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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 1.

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

Contact us at

What are common mistakes that applicants make?

  1. Not reading and following all the instructions carefully. 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 or lost notifications.
  3. Not checking with their recommenders with sufficient time that they have received a request for a letter. We advise applicants to contact their references (recommenders) as soon as they know they are applying to the Scholars Program. We send out a recommendation letter request, but sometimes it is not received. Make sure that the recommenders check their junk folders. If still not found, contact us at
  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 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.

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.

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. Do not start a new application because this may result in lost reference letters.

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?

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).

Will my recommenders receive a request to submit their letter?

Yes. We will e-mail each of your references to request a letter of recommendation when you enter their e-mail addresses in the application form and save or submit your form. The request will be sent only once after your initial action (whether it is pressing “save” or “submit”).

If your recommenders do not receive the request, even after checking their Junk/SPAM folders, please contact us at

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

No. We do not have any other forms.

How do my recommenders submit their reference letters?

Letters should be uploaded to the application via the link provided in the request for recommendation letters. If there is an issue, recommenders may send the letter directly to or to The Graduate School of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, 1000 East 50th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64110.

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

Upon receipt of the recommendation letter, an automatic e-mail is sent to the applicant. If you believe that the recommendation has been sent, but haven’t received an e-mail, please check your ‘junk’ folder and/or email

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 administrator stating that you are a student in good standing, but it is not required.
  1. 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.
  1. 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 can sponsor you.