New international fellowships, scholarships for biomedical engineering students

08/31/05

ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 1, 2005 -- The Whitaker Foundation, which has invested more than $720 million in biomedical engineering education and research, and the Institute of International Education, a world leader in international exchange programs, are launching an international fellows and scholars program for American biomedical engineers early in their careers.

The institute will run the program under a $20 million award from the foundation, the last and largest grant the foundation will make before spending out and closing in June 2006. The goal of the program, which the grant will fund for 15 years, is to give biomedical engineers an international outlook.

"All scientific and technological endeavors are becoming increasingly international, and biomedical engineering is no exception," said Whitaker Foundation President Peter G. Katona, Sc.D. "The field is likely to benefit from increased interaction of U.S.-educated biomedical engineers with overseas colleagues."

There will be one competition each year for fellowships and scholarships. Whitaker Fellows will have a bachelor's or master's degree but not a doctorate in biomedical engineering or bioengineering when they begin their fellowship. Whitaker Scholars will have a doctorate in biomedical engineering or closely related field and will use the award to conduct postdoctoral work. The awards will include a stipend to cover anticipated living expenses, travel, health insurance, and tuition, if applicable.

Any overseas institution may host a fellow or scholar if it offers an outstanding professional experience in biomedical engineering. Grant applicants may select the institution, but this selection will be reviewed as part of the application.

Each award is for a one-year term with an estimated 20 to 30 fellows and 10 to 15 scholars expected each year once the program reaches a steady state. Overseas experiences are expected to vary from studying at a university to conducting research at an institute to working as an intern at a policy-making organization. The experience must lead to a substantial enhancement of the student's professional experience in biomedical engineering.

A steering committee will advise the Institute of International Education in conducting the program. Award winners will be selected by a review committee, which will begin evaluating applications in early 2006 for the 2006-07 academic year. The deadline for applying for the first round of awards will be January 30, 2006, and then the last Monday in January for each subsequent competition. For more details and application guidelines: whitakerawards.org.

The Whitaker Foundation was created in 1975 upon the death of U.A. Whitaker, founder and chief executive of AMP Inc. of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, which grew to become the world's largest manufacturer of electrical connectors and connecting devices. The foundation has supported the creation of 30 academic departments of biomedical engineering and helped launch the careers of nearly 1,500 young investigators, who have created hundreds of medical devices and products and mentored more than 13,000 students. The foundation will complete its mission and close next year.

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.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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