Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that is not addressed below, please email us at [email protected].

How do I transfer my clearance?

After you have completed your experience, USRA will no longer hold your clearance. Your new employer can access your record in JPAS to review the clearance.

I’m having trouble logging into Connect. What should I do?


  • Returning User – If you are a previous professional OR you have already started/submitted an application for any program year, then you should use the login information that you used to create your account. A “Returning User” is anyone who has ever logged into the SPs Connect system at any time, i.e. to submit an application, to accept an offer, or to complete forms. Use the “Forgot Your Password?” link if you cannot remember your password and it will be emailed to the email used to create your account. *Please note that the SPs Connect system is not the same as the AFRL Scholars Connect system, and will require a new user name and password.
  • New User – If you are not a previous professional OR have not already started an application, then you should select “Create New Application” on the home page to create an account.
  • If you are still having difficulties, email an AFRL Scholars Professionals Administrator at [email protected] for assistance.


When is the application deadline?

This will be scheduled to occur in October for the January 2023 session start date. Please check for updates regarding application dates.

Can I mail in, hand deliver, fax, or email my application?

No, all applications must be submitted through the AFRL Connect system.

What is PII and how do I remove PII before submitting documents with my application?

According to Air Force Instruction 33-332, personal information is defined by the Department of Defense as: information about an individual that identifies, links, relates, or is unique to, or describes him or her, e.g., social security number (SSN); age; military rank; civilian grade; marital status; race; salary; home/office phone numbers; other demographic, biometric, personnel, medical, and financial information, etc. Such information is also known as personally identifiable information (PII) (i.e., information which can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity, such as their social security number, date of birth, place of birth, mother’s maiden name, or biometric records, including any other PII which is linked or linkable to a specified individual).

Do not upload any documents that contain Personally Identifiable Information (PII). For steps on how to block PII, see below:

  • Using Adobe Acrobat Pro, you can format your documents by using “Mark for Redaction”
  • Go to the Protection Tab under Tools and select “Mark for Redaction.” Redaction allows you to permanently black out and remove sensitive content.
  • Highlight any text considered PII.
  • Click on “Apply Redactions.” Note: Redactions are not applied permanently until you select “Apply Redactions.”
  • If you do not have access to Adobe, use a permanent black marker and mark through any text considered PII on your transcript records, then scan into your computer and submit in a PDF format.


Can I apply if I am not a U.S. citizen?

No, AFRL Scholars Professionals is only open to U.S. Citizens.

Do I have to submit a letter of recommendation?

Yes, you must submit three letters of recommendation for an application to be completed.

What if my letter of recommendation does not arrive by the application deadline?

As the deadline approaches, please contact your reference using the “Resend” function in the application module and/or sending a request to another reference.

When are opportunities available?

At this time, January 2023 is the session when opportunities are available. More opportunities will be offered in the future. Please continue to check for updates.

What are opportunity start and end dates?

The program will last for one year and is renewable annually. The first cohort is slated to begin in early 2023.

Will I be able to take time off during the professional opportunity?

Scholars Professionals may be excused from AFRL research activities for brief periods due to personal emergencies or other unforeseen circumstances.

Can I edit my application after I have submitted?

Yes, you may edit your application in AFRL Connect after submitting, so long as the deadline has not passed. Each time you resubmit your application, it will overwrite the previous submission.

How and when will I be notified if I have been selected for the opportunity?

You will be sent an official offer by email informing you that you have been selected for the program. Offer timelines are based on funding availability and can therefore vary at times. It is recommended that you begin checking email regularly approximately 3-4 weeks after the application closes but offers can be sent as late as 5 weeks prior to the session start date.

When will I find out if my appointment has been extended for a second year?

All appointments are subject to the continuing availability of appropriated funds and the participant meeting the terms, conditions, or expectations of the appointment. In the event that appropriated funding is not available, or the participant fails to meet the terms, conditions, or expectations of the educational appointment, the participant will be notified as soon as possible about the procedures for ending the appointment.

How much is the stipend amount that I will receive?

Stipend amount is based on academic level attained.

  • Bachelor’s Degree starting at $82,000 per year
  • Master’s Degree starting at $100,000 per year


How/When will my stipend award be paid?

You will receive a direct deposit at the end of each month.

Does the program pay for my room and board?

No, compensation for room and board is not provided.

Does the program pay for my travel to/from the opportunity location?

SPs that live more than 50 miles from their assigned AFRL site at the time of the offer may be eligible to receive a relocation allowance if they meet other federal relocation requirements. Details regarding relocation travel are provided in the Terms of Appointment Letter that accompanies the offer letter.

Do you have any suggestions for where I could find resources to help with my living arrangements?

AFRL and USRA do not endorse or have any affiliation with any companies listed on this site. As a courtesy, housing suggestions are offered in the Housing Resources site.

Are benefits provided for SPs?

Yes, SPs are eligible to receive leave benefits, subsidized health insurance, and a relocation allowance (if they live more than 50 miles from their assigned AFRL site at the time of the offer letter and meet other federal relocation requirements). Health insurance is required to participate in AFRL SPs. Details are provided in the offer letter.

If selected, what forms of ID will I need for in-processing when I arrive for my opportunity?

You will need at least 1 valid form of government-issued picture identification, such as a driver's license or U.S. passport. Be aware that in order to drive on a military installation you will need a valid driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance. Please note, anyone seeking access onto a military installation using a state identification that is non-compliant with Real ID Act requirements will no longer be authorized access without providing an alternate identification credential. Some of the more common alternatives include a valid U.S. issued passport or ID cards issued by federal state or local government agencies that include a photo and biographic information. For a full list of Real ID Act compliant and non-compliant states, visit the Department of Homeland Security's website.

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