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Frequently Asked Questions
- I'm having trouble logging into Connect. What should I do?
- Returning User – If you are a previous scholar 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 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.
- New User – If you are not a previous scholar 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 Program Administrator
at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
- I am a returning applicant; do I need to apply online?
Yes, please apply at AFRL Connect (https://afrlscholars.usra.edu/students/).
- When is the application deadline?
Please visit the AFRL Scholars website at http://afrlscholars.usra.edu/dates/ for specific dates.
- What is a complete application package?
A complete application includes: all sections of the application marked "complete" and certified, at least one letter
of recommendation, a resumé, and unofficial transcripts from all institutions you have attended.
- Can I mail in, hand deliver, fax, or email my application?
No, all applications must be submitted through the AFRL Connect system (https://afrlscholars.usra.edu/students/).
- 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).
To remove PII, use the following steps:
- Using Adobe Reader X,
- Go to "Highlighter" and select any text considered PII.
- After the text is highlighted, ensure your selected color is black. (Right click on the text, select Properties, and make color selection.)
- Save and submit.
- 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.
- Do I need to provide all of my contact information?
Yes, you should provide all information that you are able to so that we can complete official paperwork on your behalf and are able
to contact you for any reason. It is highly recommended to provide as many different forms of contact as you can.
- Can I apply if I am not a U.S. citizen?
No, the AFRL Scholars Program is only open to U.S. citizens. Dual citizens are not eligible.
- Do I have to submit a letter of recommendation?
AFRL Scholars Program Administration recommends the submission of at least one letter of recommendation for an application package to be considered "complete"; however, it you can submit your application without one. Keep in mind that the inclusion of a recommendation letter will make your package more competitive during the selection process.
- What if my letter of recommendation does not arrive by the application deadline?
If your letter does not arrive by the application deadline, your application package will be evaluated without it. As the deadline approaches, please contact your reference using the "Resend" function in the application module and/or sending a request to another reference.
- I am a graduate student; can I incorporate AFRL research into my graduate studies?
It is definitely possible for scholars to base their thesis/dissertation on their summer research (or vice-versa). Scholars are encouraged to
initiate discussion on this topic early in the summer with both their major professor and their AFRL major.
- Will I be required to present my research or write a technical report during the summer internship?
Scholars will be required to write a technical report and present their research to their branch, at the discretion of their mentor. Select
scholars may be asked to present at the AFRL Scholars Poster Session at the conclusion of the summer.
- How many topics can I apply to?
Applicants can apply to a maximum of 3 topics. These topics may be within any technical area provided on the topic list. However, you should
only apply to topics that are assigned to the education level that you will be the semester immediately preceding the internship dates.
- Can I contact the mentors?
For those mentors who are open to communication prior to scholar arrival onsite, mentor contact information is available on the AFRL Scholars website
- When are internships available at AFRL?
Currently, AFRL Scholars Program only offers summer internships. Dates range from May 1 through September 30. However, the number of weeks is
dependent upon scholar availability and funding available from year to year.
- When are internship start and end dates?
Internship start and end dates can be found on the AFRL Scholars website at http://afrlscholars.usra.edu/dates/.
- I will be gone in the middle of the summer. Can I still participate in the program?
Scholars may take up to one week of leave in the summer, as long as they meet the 8-week minimum time requirement. Scholars will not be paid for
their time off. You should list any planned leave in the "Availability" section of the application.
- I am currently an undergraduate, but I will be graduating before the start of my internship. What should I select as my “education level” on my application?
You should select the education level which describes your status the semester immediately preceding the internship dates.
- Do I have to submit official transcripts?
No, you may submit unofficial transcripts for the application. However, if you are accepted into the program you may be asked to submit an
official transcript at any time.
- I am a graduate student; do I need to submit my undergraduate transcripts?
Yes, you should submit your unofficial undergraduate transcripts. In the application module, you have the option to upload additional transcripts
by adding an institution. If you attended the same school for your undergraduate and graduate studies, please list them separately on the
application so that you can upload multiple transcripts.
- I am a first-year college student (only 1 semester of transcripts); should I submit my high school transcripts?
This is optional. However, your college transcripts are required.
- Do I have to be enrolled as a student to be eligible for the program?
Yes, you must be enrolled or accepted at an educational institution taking at least half-time academic course load leading to a degree or certificate for
semester immediately preceding internship session; must also be able to provide proof of enrollment or acceptance for semester immediately following internship
session. Enrollment status may be verified at any time if you are accepted into the program.
- 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.
- Where can I find more information about the AFRL Scholars Program?
For more information, please visit our website at http://afrlscholars.usra.edu/. The website
provides more details for program timelines, pay scales, and general information about AFRL’s research focuses and laboratories.
- How will scholars be evaluated?
Scholars are scored/ranked and selected by the mentors whose topics they applied to. Mentors will take into consideration the
applicant’s STEM experience (paid and voluntary), STEM courses taken, GPA, resumé, and letter(s) of recommendation.
- When will I be notified if I have been selected for the internship?
Selections and notifications for the summer sessions will be made in the spring.
- How will I be notified if I have been selected for the internship?
You will be sent an official internship offer by email information you that you have been selected for the program.
- How much is the stipend amount that I will receive?
The total amount scholars earn is based primarily on their educational level and the number of weeks they work. Current stipend rates, based on
the GS-Scale, are provided on the AFRL Scholars website at http://afrlscholars.usra.edu/stipends/.
- Does the program pay for my travel to/from the internship location and/or pay for room and board?
For those interning at the Phillips Research Site (Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque) no compensation for travel or room/board is provided. Interns at
AMOS (Maui) may be compensated depending on available funding for the program year.
- Does the AFRL Scholars Program help scholars to find roommates?
If selected, scholars will have access to message boards through which they can communicate with other selected scholars to find suitable
roommates. However, the program administration does not "match up" scholars.
- Do you have any suggestions for where I could find resources to help with my living arrangements?
AFRL and USRA do not endorse any of the below listed companies, nor have any affiliation with them:
- University of New Mexico Residential Life Housing Apartments
- Albuquerque Housing Options - General
- Transportation - Bus and Bike Information