Interested in a government career? Consider the Presidential Management Fellowship Program - STEM track

Kim Petrie
August 19, 2014

If you are interested in a management or administrative career with the US federal government, consider applying for the Presidential Management Fellowship program-STEM track.

The PMF program began in 1977 to help graduate students with advanced degrees in public policy or law transition to a career in the federal government. Over time, the program expanded to include more than just law and public policy, and in 2014, the PMF program began recruiting graduate students and postdocs in science, technology, engineering, and math through a new PMF-STEM track. Last year 91 applicants were selected as PMF-STEM finalists.

The PMF Program offers a two-year appointment with leadership development training and upon certification of completion, fellows are converted to permanent or term positions with a full salary and benefits package. For 2014, OPM piloted and recruited from 41 disciplines for their new PMF STEM track. The STEM disciplines include but are not limited to: Biology/Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Biostatistics, Chemistry, Epidemiology, Mathematics, Medicine, Microbiology, Neurosciences, Pharmacology, Population Biology, Public Health, and Statistics.

The application period for the 2015 PMF and PMF-STEM programs will be open from October 1-October 15, 2014. To be eligible for the 2015 PMF-STEM program, you must be planning to defend your thesis before August 31, 2015, or have completed your PhD degree within the last two years (defending on or after ~October 1, 2012). Most PMF program opportunities are open to US citizens; see the PMF program website for information pertaining to non-citizen applicants

The PMF website describes the application information and selection timeline. Applicants who make it through the initial computer test and in-person interviews in Washington DC become finalists in the PMF program; finalists are invited to a spring job fair where government agencies recruit PMF finalists for specific positions. 

In addition to the official PMF website, applicants to the PMF program may want to consult:

  • Path to PMF (for more guidance on applying to this prestigious program)
  • The NIH PMF FAQ (for more information on what PMF fellows might do at the NIH, specifically)
  • This FedSmith blog post about the PMF (for a plain language explanation of the benefits of the program)

If you have questions about the PMF program or application process, please contact Kim Petrie ( in the BRET Office of Career Development.