Frequently Asked Questions

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. General
  2. Eligibility
  3. Applications
  4. Selection
  5. Participation
  6. Sponsor

GENERAL

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline for the 2014 Summer CCI Term is January 10, 2014 5:00 PM ET.

Who administers the CCI program for the Department of Energy?

The DOE Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists manages this program in collaboration with the DOE National Laboratories who host the student participants.


ELIGIBILITY

Can I apply if I don't currently have legal permanent resident alien (PRA) status, but I know I will get it before my appointment starts?

No, you must have your Permanent Resident Alien status at the time of applying (by the application deadline).

I am a Permanent Resident Alien, but my passport from my home country has expired. What do I list for my passport number and expiration date?

You are not required to have a valid passport to apply to the CCI program. If you are a PRA with an expired passport, list your old passport number and the expired expiration date.

I'm an undergraduate student, but I won't be 18 years old for another year. If this program is for undergraduate students, why can't I participate?

Eighteen is the minimum age for participation regardless of your education level.

Am I eligible to apply if I am a first year student at a community college?

To be eligible to apply, you must be currently enrolled as a full-time student at a community college or accredited two-year college and completed at least one semester. You also must have completed at least 6 credit hours in science, mathematics, engineering, or technology course areas, and completed at least 12 credits hours towards a degree.

Can I apply to a second CCI internship?

Yes, students may apply up to three times to the CCI program, and may participate in a maximum of two internship appointments in the CCI program.

Do I have to have health insurance coverage to apply or can I wait until I'm selected to acquire it?

You do not have to have health insurance at the time of applying, but you must have health insurance in order to begin your appointment.

I have an undergraduate GPA of 2.95, am I eligible?

Yes. To be eligible to apply you must have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Considering significant figures, a GPA of 2.95 rounds up to a 3.0 GPA. Your GPA must be verifiable on your undergraduate transcripts.

I have an undergraduate GPA of 2.94, am I eligible?

No. To be eligible to apply you must have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Considering significant figures, a GPA of 2.94 rounds to a 2.9 GPA.


APPLICATIONS

Can I transfer my previous recommendations to my new application?

No, letters of recommendations cannot be transferred from previous applications or from applications created on the previous system. The recommendation letter form has changed. To request new recommendations, please visit your status page to request new recommendation forms for your recommenders.

Can I reuse my essay responses from my previous application for my new application?

No, the essay questions have changed in the new application so you will need to draft new essays.

Do I have to click on the “Submit Application” button to complete my portion of the online application before asking my recommenders to submit their recommendations online?

No, you can request your recommenders as soon as you begin the application by submitting the name and contact email in the recommender section of the application. An automated email will be sent to your recommender with the information about how to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf. You are responsible for ensuring that recommenders submit their recommendation online before the application deadline.

I have already submitted my application but realize I made a mistake. Is there any way I can fix this?

No, once you click on the “Submit Application” button to submit your application you cannot change the application content. You can still update your personal contact information and change recommenders or send reminders to recommenders, but that’s it.

Do my recommendation letters need to reach you by the deadline?

Yes, the two required letters of recommendations must be submitted electronically by the application deadline. Recommenders must submit their letter through the online form, letters in any other form will not be accepted.

Can I submit my application before recieving my recommendations?

Yes. Your application can be submitted before recieving your recommendations.

Can letters of recommendation be sent by e-mail?

No, recommenders must use the electronic process. A URL unique to your application will be sent to the individuals you selected to submit a recommendation on your behalf. Each person writing a recommendation for you will complete the online recommendation form and submit it electronically. This is the only way to ensure that your recommendations are properly linked with your application.

Who should I get to write my letters of recommendation?

Letters of recommendation should be requested from individuals familiar with your academic achievements or professional accomplishments. College faculty members who teach science, technology, engineering, or mathematics courses are good references, but you may also use former high school teachers or employers.

Can I delete a recommendation and replace it with another?

You cannot delete a recommendation once it has been received by the online system. You may request up to 3 recommendations for your application, but the first two that are completed in the system will be the ones included with your application for review.

Am I required to submit transcripts?

Yes, applicants are required to provide transcripts for every college or university that they have attended that are listed on the DOE CCI application. You must upload a “.pdf” copy of all undergraduate official/unofficial transcripts to the online application system. This is a new requirement beginning with the Summer 2012 Term. See the information on submitting transcripts on the How to Apply page: http://science.energy.gov/wdts/cci/how-to-apply/.

Can I submit unofficial transcripts?

