Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where would I be working?

ARL is headquartered in Adelphi, MD, and occupies major sites at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD; Research Triangle Park, NC; White Sands Missile Range, NM; and Orlando, FL.  Unique facilities at our primary sites provide scientists and engineers access to world-class research centers.  Opportunities currently exist at several of our major sites:

  • ADELPHI LABORATORY CENTER (ALC) is located approximately 10 miles north of the center of Washington, DC, and approximately 26 miles southwest of Baltimore, MD.  The center is within one mile of both I-495, also known as the Capital Beltway, and I-95.  ALC is located in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, MD. 
  • ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND (APG) is the Army’s oldest active proving ground established on October 20, 1917, six months after the United States entered World War I.  It remains one of the Army’s most active and diversified installations.  Situated at the head of the Chesapeake Bay, APG is surrounded by some of the best natural resources that Maryland has to offer.  Located along the I-95 corridor, APG is approximately 74 miles to Philadelphia, 71 miles to Washington DC, and 32 miles to Baltimore.
  • ORLANDO, FL, is the home of ARL’s Simulation and Training Technology Center.  It is located approximately 15 miles east of downtown Orlando, FL. 
  • WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE (WSMR) is located in the Tularosa Basin of south-central New Mexico. The headquarters area is 20 miles east of Las Cruces, NM, and 45 miles north of El Paso, TX. The range boundaries extend almost 100 miles north to south by 40 miles east to west. At almost 3,200 square miles, the range is the largest military installation in the country.

Q: Are there security requirements for working with ARL?

All personnel working at ARL must undergo a basic background check of his or her criminal and credit histories to ensure that they are “reliable, trustworthy, of good conduct and character, and loyal to the United States.” The length and depth of the background investigation will depend on the position’s requirements, as well as the type of security clearance if needed for a particular job, visiting scientist exchange, postdoctoral fellowship, or internship.  If selected for a position that requires a security clearance, the individual will be required to complete an SF 312 Nondisclosure Agreement in accordance with Executive Order 13526 as part of their responsibility to protect sensitive information. In order to help speed the process along, candidates should begin to gather relevant information now. The forms for background checks (SF-85: Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions) and (SF-86: Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions) are on the Office of Personnel Management's website and can be found at

For U.S. Citizens:  In addition to forms SF-85 and SF-86, a fingerprint card will need to be completed at the local Intel & Security Office.

For Non-U.S. Citizens: In addition to forms SF-85 and SF-86, the following is needed:

  • Fingerprint card must be completed.
  • Two forms of picture identification must be presented (one of which must be a valid Passport/VISA, or Resident Alien Card).

Q: I am a foreign visiting scientist, postdoc, graduate student, or intern. Can I work at ARL?


Non-U.S. citizen employees will be issued a Foreign National “V” Escort Required Badge as well as a Foreign National DoD Common Access Card (CAC).  This badge authorizes access to designated ARL Buildings/Rooms from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday only, except Federal holidays.  Access during other times and to other ARL facilities requires prior approval of the ARL Foreign Disclosure Officer (FDO).

  • The ARL badge will be prominently displayed on an exterior garment above the waist, with photo and/or markings visible from the front, at all times while inside restricted areas.
  • The ARL badge will need to be renewed every 30 days by visiting the Visitor Control Center and completing the necessary paperwork. The designated escort(s) are required to sign for the badge.
  • The ARL badge will not be worn outside of the ARL campus.  Badges will not be used for identification purposes outside of the ARL installation and facilities, and will not be used for private purposes, such as cashing checks.
  • The individual bearers shall be responsible for the care and safeguarding of badges issued to them. The loss of a security badge must be reported at once, in writing, to the Intelligence and Security Division, Access Control/Badging Office.
  • Visitors to ARL are subject to the restrictions used by federal law, statutes, Army, IMCOM, ALC regulations, policies and procedures, and this memorandum.
  • All other activities, meetings, or events at other locations within ARL, as well as access outside the core working hours, require an escort at all times.  Prior approval must be granted by the Foreign Disclosure Officer.


Foreign Nationals are welcome to ARL facilities but require prior approval or precoordination.  In order to enter the facilities, Foreign National visitors must complete the following:   

  • Unofficial Visit request Form             7-10 days prior to stay
  • Official Visit request Form                 30 days prior to stay

After completion of the ARL form, the request will be sent to the Foreign Disclosure Officer for approval.  Once approved the individual must provide 2 forms of identification to receive the Foreign National ARL Badge.

