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Press Release

Whitaker International Program: New Undergrad Program

Grants of up to $10,000 will support biomedical engineering study abroad for students

Learn more about the Whitaker Program

NEW YORK, NY, December 13, 2011—The Whitaker International Program, administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), is launching the Whitaker International Undergraduate Program for students enrolled in an undergraduate biomedical engineering or bioengineering degree program.  The application will be made available early January 2012 for the first round of grants which will be for Fall/Academic Year 2012-13. There will be two competitions each year, one for the Fall/Academic Year term, and one for the Spring term.  Award amounts range from $7,500 for a semester program to $10,000 for an academic year program.

With support from the former Whitaker Foundation, IIE will provide undergraduate biomedical engineers and bioengineers funding for a semester or one academic year to pursue, in an international setting, coursework in biomedical engineering (BME).Previously the Whitaker Fellows and Whitaker Scholars Programs supported only graduate and post-doctoral work in biomedical engineering.

By providing BME students the opportunity to go abroad, the Whitaker International Undergraduate Program will achieve the following objectives:

  • Broadening the Whitaker International Program to include opportunities for undergraduates in BME
  • Increasing the number of undergraduates in BME who go abroad
  • Provision, early in their education, of the opportunity to see BME with an international perspective

To be eligible for the award, an applicant must:

  • have U.S. citizenship or be permanent residents of the U.S.
  • be enrolled as a Sophomore (2nd year), Junior (3rd year), or Senior (4th or 5th year), with at least one semester remaining, in an undergraduate BME degree program with good academic standing, and
  • demonstrate a need for financial support to participate in study abroad. 

Priority will be given to students going to non-traditional destinations.

A student may apply to attend any overseas academic institution that is endorsed by the student’s study abroad advisor. The advisor must certify that the program is approved and the student will receive academic credit at the home institution. The advisor must also certify the student’s financial aid need.

The Fall/Academic Year competition deadline is March 15th, 2012.  For more details and application guidelines, please visit the Whitaker International Fellows and Scholars Program.

The Whitaker Foundation was created in 1975. Throughout its history, the Foundation primarily supported interdisciplinary medical research, with a focus on biomedical engineering. Most of the Foundation’s efforts were directed toward the establishment and enhancement of formal educational programs and the support of especially talented students and faculty. In 2006, the Foundation ceased operations, and committed its remaining funds to a grant program focused on strengthening international collaborative links between young leaders in BME worldwide. Under the guidance of the Institute of International Education, the Whitaker International Program is designed to bring international experience and insight to the field of biomedical engineering.

The Institute of International Education, based in New York, was founded in 1919 as an independent, nonprofit organization and has become a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. It administers the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Government's premier public diplomacy initiative, and works to solve global problems and to foster mutual understanding among the peoples of the world.



Sabeen Altaf, Program Manager
Institute of International Education
809 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017