Frequently Asked Questions

When is the application due for the Stowers Summer Scholars program?

Our application deadline for the 2014 program is February 3rd, 2014.

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 giving a functioning or correct email address.  All of our contact with the applicant is done through email. Erroneous or non-functioning 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 advise applicants to contact their references (recommenders) as soon as they know they are applying to The Graduate School. We will keep the recommendations we receive, even if it is prior to receiving your completed application.
  4. Not giving themselves enough time to complete the application before the deadline. We recommend that applicants submit their applications early for two main reasons. First, there are several essays that need to be submitted and are specific to our application. Extra time is needed to compose them. Second, any technical problem that you may have in submitting the application is much easier to resolve before the due date.

Is there a fee for your program?

There is no fee for participation in the Stowers Summer Scholars Program.


What is the application fee?

There is no application fee.

When will I be notified of my acceptance to the Program?

Applicants who are selected for the Stowers Summer Scholars Program will be notified on a rolling basis. Final offers will be sent out by mid-April.  All applicants will be contacted by e-mail whether or not they are selected for the program.

Am I expected to stay through the duration of the program?

Yes. You are expected to commit to the ten-week program. This means that, with the exception of an unforeseen emergency, you are expected to participate in the program in its entirety.

How do I apply?

We have an online application that you are required to complete. You may fill it out all at once, or save your work and return to it. When saving an application, you will be given a user name and a password to complete the application at a later time. Once you are finished, press the ‘submit’ button. You need to contact the references and ask them to send their letters to us (email and mailing instructions are noted in the application form).


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 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).

What if I lose my application user name and password?

Contact for us to resend that information.

May I vary my arrival date beyond the three options on the application?

We will consider special circumstances for arrival dates that are not listed in the program on a case-by-case basis. However, we need to know that information ahead of time. Failure to inform us of any changes in dates may result in our rescinding our offer.

In the application form there is space for three references but you require only two. Do you need three other references or will the two people writing my recommendation letters suffice?

We require a minimum of two references. Inclusion of a third reference is strictly optional.

Who should write my recommendation letters?

Recommendation letters should be written by professors who taught your classes (preferably science classes, especially those with laboratory components). If you have them, include letters from supervisors of research projects you may have done outside of class.


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 to us directly by the recommender 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 as they arrive and pair them with applications once they are submitted to us.

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.


Is there an age requirement for participating?

Yes. You must be 18 years old by your summer start date to work at the Stowers Institute.


International Applicants:

  1. Will you accept a transcript that is sent to you by e-mail?
    We will accept a transcript by e-mail from a student who is attending a university outside of the U.S. The transcript must include a translation if it is not in English. A student attending a university in the U.S. should request an official transcript from their registrar’s office to be mailed either electronically or in paper form directly to the Stowers Institute.

  2. As an international student, how do I calculate my GPA?

    You do not need to calculate your GPA. A combination of your transcript and your recommendation letters will determine if you are a student in good standing. If you are not sure, you may submit a third recommendation letter from a school administrater stating that you are a student in good standing, but it is not required.

  3. What if my transcript is not in English?

    We will need a transcript in English. Please send both the transcript in the original language AND a translation.

  4. If I am studying in the United States but am not a citizen or permanent resident, may I apply for the Stowers Summer Scholars Program?
    Yes. And you are eligible to receive a stipend on an F-1 visa. Some paperwork is required so you will need to consult the coordinator of Immigration Services at your university. The university can give you permission to study elsewhere for the summer as well as provide the proper paperwork.

  5. If I am not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and do not study at an institution in the United States, do I need a visa before I apply to the Stowers Summer Scholars Program?
    No. The Stowers Institute can sponsor you.