The Whitaker International Fellows and Scholars Program

Deadline: January, February
Website: Link
Disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Years: Senior, Graduate Student, Alumni

The Whitaker International Program is a competitive grant that sends emerging leaders in U.S. biomedical engineering/bioengineering overseas to undertake a self-designed project that will enhance their careers within the field.  The goal of the program is to assist the development of professional leaders who are not only superb scientists, but who also will advance the profession through an international outlook. Along with supporting grant projects in an academic setting, the Whitaker International Program encourages grantees to engage in policy work and propose projects in an industry setting

Whitaker International Program grants are awarded based on an activity/project proposal that is relevant to biomedical engineering. We hope to offer at least 50 Fellow and Scholar grants annually; only the highest-quality applicants are awarded. In the last competition cycle, more than 60 grants were awarded (including Fellows/Scholars and Summer awards), and we encourage all students/junior faculty who are considering a period of study or research abroad to apply.

Awards have included research in heart blood flow, pursuing a Master’s in Bioscience Enterprise, a policy project on investment in biomedical devices, improved prosthetic leg design, and development of affordable oral cancer screening tools. Projects can occur worldwide, and have taken place in the UK, Chile, Denmark, India, South Africa, and Singapore among many other venues.

The Whitaker International Fellows and Scholars Program has two categories:

  • Fellows - Graduate-level applicants, from graduating seniors through current PhD students. Fellows receive a stipend for one year, and are eligible for tuition reimbursement.
  • Scholars - Post-doctoral applicants, who recently received their PhD.  Scholar awards can be for as little as one academic semester or as long as two years of funding, depending on their needs. Second year funding is contingent upon demonstration of progress made during the first year.

The Whitaker International Program has an additional grant available:

Summer Grants - For currently enrolled Master’s or PhD students, or recent Master’s recipients.  Summer awards are for 8 weeks including a fixed fellowship award and a monthly stipend, along with additional benefits.  Up to 20 awards will be available for summer.

Specific Eligibility Criteria

  • Have U.S. citizenship or be a permanent legal resident of the U.S.
  • Be in the field of biomedical engineering/bioengineering or a closely-related field (Chemical, Mechanical or Electrical Engineering with substantive interest and background in Biomedicine).
  • At the time of your grant start date, be no more than 3 years from the receipt of your most recent degree, or be currently enrolled.
  • Have language ability to carry out the proposed project in the host country at the time of departure.
  • Whitaker Fellows (pre-doctoral) must hold a Bachelor’s degree by the beginning date of the grant or be in or have recently completed a Master’s degree or be in a PhD program or be currently employed, with the most recent degree no higher than an MS
  • Whitaker Scholars (post-doctoral) must currently have a PhD (within the past 3 years of grant start date) or will be awarded the PhD before beginning a Whitaker grant.