1. What happened to The Whitaker Foundation and its website?

    A: In July 2006, The Whitaker Foundation ceased operations. One of its final acts was creating the Whitaker International Fellows and Scholars Program, to be administered by the Institute of International Education. IIE inherited the use of the website “whitaker.org” for use with the Whitaker International Fellows and Scholars Program.

    The Whitaker International Program will continue to exist for several years, and should be considered as a meaningful source of funding for biomedical engineers and bioengineers.

  2. What does the typical Fellowship/Scholarship experience look like?

    A: The experiences of grantees can, and will, vary. The Fellowship/Scholarship can be anything from studying at a university, to conducting research at a research institute, to working as an intern at a policy-making organization. Our only requirement is that the activity leads to a substantial enhancement of the recipient’s professional experience in biomedical engineering.

  3. Can I do research abroad without a host affiliation?

    A: No. All grantees must have a host country affiliation. Types of affiliations can vary, and may include universities, laboratories, policy-making organizations, and others.

  4. Who should I choose to be my host institution?

    A: Any international institution that offers an outstanding professional experience in biomedical engineering may serve as a host institution. It is your responsibility to select the host affiliation.

  5. Does IIE or the Whitaker Program assist me in finding a host country and/or placement institutions?

    A: No. All applicants need to determine their own host country and host affiliation.

  6. How can I find a host institution and/or program?

    A: Talk to your adviser, dean, other faculty or foreign students at your home or nearby institutions. Search online as well. The Whitaker Program’s Resources page includes a sample of programs offering biomedical engineering abroad.

  7. I found a host affiliation. Now what?

    A: The Whitaker Program requires a letter of support from the host affiliation as part of the application process. These must be hard-copy letters – no faxes or emails will be accepted (it should be sent along with your hard-copy application).

  8. Can non-U.S. citizens apply?

    A: Non-citizens may apply as long as they are legal permanent U.S. residents.

  9. I have graduated. Do I still need the Dean/Chair’s nomination letter?

    A: Yes. You should get the nomination from the institution where you received your most recent degree.

  10. Should I propose a research budget?

    A: No. Research equipment/expenses are not covered. The grants will cover cost-of-living expenses (housing, food, transportation, etc.), costs for international travel, health insurance and tuition (if applicable).

  11. How much money can I expect? How are grant amounts determined?

    A: Grant amounts are determined based on cost-of-living in the proposed host country, expected travel expenses, and tuition fees (up to a pre-determined limit).

  12. I do not currently have a biomedical engineering degree, but want to do one in the near future. Can pursuing/earning my first degree in biomedical engineering from an international program be my project?

    A: Generally, no. Those who went to universities which offered biomedical engineering (or its equivalent) as a degree option may not. However, if you went to a university that does not offer biomedical engineering as an option, and you demonstrated a commitment to the field through your coursework and other experience, pursuing advanced studies in BME may be an eligible project.

  13. May I take dependents with me on the grant?

    A: You may take dependents, but the Whitaker Program provides no additional funding for them. In addition, you will need to arrange for health insurance, visas and international travel for your dependents at your own expense.

  14. I do not speak the language of the country in which I wish to do my project. What do I do?

    A: You should have appropriate language skills to successfully complete the project that you propose. If your project does not require knowledge of the host country’s language then we recommend that you obtain survival/hospitality level skills in the language before beginning the grant to aid you in the settling-in process.

  15. Why do I need to register to fill out the application?

    A: The registration is to help make your application process easier. You can save, logout, and re-enter the application at any time from any computer.

  16. One of my essays runs long in the PDF DRAFT printout. Is this okay?

    A: No. We allow you to see your entire essay, but you may not submit it this way. All essays must follow page length requirements, so you will need to edit the essay accordingly.

  17. When I print the PDF of my (draft or finalized) application, it comes out small. What do I do?

    A: 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.
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