NNEMS Quick Finder
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Frequently Asked Questions
The deadline for applying to the 2011 program was March 4, 2011. Details and program materials are provided for reference purposes.
NNEMS Catalog for 2011
[PDF, 3.0 MB, 90 pages]
NNEMS Application Materials
[PDF, 1 MB, 17 pages]
For additional information, e-mail the NNEMS Fellowship Program.
Questions About a Project?
If you would like additional information about or clarification of a specific project, please complete and submit the project-specific questions form.
To view answers to questions submitted by other applicants or updated information about the projects, click here.
Listed below are the questions asked by applicants to the NNEMS program in previous years, as well as by students who received fellowship awards.
Complete details about the NNEMS program are provided in the NNEMS Catalog for 2011 which can be downloaded from the Program Materials page. A summary of the application process is available on the How to Apply page.
I am interested in applying for a NNEMS fellowship, but I do not have a NNEMS Program Coordinator at my school. May I apply?
Yes, any eligible student may apply for a NNEMS fellowship, regardless of whether or not there is a NNEMS Program Coordinator at his or her university.
I am graduating in May 2011 and will be taking a year off before attending graduate school in the Fall of 2012. Am I eligible to apply for a fellowship scheduled to take place during the Summer of 2011?
No, only students who are currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate school at the time of fellowship award are eligible.
I am interested in the NNEMS Fellowship Program, but no projects are being offered this year in the state in which I live. May I apply for projects outside my home state?
Yes, you may apply for fellowships located outside your home state, but EPA will not provide funding to cover transportation and housing costs.
Is the NNEMS program open to international students who attend U.S. universities or colleges?
No. The NNEMS program is only available for students who are citizens of the U.S., its territories or possessions, or who are lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residency.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services defines lawful permanent residency as any person not a citizen of the United States who is residing in the United States under legally
recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant, also known as "Permanent Resident Alien," "Resident Alien Permit Holder," and "Green Card Holder." A lawful
permanent resident must provide his or her Green Card number on his or her application.
I am an American citizen currently enrolled as a full-time graduate student at Cambridge University. Are American students pursuing graduate-level studies in the area of environmental management/environmental protection at Cambridge University eligible to apply for the NNEMS Fellowship Program?
Yes. You are eligible to apply for a NNEMS fellowship because you are a U.S. citizen, Cambridge University is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a fully accredited academic institution, and you are enrolled in an academic program directly related to pollution control or environmental protection.
Are high school students eligible for the NNEMS Fellowship Program?
No, only undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for NNEMS fellowships.
Do the project descriptions offered in the NNEMS Catalog remain the same each year, or are new projects offered each year?
The number and types of projects change each year depending on EPA's departmental and program issues and priorities, as well as funding available for the fellowships.
Do applications have to be received or postmarked by the date of the deadline?
The application packets must be postmarked on or before the date of the deadline. The deadline to apply for the 2011 program is March 4, 2011.
May my academic advisor mail the NNEMS Reference Form required for the NNEMS application under separate cover, or must the reference be included in the original application packet?
We prefer that the Reference Form be included in the application package, but your advisor may send the letter directly to the NNEMS Fellowship Program. However, please be sure to note on your application packet that the letter will be coming under separate cover. In addition, the letter must be postmarked by the deadline and be clearly marked to correspond with your application.
If I request an original, sealed transcript, may I break the seal to make copies of the transcript as required?
Yes. If you receive one original transcript from your university’s records office, you may open the sealed envelope to make photocopies. Please include the envelope that contained the original transcript in the application package and note that it was opened to make the photocopies.
I am interested in applying for a NNEMS fellowship and would like to apply for multiple projects. Do I need to submit original transcripts for each of the projects?
You must submit an original transcript and two copies of your transcripts for at least one of the projects for which you are applying. You are permitted to include copies of your transcript for other projects for which you are applying. See the section, How to Apply, on page 5 of the NNEMS Catalog for 2011 [PDF, 3.0 MB, 90 pages, about PDF] for detailed instructions on applying for a fellowship.
If I apply for more than one project, should each application be mailed separately?
No. All applications may be sent within the same package.
I have been selected for one of the projects for which I submitted an application, but have decided to decline the offer. Would I be penalized for the other project or projects for which I applied?
No, you would not be penalized for declining a fellowship offer. The criteria for evaluating and selecting NNEMS fellows are based on determining who is the most qualified candidate who will meet the needs of the specific project.
How will I know if my NNEMS application(s) has been received?
Students whose applications are received with a postmark on or before March 4, 2011 will receive an e-mail at the e-mail address identified in the "Current E-mail" and/or "Permanent E-mail" fields found on page 1 of the NNEMS Application Form. If you do not receive a confirmation of application receipt within 30 calendar days of the application deadline, please visit EPA’s NNEMS Web site and click on the link to send an e-mail to the NNEMS Fellowship Program.
When do we find out whether we were selected for the NNEMS Program?
Most candidates are notified of their acceptance in April or May. Students who are not awarded fellowships are typically notified in late April or early May, or within 15 calendar days after a decision of non-selection.
I just started work on my project. When can I expect my first stipend check?
You should get your first check within 4 to 6 weeks after returning the signed Fellowship Agreement and the signed Fellowship Activation Notice to the Grants and Interagency Agreement Management Division (GIAMD) (see Procedures to Initiate and Complete a Fellowship on pages 10 and 11 of the NNEMS Catalog for 2011 [PDF, 3.0 MB, 90 pages, about PDF]). The Fellowship Agreement should be signed and returned immediately upon receipt, and the Fellowship Activation Notice should be signed by your EPA project officer and submitted to GIAMD on your first day of work.
I have been receiving my stipend checks monthly, but I've noticed that no taxes are being deducted. Are fellowships taxable?
Yes. While EPA does not withhold any taxes, nor generate an IRS Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, the stipend amount is taxable. Students must maintain a record of their stipend amount and file their own taxes. According to the latest IRS rules, portions of the stipend may be tax exempt. Tax-exempt funds include, for example, the portion of money sent directly to a student’s school for tuition and supplies. These funds do not have to be reported to the IRS. The IRS recommends that students pay quarterly taxes on large stipend amounts to minimize the potential for a penalty at the end of the year. Appendix C of the NNEMS Catalog for 2011 [PDF, 3.0 MB, 90 pages, about PDF] provides information about filing taxes on the fellowship award. Please contact the IRS for any further information related to the filing of taxes on a fellowship grant.
My project report has been finalized, and I’ve given a copy to my project officer and the NNEMS staff. May I copyright the report or have it published in a periodical?
Yes. Because NNEMS students are grantees, you have copyright authority without having to seek the approval of the federal government as discussed in 40 CFR, Subchapter B — Grants and Other Federal Assistance, Part 30, Subpart C — Post Award Requirements, 30.36. Please consult the CFR for limitations and exceptions to this authority.
What if a project description is described minimally? How can I develop my Proposed Research Plan in response?
If you would like additional information about or clarification of a specifc project, please complete and submit the project-specific questions form. A response to your question will be provided by email as soon as possible.