There are two forms of unofficial transcripts that are acceptable to submit with your completed application:

1) An official transcript that has been signed by the university/college registrar sent to you in a sealed envelope that you have opened (and thus is unofficial) and scanned and social security numbers and date of birth blackened out prior to uploading into the application system, or

2) An unofficial transcript provided electronically to you directly from your university/college either via a website or email and is marked “unofficial.”

PDF copies of transcripts uploaded into the system must be clearly legible, must be labeled with your name and the name of the university/college, must clearly show all courses and course grades and cumulative GPA, and must have your social security number and date of birth blackened out.

Transcripts that do not clearly identify the applicant’s name and institution or are not legible will be considered invalid.

I’ve scanned my official transcripts but the electronic scan has a VOID watermark all over it. Is this a valid transcript to submit with my application?

If it is a scan of your official transcript, is legible, and it clearly shows your name, undergraduate institution, and GPA/grade information then it is a valid transcript.

How do I select a laboratory?

The online application will ask you to select your first and second choice laboratories based on a drop-down list of DOE laboratories. The WDTS website contains information on currently participating DOE laboratories and the research and development (R&D) programs carried out at those sites. You will also find links to home pages of each participating laboratory. You will need to do your own homework on which laboratories and research areas interest you most. Choose a laboratory based on the type of technical topic areas or R&D areas that interest you.

What should I do if I don't have a preference of a laboratory?

You must select a first and second choice laboratory. It is to your benefit to make two different laboratory choices.

Can I get in touch with scientists at the laboratories I've chosen? Is this advisable?

Yes. As you explore the laboratories' websites you may identify scientists or engineers, programs, or divisions you would like to contact. The more you know about a laboratory, the better chance you have of making a laboratory choice appropriate to your interests and skills. HOWEVER, potential technical/research advisors are NOT authorized to offer you an appointment. If you are selected you must receive an official letter from the Department of Energy. This notification will be followed by an official offer letter from the laboratory or its administrative agent. You have not been given an official offer until you receive these two things.

Will you let me know if I am missing parts of my application?

The online application system will highlight the required elements of the application that have not been completed. You will not be able to submit your final application until all the requirement elements have been provided.


SELECTION

How does the selection process work?

To be considered, an applicant must meet all eligibility criteria and have submitted an application comprising all required materials. Prior to the merit assessment and evaluation, an initial review of all applications will be conducted to verify applicant eligibility and ensure all the required application materials have been provided. Applications will then be subject to a merit review process and selection process. From the highly reviewed applications, project advisors at the host laboratories select those applicants whose skills, knowledge, and research interests are best aligned with the technical projects available to interns for the pending CCI term.

How are applications judged?

Applications will be assessed based upon the applicant’s performance in completed academic coursework in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM); strength of recommendation letters; expressed technical interests; and the applicant's background, experience, accomplishments, and interests as they relate to the R&D programs at the host laboratories.

Why am I asked if I have participated in any other DOE programs? Does answering yes to this question help or hurt my chances of being selected?

Your response to this question will not affect the selection process for your application. DOE collects this for internal information purposes only to gauge whether applicants know about or have participated in other DOE programs.

What are my chances of getting selected?

The chances of being selected depend on many factors: the total number of applications submitted, the number of applications requesting the same first and second choice laboratory placements, the number of available internship opportunities at each laboratory, and the availability of funds. These factors vary each year so it is not possible to determine an individual’s chances of being selected for any given application cycle.

Is this program only for technology, science, engineering, mathematics, or computer science majors?

The CCI program focuses on providing technical internships in areas of science, engineering and technology relevant to and supported by the Department of Energy R&D programs. While applicants are not required to major in areas of technology, science, engineering, mathematics or computer science, applicants who demonstrate education, aptitude, and interest in these fields will be most competitive.

When and how will I find out if I've been selected?

You will receive an e-mail message from DOE notifying you of your selection. The status page of your application account will also indicate you have been selected for an internship offer. This will be followed by an email with a more detailed offer package from the host DOE Laboratory’s education office including an appointment letter and other documents explaining the details of your appointment. Please make sure the email address on your account is current and check your status page frequently after February 1st as you will only have 10 days in which to accept an offer once it has been made.

The offer may come from your first or second choice laboratory. You will only receive one offer during the application cycle. If you do not accept the offer, an additional or alternative offer will not be given.

Laboratory project advisors are not authorized to make appointment offers to you directly. Official notification must come first from DOE and then from the laboratory education office.

