Opportunities for Presidential Management Fellows (PMFs)

Opportunities for PMFs

Apply to a Pathways Position

The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program is a flagship leadership development program. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has participated in the PMF program since 1985.

For more than three decades, the Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF) has been the federal government’s premier leadership development program for advanced degree candidates. The Program focuses on developing a cadre of potential government leaders. Under the regulations proposed by OPM, the eligibility window for applicants is expanded, making the program more “student friendly” by aligning it with academic calendars.

Become a PMF

The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program is administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Each year, candidates apply for the prestigious title of PMF Finalists. Selected Finalists are eligible for appointment as Fellows.

To become a PMF, you must participate in an arduous, multi-phase process. It takes patience and endurance, but also gives you a chance to demonstrate your leadership ability and potential. As a PMF, you will have earned your place in the Program, and the opportunity to grow professionally, serve your country, and make a difference!

The very first step in successfully becoming a PMF is paying attention to the details of the annual application and assessment process. Once the application period opens, it will appear on USAJOBS (www.usajobs.gov). The application is typically open for two weeks and closes at 11:59 PM (Eastern Standard Time) on the last day.

Eligibility Requirements

If you will meet all advanced degree requirements (even though you have not necessarily graduated), including the completion or successful defense of any required thesis or dissertation, you are eligible to apply. Eligibility is based on completion of degree requirements by August 31st of the following year of the annual application.

– OR –

If you have completed an advanced degree from a qualifying college or university during the previous two years from the opening date of the PMF Program’s annual application announcement, you are eligible to apply. Advanced Degree means a professional or graduate degree (e.g., master’s, Ph.D., J.D.).

NOTE: Individuals who previously applied for the program, but were not selected as a Finalist, may reapply if they meet eligibility requirements. Current Finalists who have not obtained a PMF appointment may apply for the next PMF application; however, they will forfeit their status as a current Finalist upon accessing the on-line assessment. Applicants who are in the process of completing their advanced degree are strongly encouraged to determine whether or not they will complete all degree requirements by the August 31 deadline. There is no regulatory provision to allow the PMF Program Office to waive or defer a Finalists’ appointment eligibility if he/she does not complete degree requirements. Completing degree requirements includes the successful completion/defense of any thesis/dissertation, which includes any deadlines or findings of the school’s review.

Application and Selection Process

The PMF Program accepts applications annually. Applying to the Program is only the first step in becoming a PMF. During the application process, you must take an on-line assessment, submit a resume and transcript, and complete the on-line essays. Applicants will be further evaluated for selection as Semi-Finalists and invited to participate in the in-person assessment. Top performing Semi-Finalists will be named as Finalists. Finalists are eligible for appointment as a Fellow with a participating agency.

On-line Assessment: Applicants take an un-timed and un-proctored on-line assessment during the application process. The on-line assessment consists of three parts: Situational Judgment Test, Questionnaire, and Essay Questions. This assessment provides a screening process on job-related criteria and allows us to identify Semi-Finalists to participate in the in-person assessment.

In-Person Assessment: Those selected as Semi-Finalists will be invited to participate in the in-person assessment process at their expense. The PMF Program Office does not subsidize travel or offer alternate means (e.g., video conferencing) for this assessment. All Semi-Finalists must physically and fully participate in this assessment, as scheduled, for further consideration. Semi-Finalists will receive an email containing a unique link to schedule their individual in-person assessment. Semi-Finalists should not share their invitational email with anyone. All Semi-Finalists must follow the instructions provided in their invitational email, including any deadlines identified. Semi-Finalists are able to self-reschedule during the registration period.

Selection: Once a Semi-Finalist is deemed a Finalist, a government-wide job fair will be held in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Agencies are allowed to select finalists at the job fair or via a vacancy announcement that will be posted in the Talent Acquisition System (TAS).

Compensation and Benefits

While the government uses at least six different pay scales, the majority of Civil Service employees are paid using the GS (General Schedule) pay scale. The General Service pay scale for Civil Service employees features 15 pay grades, GS-1 (lowest) – GS-15 (highest) with 10 steps within each grade. You can visit the GS pay scale.

NIH PMFs begin their appointments as a GS-09 or GS-11.

You can review our benefits.