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Summer Scholars FAQ

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

Our application deadline for the Stowers Summer Scholars program is February 3, 10:59 PM central time (Chicago).

Where can I get technical help with my application?

GradCAS (the application system) offers technical support. They have a Help Center and Contact Us. If any issue arises that is not resolved, please contact GSSIMR at

What if I cannot submit my application in time due to last minute technical difficulties?

We advise applicants to submit their applications early. We do not accept late applications even if there are last minute techinical difficulties.

Can I submit my application prior to the submisson of all my references?

Yes. You can submit your application without having received all the reference letters. You can log onto the site to check the status of your reference letters.

What if I am unable to participate during the dates listed?

Contact us at

I’m not sure how to calculate my GPA, am I still eligible?

In U.S. institutions, the GPA is calculated on the transcript, which will be submitted with the application. If your primary educational institution is not in the U.S., you don’t need to calculate your GPA. We will be able to discern your standing using your transcript (see below for more information about international transcripts.)

What are common mistakes that applicants make?

  1. Not reading and following all the instructions carefully. Applicants must answer the questions in the manner that is detailed in the application. Failure to do so will diminish prospects for acceptance.
  2. Not checking informing recommenders with sufficient time for them. Recommenders need to turn in the letter by the deadline, so they need time to prepare the letter. In addition, if they do not receive your request, they may have to check their Spam or Junk folder.
  3. Not giving themselves enough time to complete the application before the deadline. We ask all applicants to write several long-form answers. Time is needed think about and compose them.

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, starting in early February. Final offers will be sent out by mid-April.  All applicants will be contacted by e-mail as to their final acceptance status.

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

Yes. You are expected to commit to the eight-week program. Less time is not permissible. Shifting the dates of participation by up to a week is allowed in certain cases with permission from the Coordinator of the Scholars program and the Principal Investigator. Please contact us at for more information.

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. The people who write the letter is probably more important than having an extra one.

Who should write my recommendation letters?

The two best sources of recommendation letters are: (1) supervisors (professors, senior lab members, or TAs) of research projects you may have done outside of class or as an extensive class project and/or (2) professors who taught your classes (preferably science classes, especially those with laboratory components).

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.

Are there any exceptions to submitting an official transcript to the program?

We require official transcripts, with two exceptions: (1) financial hardship and (2) your primary educational institution is not in the United States.

What should I do if submitting an official transcript poses a financial hardship?

Prior to starting your application, please contact us at If you have started your application, you can still contact us.

Applicants whose principal educational institution is NOT in the United States:

Transcripts do not have to be official for the application, however, we may ask for official transcripts after being accepted to the program. Transcripts can be directly uploaded to the program. If your transcript is not in English, please submit it AND include an English translation. The translation does NOT have to be certified. It can be a word document.

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 to obtain a visa before I apply to the Stowers Summer Scholars Program?

No. The Stowers Institute will provide you with the guidance you need to apply for the proper visa.