Call For Proposals
Whitaker International Program's
Concluding Initiative #2


The Whitaker Foundation closed in 2006 after supporting the development of biomedical engineering in the United States for 30 years. Most of the effort had been directed toward the establishment and enhancement of formal education programs, and the support of especially talented students and faculty. Recognizing that scientific and technological endeavors were becoming increasingly international, the Foundation decided to facilitate the development of biomedical engineers with international experience and expertise.

To serve this objective, The Whitaker International Fellows and Scholar program was initiated in 2005 by a 15-year endowment to the Institute of International Education. The program has enabled 198 young biomedical engineers to spend one or two years overseas studying, doing research, and participating in collaborative projects. In accordance with the original plan, the last group of grantees received support through 2018. To further promote achieving the overall program objective, in 2018 several grantees received funding to pursue initiatives of their own design. This set of activities, now designated as Concluding Initiative #1, will end at the end of 2020.

The Steering Committee of the program has authorized a final competition, designated as Concluding Initiative #2, to further enhance the legacy of the program. The approximately $550,000 remaining from the original endowment will be dedicated to Concluding Initiative #2. This announcement solicits applications for the competition.



Concluding Initiative #2 will fund applications to propose, organize, and carry out activities in accordance with the Foundation’s original objective: developing U.S. leaders in the profession of biomedical engineering who are not only superb engineers and scientists, but who will effectively serve and lead the profession with an international outlook.

Designing the activity to serve the program objective is left to the interest, creativity, and leadership of the applicant(s). Applicants should be students or employees at U.S. organizations such as universities, foundations, and government.


Some Criteria for Grant Approval
  • It must be convincingly explained how the proposed activity would serve the program’s stated objective. Lasting effects are expected.
  • The initiative should reach beyond extending current activity. Novel, imaginative, ambitious, and collaborative approaches are encouraged.
  • International collaboration is encouraged; there should be letters or other evidence of support from any international partners(s).
  • There must be a clear and credible description of how the initiative will be administered to ensure that activities are indeed directed toward achieving the proposed goals.
  • The proposed budget should be commensurate with the expected impact. Both merit and cost will be considered.
  • The applicant(s) must have demonstrated significant and convincing commitment to bioengineering or biomedical engineering. For the purposes of this initiative, the two terms here are used interchangeably.
  • The proposed activity should be completed before the end of 2022.


Application details
  • Questions should be addressed to Cassandra Many (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). She may suggest that the applicant(s) reach out and contact a member of the Steering Committee to discuss ideas.
  • Proposals should be limited to three pages for the description of the planned activity, two pages for the budget, one page for any supporting letter, one paper per international partner, and one page of condensed CV for each leader of the proposed activity.
  • Applications should be submitted electronically by July 1 to Cassandra Many (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). The evaluation process may include requesting answers to specific questions or even a site visit.
  • There is no specific limit on the amount of funds that may be requested, but applicants should recognize that the total amount expected to be available is about $550,000. The number of applications to be funded is not predetermined.
  • A maximum 10% of direct costs is allowed for overhead expenses.
  • Decisions about awards will be made by the Steering Committee. Results should be announced by Sept 1, 2019.
  • An initial payment, partial or full, will be made by Oct 1, 2019. If a full payment is not made then, a progress report may be requested before the rest of the grant is paid. Payments cannot be made after December 31, 2020.


  • Q: What type of oversight does IIE expect to engage in?
    • Oversight, with the help of the Steering Committee, is expected to be active through November 1, 2020. From the beginning of the grant through this date, major changes to the program with a budgetary impact greater than $50,000 should be communicated to IIE. Following November 1, 2020, grantees and their institutions are responsible for providing oversight.
  • Q: Are there reporting requirements during the lifespan of the grant?
    • When awarding each grant, any reporting requirement for continued support will be specified. Submission of a final report is not required, but the grantees must agree to make an effort to appropriately publish and/or publicize their accomplishments.
  • Q: What sort of agreement would recipients need to sign?
    • The recipients need to sign an agreement that they would pursue the proposed initiative to their best abilities following the receipt of funding from the IIE.
    • To foster meeting the program objectives, the recipients should agree to publish and/or publicize accomplishments at the conclusion of their initiative.