If I decline an offer from my first choice laboratory will I be considered by the second choice laboratory?

No. If you decline an offer you will not be extended another offer.

If I don't get selected this time, will my application be reviewed again next year automatically or do I have to reapply?

You must reapply.

If I request a certain field of study am I guaranteed to be placed in it if I am accepted into the program?

DOE tries to match to the extent possibl, the applicant’s technical interests with available projects and advisors at the DOE National Laboratories, but this is not always possible. Please also keep in mind that project advisors read your applications carefully and look for students who they think would benefit from being in their lab or project group.


 

PARTICIPATION

What if I can only participate for a portion of the appointment period due to other commitments?

Participation requires a full time commitment for the duration of the appointment period. You should plan to be at the facility full time and avoid obligations that will interrupt your appointment. Summer appointments are for 10 weeks.

Is there any flexibility in start and end dates?

Appointments are for 10 weeks. Although you must participate for the entire appointment period, you may have flexibility at some laboratories for start and end dates. Some DOE laboratories may have set dates. If you are extended an offer and you have restricted availability, check with the laboratory to see if it can accommodate you.

Do I get any vacation during the appointment period?

The program does not include vacation or sick leave. You are not expected to be present on days that your laboratory is closed due to a holiday. Most research advisors will help you design a schedule that is mutually agreeable.

How often do I receive a stipend payment and where does it come from?

You will receive your stipend check according to a pre-arranged schedule from the DOE laboratory hosting and administering your appointment. It varies from lab to lab. Once you have accepted an offer, you will be given a pay schedule.

What is my tax liability for the stipend I am paid as a participant in this program?

DOE cannot give participants tax advice. All stipends paid to you are reported to the Internal Revenue. Some laboratories do not withhold taxes from these payments; participants at these labs should give consideration to filing Form 1040-ES on a quarterly basis and paying estimated income taxes in order to avoid late payment penalties. Participants should consult a tax expert with their questions.

What kind of travel reimbursement will I receive?

You will be reimbursed for inbound and outbound travel between your home or school and the appointment site, if the distance is more than 50 miles one way. Reimbursements are made according to the standard travel policy of the DOE laboratory administering your appointment.

Where will I live?

It depends on the host DOE laboratory. Some sites have housing already arranged or have onsite housing; at others you need to arrange it yourself (these sites generally provide information to help you.). The program generally provides either a housing allowance or pre-arranged housing. Housing allowances are taxable. In some cases, your housing situation may result in costs to you over and above the housing allowance. In some cases, students who live within 50 miles of the host site are not eligible for housing or housing allowances.

Can I receive undergraduate credit for my internship?

You will need to check with your college to see if your research experience qualifies for college credit. DOE and the laboratory that administers your appointment can provide you with the appropriate documentation if your college does provide this option.

Does the program pay any tuition costs I might incur while participating if I am taking this for college credit?

No. Tuition and fees incurred during your participation in the program are not reimbursable.

By participating in this program, do I become an employee of the host laboratory, or DOE?

This varies from lab to lab. At some laboratories you will be considered a temporary employee. At others you will be considered a program participant and will not enter into an employer/employee relationship with the host laboratory, or DOE.

Do I have to prepare a report or give a presentation at the end of my appointment?

Yes, you will be asked to prepare a project report, in consultation with your project advisor. You will also be required to provide a poster or oral presentation. Laboratories will arrange poster sessions for students or require oral presentations at the end of the appointment.

What should I expect from the mentoring relationship at the laboratory?

Your project advisor should provide the following: on-going technical guidance and advice; appropriate materials, equipment, technical and clerical support, and office space for you to perform your technical project activities; and a professional and stimulating intellectual atmosphere.

Whom should I contact if I have problems which I have been unable to resolve on-line?

You can send your questions to DOE here.


SPONSOR

What is the source of funding for this program?

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science provides the funding for this program.

Why is the DOE involved in education?

For over 60 years the Department of Energy has supported the education and training of scientists, engineers, and technology specialists to maintain the scientific and technical workforce needed to address the Department’s and Nation’s complex challenges in energy, national security, the environment, and discovery science.

How do I properly acknowledge WDTS support in publications or presentations?

To help maintain accountability and accuracy of its federally-mandated assessment and reporting functions, WDTS requires funded work to appropriately acknowledge its support in the presentations and publications resulting from its funding. When acknowledging WDTS support, please use the following statement - “This work was supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS) under the Community College Internship (CCI) program.”

Last modified: 8/6/2014 10:32:13 AM