Admissions Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When is the application for The Graduate School due?

The application deadline for matriculation in the fall of 2014 is December 1, 2013.

What if I have missed the application deadline?

Until December 6th, we may consider your application on a case-by-case basis. However, we cannot guarantee that it will be reviewed. Please contact to inquire further. After December 6th, the likelihood that it will be reviewed is very low and would require extraordinary circumstances.

How do I apply?

Without exception, all applicants are required to complete an online application. Please follow the instructions for each section carefully, especially for uploading documents.

You may fill out the application all at once, or save your work and return to it. When saving an application, you will be provided a user name and a password to complete the application at a later time. Once your application is complete, it is submitted by pressing the “submit” button.

You need to contact your references and ask them to send their letters directly to us (email and mailing instructions are provided in the application form).


What are common mistakes that applicants make?

  1. Not reading and following all the instructions carefully. Supplemental material can be added in certain sections, but applicants must answer all the questions in the manner that is detailed in the application. Failure to do so will diminish prospects for acceptance.
  2. Not providing a working email address. All of our communications with applicants are conducted via email. Misspelled or inactive email addresses will result in delayed notifications.
  3. Not contacting their recommenders with sufficient time to write their letters of reference by the due date. We strongly recommend that applicants contact their references (recommenders) as soon as they know that they are planning to apply to The Graduate School. We will keep all letters of recommendation on file, even if we receive them prior to the completed application.
  4. Not allowing for enough time to complete the application before the deadline. We recommend that applicants submit their applications early for two main reasons. First, we ask for several essays that are specific to our application. Extra time is needed to compose them. Second, any technical problems that may arise while submitting the application are easier to resolve before the due date.
  5. Uploading documents in the wrong format. Documents can be uploaded as PDF or Word files. However, if documents include figures, they MUST be uploaded as a PDF. Failure to do so will result in the exclusion of those figures from the application packet.


Where do I find information of the research and researchers at the Stowers Institute?

The list of scientist and their laboratory research can be found at The general category of research of these scientists can be found at

What if I press ‘submit’ before I am ready?

Contact so that we can assist you with regaining access to your application form.

What if I lose my application user name and password?

Contact for us to resend that information.


What if the application form will not let me confirm the e-mail address?

Make sure that you are using the up-to-date version of the browser (e.g., Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox).  

Do I need to have published papers to apply?

No. Most of our applicants have not published their work in peer-reviewed journals.


I do not have any publications but the application form asks to submit something under the "publications" question. What do I do?

As the instructions indicate, upload a PDF document with the heading “Publications” and the statement "I do not have any publications at this time."


Is there anything I need to know if figures are included in my uploaded document?

You MUST submit documents including figures as a PDF, not as a Word document, otherwise all figures will be lost when our program assembles your application packet.


Can I exchange already uploaded documents with updated ones?

Yes. If you want to replace your files, you should press the “Upload” button again (not “add new upload”), then you can upload the updated file and it will replace the previous one.



Who should write my recommendation letters?

At least one recommendation letter should be written by a scientist who supervised your research.

Will my recommenders receive a request to submit their letter?

No. We do not request letters. When you ask for recommendation letters, please tell your recommenders to submit letters directly to


Is there any form that recommenders need to fill out other than a letter?

No. We do not have any other forms. Recommenders only need to submit a letter to


How do my recommenders submit their reference letters?

We require all reference letters to be submitted directly to us by the recommender. They can send it either to  or to The Graduate School of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, 1000 East 50th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64110.

What happens if you receive a recommendation letter prior to my completed application?

We keep all recommendation letters on file and pair them with applications once we receive them.

How will I know that the recommendation letters have been received?

We will email both the applicant and the recommender upon receipt of the reference letter. This may take a few days as we process the applications.

Do you require GRE or TOEFL scores?

No. We don’t require scores from either test or any standardized test.

Is there an application process for predoctoral researchers wishing to start during the winter?

No. Our program requires all predoctoral researchers to start in mid-August.

What is the application fee?

There is no application fee.

What is the cost of tuition?

Accepted candidates incur no tuition costs. We pay each predoctoral researcher a stipend for the duration of their studies. See

If I don’t have a visa, should I apply for one?

No. Accepted applicants who decide to join our program will be sponsored by the Stowers Institute and instructed about the visa application process at the appropriate time.

When will I know if I am accepted?

Applicants will be informed of their acceptance by mid-March, if not sooner.


Will you be retaining a wait-list?

We will retain a wait-list and inform all applicants on that list the time frame of the final acceptance decisions.

How does the admissions process work?

January: Applicants selected during the first round will be asked to submit additional information (see the website for details). They may be asked for a Skype pre-interview. Applicants who did not pass the first selection round will be notified.

February: All finalists will be invited to the Stowers Institute for an on-site interview. Regardless of their location, we will arrange and cover the costs for transportation, food and accommodation.

March: After the onsite interview, the status of all applications will be finalized and applicants will be informed whether they have been accepted into the program or not.

How do I prepare for a Skype interview?

Members of the Admissions Committee will pre-interview some of our finalists via Skype. They will ask questions about your research. We request that all interviews be done with audio and visual, not just audio.