Sunday, September 4, 2011
National Research Council Research Associateship Programs
These awards provide the opportunity for recipients to do independent research in some of the best-equipped and staffed laboratories in the U.S. Research opportunities are open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and for some of the laboratories, foreign nationals.
The Application and Review Process
View the Application Process Workflow for a general overview of the RAP Application and Review Process.
Finding Research Opportunities - The first step in the application process is identifying the laboratory or laboratories to which you will apply. This may be accomplished by using the search functions on this website to identify the Research Opportunity(s) of interest to you. Shown with each Research Opportunity are the names of one or more Research Advisers who conduct or direct the work described in the opportunity. An Adviser is a scientist or engineer at the sponsoring laboratory with whom an Associate works most closely. Once you have identified a Research Adviser, it is recommended that you contact him or her to discuss your interest in applying for an NRC Research Associateship Award. Note that you may apply for up to three Research Opportunities during an application cycle. However, you may submit only one application per sponsoring federal laboratory.
Completing an Application – You must complete the WebRAP electronic application that can be accessed through this site. This system requires uploads of your proposal and other information. After completing the WebRAP application, you must submit supporting documents by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to the Associateship Programs office at 500 Fifth Street, NW (Keck 568), Washington, DC 20001. Please refer to the How to Apply and the Supporting Documents page for complete details.
Research Proposal - You must submit a Research Proposal, written by you, that relates to a specific Research Opportunity at the sponsoring federal laboratory. Before writing a proposal you are advised to communicate directly with the prospective Research Adviser, who can provide more specific information on current research and available technical facilities and offer scientific support of proposal development.
Laboratory Endorsement - To be eligible for an award, your proposal must be approved by the prospective Research Adviser and endorsed by the Laboratory Program Representative or Program Committee of the sponsoring laboratory. This endorsement is obtained by the NRC after the application has been submitted. The endorsement affirms that the proposal is compatible with the sponsoring laboratory’s interests and that adequate programmatic support will be available if an award is offered. No applicant will be eligible for further consideration until the Associateship Programs office has been advised by the sponsoring laboratory that his or her proposal has been approved by the Research Adviser and endorsed by the Laboratory Program Representative or the Program Committee. Since the final review of applications is conducted by special panels appointed by the National Research Council, all applicants should note that endorsement by the sponsoring laboratory, while essential to the application process, does not imply or guarantee an award by the National Research Council.
Application Review - The Associateship Programs office receives all application materials and supporting documents and conducts the competitive evaluations of applications. Evaluations are conducted by special panels convened for this purpose. Panelists are chosen to review applications on the basis of their stature and experience in the fields of science and engineering, and their evaluations become the basis from which awards are made on behalf of the sponsoring laboratories. Applicants are recommended for awards only after this open, national competition in which the panels rank candidates on the basis of quality alone. Final ranking in order of quality and the recommendation of applicants for awards are the exclusive prerogatives of the panels, and, with the exception of the NIST Type 1 program, only notification by the Associateship Programs office of an applicant's status in the competition is authoritative.
Notification of Review Results – Approximately 8 weeks after the application deadline, candidates can log into the application system to view the results of the panel review. At that time, candidates will be able to view their review status as well as scores and comments from the review. The date candidate's can view these results will be listed on the RAP homepage for each review cycle. Please visit the application category webpage for a description of each status category an applicant may fall under. The number of awards will be determined based on the funding available from the sponsoring federal laboratory and with concurrence of the sponsoring laboratory, awards will be made to the highest ranking candidates among those who passed the review. Final notification of award status may take an additional 4-8 weeks.
Initiation of Tenure – In the event an award is offered, the date on which tenure may begin is negotiated on an individual basis, normally within six months of the award. The starting date may be delayed by mutual agreement of sponsoring federal laboratory, the Associate, and the Associateship Programs office, but cannot be later than one year from the offer date. If this condition cannot be met, a new application, including a newly approved research proposal, must be submitted to the Associateship Programs office and will be judged without prejudice in the next competition.
Reapplication - Candidates who were recommended for an award by the panels, but who were not offered an award because of funding or other limitations, may reapply at any time without a mandatory waiting period. Persons who have previously applied for an Associateship, but who were not recommended for an award by the panels, may reapply after one year. Persons who have previously held an Associateship may apply for another award only if a period of at least two years will have elapsed between termination of the first award and the proposed tenure of a second.
Applicants may review panelists’ evaluations and comments by logging into the WebRAP review module using their username and password information.
NRC Research Associateship application deadlines are February 1, May 1, August 1, and November 1. Note that not all sponsors participate in all four reviews. Applicants should refer to the specific information for the laboratory to which you are applying.
All deadlines for receipt of application materials are strictly observed by the laboratory and the Associateship Programs office. No allowances or exceptions are made for late submissions.
Please direct application inquiries to the Research Associateship Programs at email@example.com or by phone at (202) 334-2760.
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