National Science Foundation East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes

Frequently Asked Questions

Information at a Glance

Following are three one-page documents providing quick information for easy reference:

  1. Application Check List
  2. Award and Reimbursement Information
  3. Visa Requirements
  4. EAPSI 2011 FAQ

    For more detailed information, see questions below, or check the Location Handbooks.

Application Related

  1. Is my research supported by NSF?
  2. How do I choose a field of study?
  3. What are the formatting guidelines?
  4. What is EAPSI’s policy with regard to Intellectual Property ownership issues?
  5. Is my application stronger if I identify more than one (1) host researcher per location?
  6. What if my desired host institution is not listed?
  7. Is it possible to conduct research in Hong Kong?
  8. What if my institution is listed, but the host/lab is not?
  9. What are the odds of being selected?
  10. What are my chances of being selected if I am currently in “alternate” status?
  11. How closely does the project I will be working on have to mirror my project at my U.S. institution?
  12. What if I do not get recommended to my first choice location?
  13. What if I think my application was not reviewed fairly?
  14. Can my spouse or dependents accompany me overseas?
  15. Are Summer Institute dates flexible?
  16. Can the EAPSI Fellowship be deferred?

Stipend & Reimbursement Related

  1. Can I receive another federal stipend while on EAPSI?
  2. Do I have to decline my Tuition and Health Insurance paid for by my current federal (non-EAPSI) stipend?
  3. What if my foreign lab is offering me a stipend, non-federal?
  4. When should I expect to be reimbursed for pre-departure orientation expenses?
  5. When should I expect my EAPSI award?
  6. How should I report my EAPSI award to the IRS?

Travel Related

  1. Can I make travel arrangements on my own?
  2. Can I travel to another country before or after SI dates?
  3. Can I travel to another country during the 8-week period?
  4. Can I conduct research in another country while on EAPSI?
  5. What course of action should I follow in case of an illness abroad?

Application

Is my research supported by NSF? (Medical or specific examples of research.) 

Being affiliated with a specific degree program does not necessarily make an applicant ineligible. For example, if an applicant is proposing basic research that might also have medical implications, it is possible that the application would be considered eligible. Although a project might have clinical or medical applications, this does not necessarily disqualify it if the clinical or medical applications are not the major focus of the project.

In cases where there may be some uncertainty whether a specific research project would be eligible, applicants may wish to search for NSF grants and other awards that have been made to researchers working on similar topics. NSF awards can be found at: www.nsf.gov/awardsearch

If other research projects dealing with similar subjects have received awards in the past, that is often a good indicator of whether your project would be considered eligible.

Please note that eligibility is determined upon review of the contents of the entire submitted application. The EAPSI Help Desk is unable to make binding eligibility determinations.
Back to Top

How do I choose a field of study?
Applicants should select the field of study that most closely matches their proposed research topic. If you are unsure which field to select, you should consult with your academic advisor or another faculty member who is familiar with your work and could advise you about the most appropriate choice. The only available information regarding fields of study is the list of eligible fields contained in the appendix of the program solicitation. We regret that we cannot provide more specific definitions of each field.
Back to Top

What are the formatting guidelines?
Please ensure that your proposal adheres to the following guidelines:

  • Font: Arial, Courier New or Palatino Linotype at a font size of 10 points or larger; Times New Roman or Computer Modern family of fonts at a
    font size of 11 points or larger
  • Margins in all directions are at least one inch
  • Paginate the proposal
  • No more than 6 lines of text within a vertical space of one inch
  • References cited; must include bibliographic citations only
  • Project Description cannot exceed 5 pages
  • Biographical Sketch cannot exceed 2 pages


Back to Top

What is EAPSI’s policy with regard to Intellectual Property ownership issues?
Chapter 7, Section G of the Proposal and Award Manual discusses intangible property rights, such as patents and copyrights.  Unless NSF indicates otherwise in the solicitation or announcement, NSF claims no rights to writings produced under awards, such as scholarships, fellowships, or training grants, that are primarily intended to support education or training, and not to fund particular research or produce copyrightable material.  There is no need for NSF to approve or create a written release of IP rights. 
Back to Top

