The purpose of the Whitaker Travel Enhancement Fund is to help provide Whitaker Fellows and Scholars with the ability to enhance their professional presence and competence in the field of BME by:

  • Visiting BME-related labs and facilities
  • Attending BME-related conferences
  • Participating in BME-related training programs
  • Participating in the training or advising of next-generation biomedical engineers


  • Up to $4,000 will be provided, with actual amounts determined after reviewing individual proposals.
  • Current grantees can use funding during the grant or up to 6 months after the completion of their Whitaker grant. No funding will be available after 2018.
  • Whitaker grantees will be expected to promote the Whitaker Program and serve as program ambassadors while on their travel grants.
  • Summer and Undergraduate Grantees are not eligible to apply.

Application Procedures:
Grantees will submit their proposals to the IIE Whitaker Program Manager who will review and approve routine proposals. Questionable proposal will be forwarded to the Whitaker Steering Committee for approval.  Requests must be accompanied by:

  • A one page proposal from the grantee outlining their travel plans and explaining how the additional funding will enhance their grant experience and help them achieve their future goals as related to the field of BME. The proposal should include the duration of the travel and the specific labs/conferences/training programs that the grantee will be visiting.
  • An invitation letter from the lab/collaborator detailing the grantee`s activity during the visit, conference registration, or program details if grantee is proposing to participate in a short-term BME related program.  We require confirmation regarding the proposal.  For example, if a grantee wants to use funding to participate at a BMES meeting, s/he must show that his/her abstract was selected.
  • An itemized Budget.  Reimbursement for approved costs, up to $4000, will be made upon presentation of original receipts. Grantees can apply for multiple travel enhancement funds but the total amount of all trips cannot exceed $4,000.
  • If you are planning to use the travel fund while on your Whitaker grant, you will need to submit a letter from your host institution advisor approving your travel.

Grantees should submit their proposals at least one month prior (if not sooner) to the intended travel date, giving IIE time to review the application. Applying sooner rather than later is always recommended.  Grantees are notified the status of their proposal 3 weeks after submission.

Additionally, please note that this is not a retroactive fund.  Grantees who do not submit a proposal before going on a trip or visit will not be funded or reimbursed for their expenses.  You must await approval of the proposal before making your travel plans.  IIE does not guarantee that all requests will be approved.

In order for your proposal to be competitive, you need to demonstrate that the proposed activity will add value to your Whitaker experience and you must submit all the aforementioned materials.

Some Conferences previously attended:

  • American Heart Association    
  • International Society for Stem Cell Research
  • World Biomaterials Congress

Other proposals previously approved:

  • Short course on biomedical statistics at University College London
  • Funding for designing and teaching a series of laboratory and discussion-based workshops in BME

After the application is approved and the grantee has completed his/her travels, s/he must submit the reimbursement form (provided by the Whitaker Program Manager) along with original receipts, documentation of the exchange rate conversion (e.g. using the xe converter website and submitting what the exchange rate was when you were on the travel enhancement award), a separate document listing all the expenses and what the dollar amount was for the expense.