(for those who plan to apply for and start their PhD program in fall 2023) 


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

(Link expired as deadline passed)

From 10:00 a.m., July 1, 2021

To 10:00 a.m., August 25, 2021 (Vietnam time zone)

The VEF 2.0 Program is developed on the success of the 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 get admission to study at top U.S. universities.

Conducted by VEF Alumni and VEF 2.0 Fellows who are studying at leading U.S. universities, the 2021-2022 Mentoring Program aims to support undergraduate Vietnamese students who are in their junior years (year 3 or 4) and those who plan to apply for and start their PhD program in the US in fall 2023. Selected mentees are expected to go through a mentoring, advising, and training process that lasts about 1 year before their applications to US universities.

The Mentoring 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 the next generation of Vietnamese scientists and engineers.


  1. VIETNAMESE by citizenship
  1. College graduate or undergraduate who will receive at least a Bachelor’s degree no later than August 1, 2023 in an eligible field of study (see item 5 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 an evidence or score report (see item D. 2 below).
  1. Field of Study. For the first year of the Mentoring Program, the focus will be on specific fields of Computer Science, Applied Math, Statistics, Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering. Interested applicants in other STEM fields should contact in advance to enquire about availability in their fields.


  1. The mentees of the Mentoring Program will receive continuous advising and support from a broad network of VEF Alumni and Fellows through regular bi-weekly or monthly meetings.
  1. The Mentoring Program offers mentees with training sessions in scientific writing, CV, SOP writing, presentation and other essential skills.
  1. The Mentoring Program offers mentees with support for registration fees of the standardized tests required for their graduate school applications: TOEFL/IELTS and/or GRE.


Applicants are evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Superior academic and research potential, demonstrated through GPA, awards, and personal academic development plan or publications (if any).
  2. Strong independent learning ability with self-discipline and good self-management skills to follow the plan with minimal supervision.
  3. Demonstrated determination to acquire sufficient English and communications skills to be able to succeed at a U.S. graduate institution.
  4. Demonstrated leadership and potential contribution to the development of science and technology in Vietnam as well as the next generation of Vietnamese scientists and engineers.
  5. Priorities for the selection of mentees will be given in the following order: current undergraduate students in Vietnam, current undergraduate students at overseas universities, university graduates in Vietnam, university graduates from overseas universities.


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

1. TRANSCRIPTS. Applicants are required to provide transcripts from undergraduate studies, translated into English with an official notarization or with an official school stamp from their current university. Applicants who have graduated must upload a degree certificate or diploma from their university.

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

  • A TOEFL score of at least 60 on the internet-Based Test or a minimum score of 5.5 on an IELTS exam. 
  • Scores from a mock test conducted by a prestigious English language proficiency testing center in Vietnam are also accepted.
  • Transcript from an English-speaking country. The applicant must demonstrate current enrollment at a university in an English-speaking country.

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

4. PERSONAL ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN. Each applicant must prepare a personal academic development plan (no more than 2,000 words), that shows his/her academic potential, enthusiasm for graduate studies, and the plan to acquire knowledge and develop skills and especially conduct research to prepare for his/her US graduate school application.

5. LETTER(S) OF SUPPORT. At least one letter of support must be provided by professors or advisors under whom the applicant is studying or undertaking research or by work supervisors. The letters must be in line with and in support for the personal academic development plan of the applicant.

Letters can be written in either Vietnamese or 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

6. 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 interview which will be conducted in September 2021. The interviews will be conducted online and in English (preferably) or Vietnamese for up to 60 minutes. The most qualified candidates will be selected as mentees and proceed to work with their mentors.


Mentees of the 2021-2022 Mentoring Program are expected to apply for the 2023 VEF 2.0 Program in summer and fall 2022 and continue to receive support from the broad network of VEF Fellows and Scholars to finalize their applications before submitting to US universities in December 2022. In late March – early April 2023, mentees 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 for the 2021-2022 Mentoring 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 2021-2022 Mentoring Program application and selection process, please email to