Learn more about the eligibility requirements for each area of the DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Research Associateship Program (RAP):

Guidelines for the Research Proposal

Since the proposal is a basic component of the application, it should be a concise, well-written statement of the proposed research. The following are general guidelines on what is expected from a research proposal. Your research proposal should be between five to seven pages and have a clear objective and a defined outcome. It should explain the direction you plan to pursue with your research including the expected time frame for completing the study. A brief background, such as preparation and motivation for the research, should also be part of your proposal. References of published efforts may be used to improve the proposal.

Security Check

ARL operations take place on secure installations and on carefully protected computer networks. While you will not be performing, or privy to, any classified research or networks at ARL and will not receive a security clearance, you will not even be allowed unescorted on the installations or allowed on the computer networks until a National Agency Check is completed on you. Since a National Agency Check can take several months, your advisor will send you the necessary forms to complete before your arrival if possible. Please, complete the forms and return to your advisor as soon as possible.

When you arrive at an ARL installation, be sure to have government-issued identification and the name, phone number, and exact location of your advisor. (Some of these places are big locations and the guards won’t know your advisor.) Expect your car to be searched. You will not be allowed to bring weapons, cameras, recorders, and cell phones with photo/video capability on the installations. Check with your advisor if you want to bring in a computer.

Selection of Participants

Fellows are selected based on their overall qualifications and technical proposal addressing specific needs defined by ARL. Selected participants will work in a unique Army laboratory environment, while interacting with senior ARL scientists and engineers. ORAU will hold reviews of applicants to the Fellowship Program on a continual basis. Fellowships are awarded for one year and may be renewed with high quality research efforts underway. Renewal for a second and third year is based upon recommendation of the advisor and availability of laboratory funds. Both must be available to extend the fellowship. Applicants are advised to plan their research programs to conform to a one-year appointment cycle.

Equal Opportunity

In accordance with federal statutes and regulations and Army policies, no person on the grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin or disability shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under, any program or activity receiving financial assistance from the U. S. Army.


Applications are accepted throughout the year for journeyman, postdoctoral and senior fellows. Summer program and short-term fellowship deadlines are listed in the project description.


The Fellow is encouraged to publish in the open literature. Credit will be given to the ARL for publications resulting from research conducted as defined in the offer letter and Terms of Appointment. ORAU Fellows will conform to the review procedures of ARL for all material for presentation or publication. See more in Terms of Appointment.

Obligation to the Government

An ARL Research Associate Program Fellow does not incur any formal obligation to the government of the United States. However, the objectives of this program will be best served if the Fellow pursues research in disciplines meeting the continuing needs of Army technology. Fellows must devote their time to the approved research program and must be an ARL approved location during the entire period of the award. To keep the focus on your research, no additional monetary aid may be accepted from another government-funded fellowship award.

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