for any technical difficulties during the application and assessment process by clicking on the Help link on the top menu bar during the application process. To prevent confusion or duplicate inquiries, please do NOT submit a Help Desk ticket and an email to the PMF Application mailbox on the same issue(s). Submitting a Help Desk ticket is preferred in order to document and track. The PMF Program Office monitors both systems and you will receive a timely response.

When creating a user account to apply to the PMF Program, please ensure the email address you provide is current and accessible throughout the application, assessment, and selection process. Follow the instructions on the login screen if you have forgotten your password. You will be prompted to enter personal contact information. Please avoid using dashes, commas, apostrophes, or other special characters in the name fields.

When an applicant creates their user account, an automated email is sent to the applicant to validate their email address. The automated email comes from no-reply@apply.pmf.gov. 

You do not need to create and use a USAJOBS applicant user account to apply to the PMF Program.

During the application period, sending email is the best way to communicate with the PMF Program Office. Therefore, please provide a current email address in your application that you can access throughout the application, assessment, and selection processes.

Please consider using a third-party email provider instead of your school or work email address, as many of these email servers block our emails.

We recommend that you add the following email addresses to your "safe" or "allowed email list" and email address book:  pmf@opm.gov, pmfapplication@opm.gov, no-reply@apply.pmf.gov, and no-reply@portal.pmf.gov.

Applicants are reminded to check for updates on the PMF website and to the PMF Applicant Handbook throughout the application and assessment process.

Visit the next section to view information on Application Tips.

UPDATED: 07-14-2022