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Research Associateship Program (RAP)
Applicant, Review, and Award Category Descriptions


When you register in the NRC WebRap system your application for a Research Associateship award becomes Active. To successfully submit your application, you must be sure that all sections of your application are complete. You may do this on the WebRap validation page.

If your application has been completed and submitted by the review deadline your application will remain Active and progress on toward panel review. If your application was incomplete - missing required information or sections (e.g. Research Proposal, Previous and Current Research, Publications) - you will not be able to submit. After the deadline the status of an incomplete application will be listed as Not Submitted. You may reapply in any subsequent review cycle.

To be reviewed by NRC panels, all required Support Documents (transcripts if applicable, and Letters of Recommendation) must be received by the advertised deadline (generally two weeks after the application deadline). You should monitor receipt of your support documents in WebRap to be sure they have been received by the NRC. If all Support Documents have not been received by the Support Document deadline, your application status will change to Missing Support Documents. Your application will not be reviewed, but you are eligible to reapply in any subsequent review cycle.

The NRC will review each submitted application for eligibility. If you do not meet eligibility requirements, your status will be changed to Application Ineligible and the NRC will notify you as to why you are not eligible.

In order for an application to be considered for an award, the applicant's Research Proposal must have the endorsement of the sponsoring Agency which is indicated on the Laboratory Center Review form. The NRC processes this form and if this form is not received from the sponsoring laboratory, or if the sponsoring laboratory indicated on the form that your proposed research could not be supported, your status will be changed to Application Not Approved by Lab. Your application will not be reviewed, but you are eligible to reapply in any subsequent review cycle.


When the NRC review is complete, you will see a change in the status of your application from Active to either: NRC Recommended - Lab Decision Pending or Not Recommended (see below). To view the review schedule and see when the review results will be available visit the RAP homepage.

NRC Recommended - Lab Decision Pending - This means that your application passed the NRC review, making you eligible to be further considered for an award. You will be able to see your review score and reviewers' comments on your application. The agency to which you applied will generally make award decisions within 6 to 8 weeks from the time the review is finalized, although in some cases it may take longer. Award decisions are based on your rank among other applicants and the availability of funding. The NRC is not able to provide you with details regarding the status of these funding decisions. (See FAQ's for more information)

Not Recommended by NRC Panels - Your application was reviewed by NRC Panels and based on an established cutoff, your average score was below that required for recommendation for an award. As a result, you cannot be considered for an Associateship award at this time and must wait one year before reapplying. You will be able to see your review score and reviewers' comments on your application.


When award decisions are made, applicants who are NRC Recommended will see status changes to one of two categories:

NRC Offered Award - The agency to which you applied has authorized you to receive an award. You have been, or will be, contacted by NRC staff with award details.*

No Offer - Award Not Authorized by Lab
 - The agency to which you applied is not able to offer you an award at the present time. You may reapply to any NRC Research Opportunity in any subsequent review cycle. 

*Note that award offers will come from the NRC directly, except for awards for NIST. NIST applicants will be notified directly by the agency.