Summer Grants - FAQ


1. Can non-U.S. citizens apply?
Non-citizens may apply as long as they are legal permanent U.S. residents.

2. Are non-Biomedical Engineering (BME) majors eligible to apply?
Yes, if you are in a closely-related field and your project and future career-goals are BME -related.  You must have enough BME background to carry out the proposed grant project.

3. I already have a MS. degree but am not enrolled in a PhD program.  Am I eligible to apply?
Yes, as long as your MS degree was received within the past 3 years.

4. I applied for a Whitaker Summer grant previously and was not selected.  Can I apply again?
Yes, as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements.

5. When will I be notified if I receive a grant?
By early to mid- April.

6. When can I start my grant?
June 1 at the earliest and July 1 at the latest.  Your grant must end by August 31.

7. Can I do research abroad without a host affiliation?
No. All grantees must have a host country affiliation. Affiliations vary, and can include universities, laboratories, policy-making organizations, and others.

8. Who should I choose to be my host institution?
Ideally, your host affiliation should complement or aid in your existing BME work,  but any international institution that offers an outstanding professional experience in biomedical engineering can serve as a host institution. It is your responsibility to obtain the host affiliation.

9. Can the Whitaker Program assist me in finding a host country and/or placement institution?
All applicants need to determine their own host country and host affiliation.  However, we can provide you with contact information of past or current grantee affiliations, and potential affiliations who have indicated their willingness to host Whitaker grantees. Also, talk to your adviser, dean, other faculty or foreign students at your home or nearby institutions. Search online, as well.

10. I found a host affiliation. Now what?
The Whitaker Program requires a letter of support from the host affiliation as part of the application process. It should be a substantive letter, delineating what the host expects that you will be doing at their institution, and the level of support that they will provide to help make your experience professionally rewarding and developmental. These must be signed, hard-copy letters on letterhead – no faxes or emails will be accepted.

11. How much money can I expect? How are grant amounts determined?
Grant amounts are determined based on cost-of-living in the proposed host country, expected travel expenses; a flat summer stipend amount of $5,000 is also included. 

12. Can I defer my grant until the following summer?

13. One of my essays runs long in the PDF DRAFT printout. Is this okay?
No. We allow you to see your entire essay so that you can assure that it meets the stated length limitations.

14. When I print the PDF of my (draft or finalized) application, it comes out small. What do I do?
Some versions of Adobe Reader automatically auto-shrink PDF pages to fit within standard borders. To correct this: in the print dialogue box, select "None" in the "Page Scaling" box. The application should print correctly.   Note, this is strictly for your reference as you are not required to submit a hard copy of the application.

15.  Am I eligible for a Whitaker Scholar grant if I receive a Summer grant?
Yes, as long as you have your PhD at the time of your grant start date.