Applications will be available online at the VEF 2.0 Program website: 

From 10:00 a.m., January 30, 2021

To 10:00 a.m., June 30, 2021 (Vietnam time zone)


The VEF 2.0 Program is derived from the highly successful Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF) 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 be admitted to study at leading U.S. universities.

Administered by VEF Alumni, the VEF 2.0 Program inherits and leverages the rigorous interview and selection process 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 list of Cohort 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 is available at:

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 enhancing the bilateral relationship between Vietnam and the United States.


  1. VIETNAMESE by citizenship
  1. College graduate or undergraduate who will receive at least a Bachelor’s degree no later than August 1, 2022 in an eligible field of study (see item 6, section D below).
  1. 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:
  1. English Language Proficiency The applicant must demonstrate sufficient English language proficiency by submitting a valid TOEFL score on the Internet-Based Test (iBT) or an IELTS score. A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from an English-speaking country is accepted as an equivalent.
  1. GRE. (Graduate Record Examination) If required, applicants will need to submit scores of the GRE General Test taken no earlier than June 30, 2016. Applicants who find that they don’t need to take the GRE test should send an email to In order to better support the applicants, the VEF 2.0 Program will organize an institutional test (Quantitative and Verbal components only), tentatively in mid-May and early July 2021. Further details are available in the application form and will be sent by email to registered applicants.
  1. Field of Study Applicants must intend to study a field in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (such as public health, biomedical science, epidemiology, and immunology).


  1. 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.
  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.
  1. The VEF 2.0 Program offers regular offline and 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.
  1. The VEF 2.0 Program offers support with part of application fees to U.S. universities and provide visa supporting letters for the winners of the program (VEF 2.0 Fellows).
  1. The VEF 2.0 Program will organize a 4-day Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) for VEF 2.0 Fellows, tentatively in the first week of June 2022. The PDO prepares them with important information regarding academic matters, cultural differences, financial arrangements, as well as legal matters. Included in the PDO is an outdoor team-building event which is a great opportunity for the Fellows to get to know each other and create strong bonding.
  1. The VEF 2.0 Fellows will be invited to the Annual Conference of the Vietnamese Scientists and Engineers Network in the United States and the Annual VEF Alumni Meeting in Vietnam so they can connect and develop their networks. They will also become members of the existing community of more than 700 VEF Fellows and Scholars, a growing global network of researchers and professionals who are studying or graduated from leading graduate programs in science and technology in the United States and working at highly-regarded institutions in Vietnam, the United States, and other countries in the world.


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 English skills, in terms of TOEFL/IELTS score and communications, and GRE scores (if required), to enable them 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, 2019. (due to the COVID-19 pandemic, expired scores are also accepted and applicants will be asked to provide updated score later)
  • A minimum score of 6.5 on an IELTS exam taken no earlier than June 15, 2019. (due to the COVID-19 pandemic, expired scores are also accepted and applicants will be asked to provide updated score later)
  • 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, 2019, 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. Applicants can choose to submit scores from the GRE General Test through ETS, of at least 290, taken no earlier than June 15, 2016 (due to the COVID-19 pandemic, expired scores are also accepted and applicants will be asked to provide updated score later) or scores from the Institutional Test organized by the VEF 2.0 Program, of at least 300. Applicants who find that they are not required to have GRE scores should contact the VEF 2.0 Program via email Further details on GRE scores is available in the online application form.

    4. CV. Each applicant must upload a CV (of no more than 800 words in two pages), which is a summary of his/her educational background, work/research experience, publications, skills, and accomplishments.

    5. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE. Each applicant must prepare a Statement of Purpose (no more than 1,200 words), which is an essay that shows his/her academic potential and enthusiasm for graduate studies.

    6. LETTER(S) OF RECOMMENDATION. At least 1 and at most 2 (optional) letters of recommendation must be provided by professors or advisors 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. Applicants can choose to upload the letters to the online application form or request referees to send the letters directly to

    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 VEF Alumni in July and August 2021. The interviews will be conducted in English, either online or face-to-face in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, for up to 60 minutes. 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 September and October 2021, mostly conducted online. The best candidates who are deemed able to successfully apply for graduate programs at U.S. universities will receive letters of recommendation from the interviewing U.S. professors.


In the fall of 2021, 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 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 2022, 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 timeline of activities for the selection process for the 2022 Program. We reserve the right to make changes as circumstances require. Any changes will be posted on the official website of the program at or sent by emails to the applicants.
If you have any questions regarding the 2022 VEF 2.0 Program application and selection process, please email to