Please review instructions before completing the application, and refer to them when necessary.

All applicants must:

  1. Be nominated by the Dean of a School or Chair of the biomedical engineering department at their current or most recent degree granting institution.
  2. Be U.S. citizens or have U.S. permanent residency.
  3. Have language ability to carry out the proposed project in the host country at the time of departure.

January 24, 2017
for the 2017/18 academic year. 
Materials must be received by this date (including all transcripts, host letter and online recommendations).
Grants must begin between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.  Since the program is coming to an end, ALL GRANTS MUST END BY DECEMBER 31, 2018. 

Where to Send the Application:
You must submit all application materials (except official transcripts and the letter of support from host institutions) online. Transcripts and letter(s) of support must be submitted in hard-copy only.

Hard copy materials should be mailed to:

Whitaker International Awards Competition
US Student Programs
Institute of International Education
809 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017

A Complete Application Includes:

  • Application Form
  • List of Publications
  • Motivation and Personal Experiences Essay (1 page)
  • Previous Research Experience Essay (2 pages, 3 pages for post-doc Scholars)
  • Proposed Plan of Study, Internship and/or Research (2 pages, 3 pages post-doc Scholars)
  • Future Plans Essay (1 page)
  • Resume
  • Foreign Language Report
  • Dean of a School or Chair of Biomedical Engineering Department Nomination Letter
  • Three Letters of Reference
  • One set of Official Transcripts from all Post-Secondary Degree Granting Institutions*
  • Letter of Support from Overseas Host Institution*
* - Indicates an application material that is NOT submitted online.
  • Do not use all lower case (vivienne lee) or upper case (VIVIENNE LEE) in completing any section of the application. Use the traditional format (Vivienne Lee).

  • Do not use “NA” in any field. If you have no middle initial, leave it blank.

  • Do not use parentheses, slash marks or dashes in telephone numbers. Instead use spaces to separate numbers, e.g. (212 555 4444).

  • Check your application before submitting and DO NOT have content spillover into other sections.  Stay within word/character limit.

  • Do not staple or tape pages/pieces.

  • Review your draft application to check for completion and to verify that it reads correctly.


Project Host Country: Multi-country proposals are not acceptable. If you are applying to different programs, both programs must be in the same country. Applications to Canada will not be accepted.

Award Category: Select either Fellow or Scholar. (See Eligibility Requirements.)

Mailing Address: Your mailing address MUST be valid until April 30, 2017. If you need to change your address before or after this date please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

(GPA) Grade Point Average: Please indicate the cumulative GPA for each degree received. ALL GPA`s must be listed here on a 4-point scale.

Honors/Awards/Fellowships/Extra-Curricular Activities: Using the space provided (do not attach additional sheets), please list any honors, awards, fellowships and/or extra-curricular activities that you have received or in which you have participated.

Project Title: Please limit the title to a maximum of 12 words.

Abstract: Using the space provided (do not attach additional sheets), provide an abstract of your project proposal.

Proposed Start date: This can be any time between July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 (the end date may need to be adjusted depending on program funding.  We will notify grantees on when the latest they can start their grants once awards are announced).

Fellow grant lengths are expected to be approximately one academic year in length (as defined by the academic calendar of the host country, but typically 9-12 months).

Scholar grants for the final cycle can be as short as one academic semester, and as long as 12 months (for use in post-doctoral research fellowships). Applications should justify the length of time based on how it would benefit the applicant, the activity, and the field of BME.

Proposed Host Institution: List the institution/university/organization(s) in the host country with whom you intend to affiliate.

Proposed Program: List the program of study (if relevant) that you will pursue at your proposed host institution(s). If you will do an internship, then state "Internship"; if you will do independent research, then state "Independent Research"; if you will work as part of a research team then state "Team Project"; if you will pursue course work, then state "Course Work."  Note, these are examples and not an exhaustive list of proposed programs.


Four essays are required. Do not exceed the page limit noted for each essay. Text should be single spaced using standard 11-12 point font, and 1-inch margins, and submitted through the online application.

Include your name and type of essay (i.e., motivation and personal experiences) at the top of each essay.

Dean of a School or Chair of Biomedical Engineering Department Nomination
A nomination from your Dean or Chair of the biomedical engineering department is required.

  • The Dean or Chair`s nomination cover letter must be submitted online through the application form (this is the form that is generated by the online application; it is not a separate letter).

  • A signed letter of nomination (on institutional letterhead), preferably with substantive information about the applicant, is expected to accompany the cover letter.

Three references are required. It is recommended that all references be from academics or professionals in biomedical engineering or a closely-related field. If an applicant has attended more than one academic institution, references may be included from prior institutions.

For each reference:

  • The reference cover letter must be submitted online through the application form (this is the form that is generated by the online application; it is not a separate letter).
  • A signed letter of recommendation (on institutional letterhead), with substantive information about the applicant, is expected to accompany the cover letter.  The letter is uploaded online after completing the recommendation form. 
  • Please note, we will not accept hard copy recommendations in the mail or emailed recommendations. Recommendations are to be submitted only online.

Foreign Language Report
A foreign language report is necessary for applicants to those countries in which the use of a foreign language is necessary to carry out the project and to survive living in a foreign environment. If use of a foreign language is not necessary for the completion of the grant activity, nor for survival in a foreign environment, this form is not necessary.

  • If applicable, foreign language reports should be submitted online through the application form (this is the form that is generated by the online application; it is not a separate letter).
  • A signed copy of the language report form should be submitted with the application in the hard-copy application package.

You can use the resume as a document where you list your publications in detail and provide the committee a concise background on your current and previous academic and career experience.

An official transcript from each of an applicant’s degree awarding institution(s) must be submitted, including the current institution. The transcripts should reflect a complete post-secondary academic record.

  • Original transcripts must be mailed in hard-copy, in the original sealed envelope, to the Whitaker Program at the above address.

Letter(s) of Support from Host Institution(s)
A Letter of Support from an in-country host institution or supervisor should be submitted on institutional letterhead. However, in the event that you are applying for a degree program where it is not possible to obtain a letter of acceptance by the Whitaker Program’s deadline, then a letter of support from a faculty member within the relevant department at the proposed institution is recommended.  A letter accepting the applicant on a contingency basis is sufficient provided that you submit proof of admission after the grant is awarded.

While there is no template for the letter of support from the overseas host institute, the letter should indicate the host institution`s willingness to host you at their institute/lab and provide direct supervision for the duration of the grant.  The letter should outline the grant project, the role of the applicant (what specifically the grantee will be doing on the project), and how the host is a good fit for the applicant`s proposed project. The letter should speak to what the applicant will be contributing to the host and how the host will contribute to the applicant`s BME-related research interests and skill set. 

  • Original Letter(s) of Support must be mailed in hard-copy to the Whitaker Program at the above address.The host letter is a critical component of the application and an application is incomplete without this letter of affiliation or admission.

Submitting the Application:

  • You cannot complete the electronic application until you have designated references.
  • No faxed or emailed applications will be accepted.
  • IIE cannot acknowledge the receipt of applications or other documents.
  • Once submitted, hard copy application materials cannot be returned.

Applicants will be notified of decisions by email by mid to late April 2017.

If you must withdraw your application at any point in the competition, please notify IIE immediately.