Is my application stronger if I identify more than one (1) host researcher per location?
No. The solicitation explicitly states that applicants should identify one potential host researcher per location. However, applicants must obtain an invitation or acceptance from their top choice host researcher to conduct summer research prior to submitting an application.
Back to Top

What if my desired host institution is not listed?
If your desired host is not listed on our website the host may still be considered on a case-by-case basis. Students who have identified a potential host at an institution not listed are encouraged to coordinate with EAPSI staff at eapsi@nsfsi.org to determine the possibility of receiving support. Please be aware that individuals applying to China are limited to potential hosts located in Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Xi'an, and Wuhan. Individuals applying to Singapore are limited to the universities currently listed.
Back to Top

Is it possible to conduct research in Hong Kong?
Potential host institutions for China Summer Institute participants are limited to Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Xi'an, and Wuhan. List only hosts located in these cities; no other locations are permitted. Hong Kong is not part of the EAPSI program.
Back to Top

What if my institution is listed, but the host/lab is not?
Students may approach any lab or potential host within the University to seek acceptance and placement.
Back to Top

What are the odds of being selected?
Competition varies between locations. Your chances of being selected depend on the number of applications received in each given application cycle and the number of available slots for each location. Overall, for the 2010 competition, EAPSI received 533 applications for 216 slots. Available slots for each location were as follows: Japan-65; China-40; Korea-25; Taiwan -25, Australia-20; New Zealand-16, and Singapore-25.
Back to Top

What are my chances of being selected if I am currently in “alternate” status?
If your location has attrition, alternates will be selected based on discipline and/or the next highest average score. Last year, a total of 6 students overall were selected to participate in EAPSI from the pool of alternates. 
Back to Top

How closely does the project I will be working on have to mirror my project at my U.S. institution?
Students work collaboratively with host researchers on projects of mutual interest. However, with your host researcher's agreement, you may choose to continue your on-going research work, or to work on their on-going research, or a new research project. Most students continue their on-going research work since tangible results are more likely to be achieved at the end of the two-month period.
Back to Top

What if I do not get recommended to my first choice location?
Your application will be scored and ranked and may not have scored high enough for you to be recommended to your FIRST choice location.  The review panel and NSF carefully consider whether your research could be completed at your second or third choice location and may recommend you for your second or third choice. 
Back to Top

What if I think my application was not reviewed fairly?
Formal reviews of the entire application are made independently by three subject-matter experts, who evaluate and score the application according to the review criteria listed in the EAPSI solicitation. Each reviewer provides a score between 1 and 5. The reviewers later convene at a panel review process at NSF (held in January) and perform a group review with all other panel members. Each application is then given a single score based on the average score of the three reviewers.

We cannot give details about any student's reviews, since they are confidential. If it is strongly believed that that a mistake of some sort has occurred, the student must contact us directly. We will check the student's record.

The student will have access to the reviews within several weeks, once the Program Officer officially processes the decline of the proposal.
Back to Top

Can my spouse or dependents accompany me overseas?
The program provides support and resources for the Fellow only. NSF, the host agency, and the host organization will not provide any support, service or accomodation for other individuals.
Back to Top

Are Summer Institute dates flexible?
No. Summer Institute dates for each location are agreed upon between NSF and it's foreign counterpart agencies well in advance and are not subject to change.
Back to Top

Can the EAPSI Fellowship be deferred?
No. If a student is selected to participate in the Summer Institutes and they choose to forego the opportunity for that summer, they would have to re-apply. 
Back to Top

Stipend & Reimbursement

Can I receive another federal stipend while on EAPSI?
Students may not receive two (2) federal stipends during the summer of their EAPSI tenure. You must decide whether to take your other federal stipend or your EAPSI stipend, but you cannot take both. Nor can you take one (such as the EAPSI stipend) and request that a partial stipend be given to you through the other. Please consult with your coordinator on campus as to how to handle the other award should you decide to take the EAPSI stipend. 
Back to Top

