Students interested in participating in the SFS program must be:
- A United States citizen or permanent resident.
- Attending programs in the University Park (UP) on a full-time basis while receiving an SFS scholarship. As SFS students have to take residential classes at UP, closely mentored by SFS faculty, currently, only full-time students at UP are eligible for this scholarship program.
- Either a full-time Master student within two years of graduation, a full-time Ph.D. student within three years of graduation, or a qualified rising junior or senior undergraduate students.
- Able to meet selection criteria for federal, state, or local government employment. As final job placement is likely to require a security clearance, each scholarship recipient may be required to undergo the background investigation required to obtain such a clearance.
- Competitive students may be from a variety of majors and will have a strong GPA for their major (approximately 3.3 or higher on a 4.0 scale).
In return for receiving scholarship benefits, each scholarship recipient incurs two obligations:
- During the summers while enrolled in the program, each student will be responsible for securing an internship position at a federal, state, or local government agency. Numerous resources are available to assist students in identifying and applying for internships.
- Participate in monthly research and academic development meetings and/or seminars. Additional activities will be scheduled at the beginning of each academic semester.
- Upon graduation, each student will be required to work in a qualified position for a federal, state, or local government agency or a qualified national laboratory. The work requirement time period matches the supported time period. For example, a full two-year scholarship requires two years of federal employment. Each student is responsible for identifying, applying for, and securing a qualified position. Numerous resources are available including an annual job fair specifically for SFS students as well as the assistance of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) which oversees permanent placement for scholarship students.