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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Jefferson Science Fellowship
Fellowships Office
Policy and Global Affairs
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Applicants who are selected for an award will be required to undergo a security investigation to obtain a security clearance or facility access, depending on the requirements of the position. At the U.S. Department of State, either a Secret Clearance or Top Secret Clearance may be required. At U.S. Agency for International Development, a Secret Clearance or Facility Access may be required. Note that the fellowship does not officially begin until the required background investigation is completed and the Fellow has received an on-boarding date. 

The security clearance process will be initiated soon after the selection of Fellows is finalized. The Fellow is expected to take immediate action to complete all required forms and fingerprinting as soon as instructions are received. The clearance process generally will take several months.

It is possible that Fellows could experience significant delays in their clearance and, very rarely, clearance may not be granted. Some reasons for delays in clearance include the following:

  • Dual citizenship
  • Spouse is a not a U.S.-born citizen
  • Ownership of foreign bank accounts or payments from foreign entities
  • Ownership of property in foreign countries
  • Failure to file taxes or other serious financial difficulties
  • Extensive foreign contacts/collaborators and/or overseas travel
  • Study at foreign institutions
  • Not completing the security paperwork with full honesty, whether inadvertently or purposefully

Applicants may wish to consider issues affecting their security clearance in evaluating whether they wish to apply to the Jefferson Science Fellows program. 

More information on the security clearance process and information on common reasons for delays can be found below.