Do I have to decline my Tuition and Health Insurance paid for by my current federal (non-EAPSI) stipend?
You should verify this with the project director of your current funding, but since the EAPSI stipend is intended to replace lost income and income does not encompass health insurance and tuition, you may be able to receive the EAPSI stipend simultaneously.  You may be able to accept the EAPSI stipend and keep the health and tuition benefits of your current federal award. Please consult your project coordinator of your current funding prior to making a final decision
Back to Top

What if my foreign lab is offering me a stipend, non-federal?
EAPSI does not allow program participants to receive supplemental funds during the summer institutes. The funding stream, even if non-federal, is irrelevant. These parameters apply across the board when it comes to supplemental funding.

Nevertheless, EAPSI does not provide research materials funding, hence, it would be appropriate from our perspective to allow students to accept this type of additional support during the EAPSI.
Back to Top

When should I expect to be reimbursed for pre-departure orientation expenses?
NSF will reimburse your costs for attending the orientation at the time of the EAPSI award. The travel allowance will be sufficient to cover lodging costs, meals, and miscellaneous expenses. Roundtrip airfare will be covered by NSF. 
Back to Top

When should I expect my EAPSI award?
EAPSI awards are made on approximately June 1 of the respective application year. The deposit into your bank account is made within 2-3 business days of receipt of the notice of the award.
Back to Top

How should I report my EAPSI award to the IRS?
NSF does not prepare 1099 forms for EAPSI Fellows. The $5,000 stipend, however, must be declared by the Fellows as a federal stipend.
Back to Top

Travel

Can I make travel arrangements on my own?
No. The NSF-contracted travel agency, SATO Travel, will provide EAPSI participants with a round-trip economy class airfare between the major airport nearest their U.S. city of residence and the designated international airport in their overseas location.
DO NOT PURCHASE ANY TICKETS ON YOUR OWN; NSF WILL NOT BE ABLE TO REIMBURSE YOU .
Back to Top

Can I travel to another country before or after the SI dates?
Yes. Any travel before or after the SI dates does not require prior NSF approval as long as you agree and pay the difference in fares (where applicable), communicate with your host and partners and be sure to participate in the opening and closing activities of the program (see your location Handbook for dates).
Back to Top

Can I travel to another country during the 8-week period?
Generally, EAPSI students should first get permission from their host researcher for trips occurring during the 8-weeks.  Permission must also be obtained from the co-sponsoring organization (s) and then NSF. Aside from safety issues, NSF's primary concern is that too much time away from the research may limit the ability of the students to complete their work. Therefore, we suggest that travel be limited to before or after the summer institute dates.
Back to Top

Can I conduct research in another country while on EAPSI?
No. Neither NSF nor the counterpart agencies grant you permission to leave the location during the course of the Summer Institute in order to conduct research at another location. Your selection and confirmation as an EAPSI participant is contingent on you completing your research in that location with the particular host researcher you listed on your EAPSI application.
Back to Top

What course of action should I follow in case of an illness abroad?
The students’ health is our primary concern. We suggest students contact their doctor in the U.S. for advice if they feel it is necessary. Also, we advise them to make a plan in case they have a serious, acute episode. In making their plans, students should solicit help from their host and inform the co-sponsoring organization (s) of the issue. If they decide to come back to the U.S., they can make arrangements to pay back the unused living cost to the co-sponsors.  They should at some point soon after returning to the U.S., send NSF an email outlining their plan to complete their research stateside.
Back to Top

Last Updated: February 02, 2011 02:22 PM


American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC SUMMER INSTITUTES

Administered by: American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) | www.asee.org
1818 N Street NW, Suite T-50 Washington, DC 20036-2479 | 866-501-2922
(toll-free from the US and Canada) | eapsi@nsfsi.org
Privacy Policy and Important Notices