Entrance into ARL installation typically requires:

  • Entry onto ARL by any motor vehicle or other wheeled device, subjects the operator and occupants to a search of their person and vehicle by law enforcement authorities assigned to ARL as authorized by law.
  • No person will drive a privately owned vehicle on the installation without having on his/her person, a valid state driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance.  The owner of the vehicle is also responsible for ensuring that any other person operating his/her vehicle is properly licensed and carries a valid license on his/her person while operating the vehicle.
  • Entry will be admitted upon display of appropriate Common Access Card (CAC) or Civilian Identification Card and Civilian driver’s license.  Employees/Guest Researchers without a DoD ID will be stopped, their vehicle inspected, and instructed to obtain a temporary vehicle pass for that day.  ARL is working to establish identification cards/processes for collaborating partners.
  • Access for drivers will be at the main gate, where their vehicles may be inspected prior to entry.  Parking is authorized in any of the available lots.

Q: Will I still be able to publish my research if I work with ARL, or will my work be classified?

Much of the work conducted at ARL is basic or applied research that can be published in open literature unless it has been determined to be “classified.”  Generally speaking:

  • All publishable and releasable material prepared or jointly prepared by ARL employees must be reviewed and approved by the responsible supervisor; undergo a security classification, quality assurance and OPSEC review (ARL Form 1) and be approved for public release (Distribution A: Approved for public release) by the ARL Public Affairs Office.
  • All publishable and releasable material prepared by a contractor or a researcher under contract to the U.S. Government must be reviewed and approved, if required by the terms of the contract, by his or her Contracting Office Technical Representative; undergo a security classification, quality assurance and OPSEC review (ARL Form 1); and be approved for public release (Distribution A: Approved for public release) by the ARL Public Affairs Office.
  • ARL's Quality Assurance and OPSEC Review policy does not apply to basic research conducted by a visiting researcher that is not under contract with ARL as long as an ARL employee or qualified contractor is not a coauthor of such material. Authors or organizations not subject to mandatory reviews may submit their material to ARL to obtain advice on national security concerns.

Q: How will the creation and assignment of any intellectual property be handled?

Under the Bayh-Dole Act, the outside collaborator has first opportunity to file a patent for jointly created inventions. If that party decides that they don't want the "invention," they must notify ARL, and then ARL can decide if it would like to go forward and pursue patenting or other means of protecting the intellectual property.

Q: What are government “march-in” rights?

Government march-in rights are one of the most contentious provisions in the Bayh-Dole Act. This applies only when ARL funds the research. That is not the usual situation under Open Campus efforts. It allows the funding agency (ARL) to ignore the exclusivity of a patent awarded under the act and grant additional licenses to other "reasonable applicants."  This right is strictly limited and can only be used under very specific circumstances.  As of 2012, NO FEDERAL AGENCY has ever exercised these rights.

Q: Will any intellectual property (IP) that I bring to the collaboration be protected?

Any IP a non-Federal party brings to the collaboration MAY be protected.  The non-Federal party should clearly indicate the proprietary data or property that they are claiming ownership to.  ARL may or may not want to protect jointly made IP by filing a patent or other means. The non-Federal party has first election under Bayh-Dole and can file for patent protection. Under all circumstances, non-Federal IP disclosed to Federal employees during the collaboration results in a duty by the Federal employees not to disclose the information (plans, diagrams, etc.) to any non-party to the project.

Q: Does working with a DoD lab affect one’s ability to file for a patent?

NO.  Working at ARL does not affect your ability to file a patent; however, there will be additional paperwork requirements.  The non-Federal party MUST fill out a DD882 report of invention form. ARL would then make a rights determination. Normally the non-Federal party (either solely inventing or jointly with ARL personnel) will have the first opportunity to file for patent protection. The rights the Government will obtain will vary with the instrument (CRDA,

Cooperative Agreement, contract, etc.).

Q: What other regulations do I need to know about to work with ARL?

The specific regulations and policies that may apply to any person or group working with ARL will depend on what authority is being used to support the project and/or collaboration.  Details concerning the relationship, cost sharing (if applicable), protection of resulting IP, identification and protection of proprietary data, facility/equipment use, and security measures will need to be identified and defined in the implementing agreement.