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2018 VEF 2.0 Program Announcement



2018 VEF 2.0 Program



Applications will be available online at the VEF 2.0 Program website: www.vef2.org

From 10:00 a.m., February 15, 2017

To 10:00 a.m., June 15, 2017 (Vietnam time zone)


The VEF 2.0 Program is developed on the success of the Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF) (www.vef.gov) Fellowship Program – a program created by the U.S. Congress from 2003-2016 to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the United States and Vietnam through educational exchange activities. During its 14 years of operation, the VEF Fellowship Program has successfully built a bridge between Vietnam and the United States and has established a process that enables young, talented Vietnamese students to get admission to study at top U.S. universities.

Conducted by VEF Alumni who graduated from leading U.S. universities and sponsored by the Vietnam Foundation (http://www.vnfoundation.org), the VEF 2.0 Program inherits and leverages the rigorous interview and selection of VEF to support outstanding Vietnamese students in the fields of science and technology to apply to leading graduate schools in the United States.

The VEF 2.0 Program application and selection process is open, competitive, and transparent. Winners are chosen based on individual merit, including academic performance and preparation, intellectual capability, English proficiency, and the potential for contribution to the development of science and technology in Vietnam as well as the bilateral relationship between Vietnam and the United States.

Please note that only online applications submitted at www.vef2.org will be accepted.


  1. VIETNAMESE by citizenship
  2. College graduate or undergraduate who will receive at least a Bachelor’s degree no later than August 1, 2018 in an eligible field of study (see item 6 below).
  3. GPA. Overall Grade Point Average (GPA) from a college or university of at least 7.0/10.0. Grades on other scales must be converted into a 10-point scale. A grade conversion scale is available at: http://vef2.org/file.axd?file=/GPA%20conversion%20table.pdf.
  4. English Language Proficiency. The applicant must demonstrate sufficient English language proficiency by submitting a TOEFL score of at least 80 on the Internet-Based Test (iBT) or an IELTS score of at least 6.5. A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from an English-speaking country is accepted as an equivalent.
  5. GRE (Graduate Record Examination). All applicants must submit scores of the GRE General Test taken no earlier than June 15, 2012.
  6. Field of Study. Applicants must intend to study a field in science, technologyengineering, mathematics, and medicine (such as public health, biomedical epidemiology, and immunology).


  1. The VEF 2.0 Program provides letters of recommendation from prominent U.S. professors and VEF Alumni who have Ph.D. degrees from leading U.S. universities.
  2. The VEF 2.0 Program offers regular online advising meetings and a broad network of VEF Alumni and Fellows who are studying at U.S. universities and can serve as mentors to support applicants during the application process.
  3. The VEF 2.0 Program will organize a Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO), tentatively in June/July 2018, before the Fellows depart for the United States. The PDO prepares them with important issues regarding academic matters, cultural differences, financial arrangements, as well as legal issues. Included in the PDO is an outdoor team-building event, which may involve one day of camping.
  4. The VEF 2.0 Program has no requirements regarding visa or future work commitment. The Fellows will study in the U.S. under the F-1 visa granted by their prospective university.
  5. The winners of the program (VEF 2.0 Fellows) will join the existing network of VEF Fellows and Scholars, a growing network of researchers and professionals studying/graduated from leading graduate programs in science and technology in the U.S.


Applicants are evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Superior academic and research potential, demonstrated through GPA, awards, theses, and research publications.
  2. Demonstrated satisfactory GRE scores and English skills, in terms of TOEFL/IELTS score and communications, to be able to succeed at a U.S. graduate institution.
  3. Demonstrated leadership and potential contribution to the development of science and technology in Vietnam.


To prepare for the VEF 2.0 Program online application, applicants must have the following information and documents ready:

1. DEGREE CERTIFICATES AND TRANSCRIPTS. Applicants are required to provide degree certificates and transcripts from undergraduate studies and from graduate studies, if any, translated into English with an official notarization or with an official school stamp. Those who have not yet graduated must upload a certification from their current university.

2. EVIDENCE OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY.  Any of the following means is acceptable to demonstrate proficiency:

  • A TOEFL score of at least 80 on the internet-Based Test taken no earlier than June 15, 2015.
  • minimum score of 6.5 on an IELTS exam taken no earlier than June 15, 2015.
  • Degree from an English-speaking country. The applicant must demonstrate current enrollment or certificate of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree received no earlier than June 15, 2015, from a university in an English-speaking country. Please be aware that U.S. universities may still require an official International TOEFL score.

3. GRE SCORE REPORT. All applicants must submit scores from the GRE General Test, of at least 290, taken no earlier than June 15, 2012.

4. RESUME. Each applicant must upload a resume (of no more than 400 words in one page), which is a summary of his/her education background, work/research experience, publications, skills, and accomplishments.

5. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE. Each applicant must prepare a Statement of Purpose (no more than 400 words), which is an essay that shows his/her academic potential and enthusiasm for graduate studies, as well as leadership potential for the development of science and technology in Vietnam.

6. TWO LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION. Two letters of recommendation must be provided by professors under whom the applicant has studied or undertaken research or by work supervisors. Letters must be written in English on official letterhead and must be signed by the referee.

7. U.S. UNIVERSITIES. Applicants must list at least 3 U.S. universities together with the relevant departments, including 2 professors with whom they would like to study at each university, and the reason why the particular advisors or professors were selected.

8. OTHER SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS. Applicants can submit any other supporting documents to strengthen their application.


Only the applicants who meet the minimum eligibility requirements will be considered for the First-Round Interview, which will be conducted by Vietnamese professors and professionals, most of whom are VEF Alumni with Ph.D. degrees from leading U.S. universities, in late July 2017. The interviews will be mostly face-to-face, conducted in English for up to 60 minutes in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. The most qualified candidates will receive letters of recommendation from the interviewers, and proceed to the Final Interview with U.S. professors.


The Final Interview with prominent U.S. professors will be organized in August and September 2017, mostly conducted online. The best candidates who are deemed able to successfully apply for graduate programs at U.S. universities will receive the letters of recommendation from the interviewing U.S. professors.


In the fall of 2017, the VEF 2.0 Program will help the successful candidates to apply to U.S. universities through a university application orientation, together with regular advising sessions. The candidates will also receive the continuous support and mentoring from the network of VEF Fellows and Scholars who studied or are studying at leading U.S. universities. In late March – early April 2018, applicants will inform the VEF 2.0 Program of their admission results.

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Note: The above information is provided as a guideline and is the intended time-line of activities for the selection process of the 2018 VEF 2.0 Program. We reserve the right to make changes as circumstances require. Any changes will be posted on the official website of the program at www.vef2.org or sent by emails to the applicants.

If you have any questions regarding the 2018 VEF 2.0 Program application and selection process, please email to 2018@vef2.org.

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