Argonne National Laboratory

COOP FAQ

Application and Eligibility

Are non-U.S. citizens eligible?

Yes, however, if you receive an offer to participate, you must be able to obtain Curricular Practical Training (CPT) approval on your I-20 from your campus foreign student advisor and provide a copy to Argonne at least 10 days before you can begin working. 

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.

Is it a requirement that I 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.

Can I transfer my previous recommendations to my new application?

No, letters of recommendations cannot be transferred from previous applications.

Who should I get to write my letters of recommendation?

Letters of recommendation should be requested from individuals familiar with your academic achievements and your academic or professional accomplishments. College faculty members who teach science, technology, engineering or mathematics courses are the best references, but you may also ask lab assistants, teaching assistants or employers (if they are in a research setting).

Am I required to submit transcripts?

No, transcripts are not required

Can I get in touch with scientists in areas I've chosen? Is this advisable?

Yes. As you explore Argonne's websites, you may identify scientists, programs, or divisions you would like to contact. The more you know about a group, the better chance you have of making a choice appropriate to your interests and skills. HOWEVER, potential research advisors are NOT authorized to offer you an appointment. If you are selected, you must receive an official letter from Argonne Educational Programs.

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

No, it is your responsibility to ensure that your application is complete and received before the deadline.

Selection Process

How does the selection process work?

To be considered, an applicant must meet all eligibility criteria and have submitted an application comprising of 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 that all the required application materials have been provided. Applicants will then be subject to a merit review process and selection process. From the highly reviewed applications, research advisors select those applicants whose skill, knowledge, and research interests are best aligned with the research projects available to interns for the pending term. 

What are my chances of getting selected?

The chances of being selected depend on many factors: the number of applications submitted, the number of available opportunities 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 time period.

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

Students who are selected will be notified by e-mail. The e-mail will include the official offer package providing details of the project, salary, travel reimbursement (if applicable) and more.

If I don't get selected immediately, will my application be reviewed automatically for open positions as they become available or do I have to reapply?

Yes, your current application will continue to be reviewed for open positions for up to six months. You would then need to submit an updated application.

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

Argonne tries to match to the extent possible applicant's research interests with available research projects and research advisors, but this is not always possible. Please keep in mind that researchers read your applications carefully and look for students who they think would benefit from being in their lab.

Participation

Am I required to pass a drug test?

Yes. After you accept your offer, you will receive notification on the process of drug testing. The testing is paid for by Argonne. 

Please note: Use of Marijuana/Cannabis or its derivatives if prescribed is legal in some states in the United States and is legally used recreationally in some other countries. Having these drugs in your system is NOT legal at United States Federal Contractor sites such as Argonne National Laboratory.

Am I required to pass a background check?

Yes, you will be required to pass a background check before a start date of your appointment will be determined. 

Do I get any vacation during the appointment period?

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

How often will I receive payment?

Students are paid every two weeks. However, you will not receive your first payment until 4 weeks after the start of your appointment.