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FAQs

Applying to the Program

Q. How much course work must I complete before I can apply for the program?
Eligible Summer Student Fellow candidates should be in the middle of their Junior year at university when they apply and must have completed their Junior undergraduate coursework by the start of the program.

Q. In addition to the application what other documents are required for admission?
In addition to the application, applicants must submit a CV, research statement, official transcripts, a completed Course Record worksheet, and three references.

Q. When is the application deadline?
February 15, every year.

Q. Are there any students that have gone through the program that I can talk to about it?
For answers to questions you can't find here or to be put in touch with a past fellow email education@whoi.edu.

Program Logistics

Q. When does the program start?
The start and end dates are flexible and different for every participant. Most students arrive between the end of May to mid June and stay for 10-12 weeks depending on their availability and that of their advisor.

Q. How long is the program?
The program duration is a minimum of 10 weeks and a maximum of 12 weeks.

Q. How many students attend at a time?
The number of fellows varies each year. It ranges between 25-30 per summer.

Q. Do I get credit for my fellowship?
WHOI does not offer formal academic credit toward degree requirements for participation in the Summer Student Fellowship Program, although such credit has sometimes been awarded by the student's own college or university. Attaining academic credit is the responsibility of the fellow.

Program Overview

Q. What does the schedule look like for the summer?
The Fellows become acquainted with each other during orientation day and the annual Summer Fellows cookout at the beginning of each summer.

The Summer Lecture Series is always a significant introduction to the many exciting fields of oceanographic research at WHOI. 2012 Lecture Series topics included: “REMUS AUVs: Description and recent projects;” "Fukushima ocean impacts;" “Climate change and rising sea-levels: Effects on coasts;" and “Melting sea ice threatens Emperor penguins” to name a few.

The Ethics in Science Workshop continues to contribute to the depth of the program. Discussions of ethical scenarios are conducted both in small groups and with the group as a whole. Facilitators include volunteers from the WHOI scientific staff, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students.

The Q&A Session with current MIT/WHOI Joint Program Students promotes the discussion of graduate school and career goals. Annually, the program includes a hands-on, one-day, at-sea practicum cruises onboard the R/V Tioga focusing on data collection and sampling methods with an assortment of oceanographic technology and instruments. The cruise not only provides practical training but also brings the group together socially through a shared field experience.

Q. How will I be matched to a sponsor and project?
Every effort is made to match prospective Summer Fellows with a staff scientist whose research interests most closely match those of the student. The Selection Committee considers an applicant's Statement of Interest, course work history, and academic background and acomplishments, when proposing a sponsor match. Applicants should therefore mention specific research interests whenever possible in their Statement of Interest.

Q. Will I have an opportunity to do field work?
The opportunity to do field work varies from project to project. The type of project you engage in will determine your degree of field work.

Q. Will I get assistance selecting a research project?
Projects are typically suggested by the advisor, and are agreed upon jointly by the student and their prospective advisor. The advisors make every effort to help the student select and pursue a research project that can provide meaningful results during the course of a 10 to 12 Fellowship.
» View Projects

Q. Why are Summer Fellows matched with staff scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey?
The Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Geology Team is one of three marine teams that conduct research within the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program. The goal of the Coastal and Marine Geology Program is to describe the geology of coastal and marine systems. To carry out this mission, the team has been located on WHOI's Quissett Campus in Woods Hole as an integral part of the Woods Hole research community for more than 35 years. 

Q. Will I have to submit a paper when the summer is complete?
Yes, all Summer Student Fellows are expected to present a brief mid-summer progress report, a public oral presentation to their department of research project results at the end of the summer, and a final written report describing his or her summer research project.

Q. Do most students who attend the program go on to be oceanographers?
This program is an excellent opportunity to explore and discover career and graduate school opportunities in oceanography. Fellows have the opportunity to meet and interact with current graduate students in the WHOI/MIT Joint Program.

Financial Information

Q. Do I get a stipend?
Summer Student Fellowship awards for the summer of 2014 will include a stipend of $540 per week for the ten- to twelve-week program. (Please note: International students will have a 14% U.S. Federal income tax deducted from their stipend payments.)

International Students

Q. Are there additional resources for students coming from outside the country?
Fellowship recipients who are coming from outside of the US will receive help and information from our Foreign National Advisor in obtaining the proper paperwork for visas. WHOI also has a large International community and an active International Committee on campus. Among other things, the International Committee can also help with acquiring a low-cost rental bicycle for the term of your Fellowship.
(Please note: International students are required to pay a 14% U.S. Federal income tax on stipend payments, travel allowances and the fair-market value of their WHOI housing. This tax will be deducted from their stipend payments through Payroll deductions.)
» International Committee

Student Life

Q. Is housing available?
Institution housing is provided for all Fellowship recipients. With advanced notice, a housing allowance can also be granted to Fellows who may choose to find their own housing in the Woods Hole community. However, it is highly recommended that Summer Fellows live in WHOI housing in order to more fully appreciate their Summer Fellowship experience. Housing preferences must be made clear prior to the start of the program.
(Please note: International students are required to pay a 14% U.S. Federal income tax on the fair-market value of their WHOI housing. This tax will be deducted from their stipend payments through Payroll deductions.)

Q. Will I need a bicycle if I do not have a car?
Fellows without a car are strongly advised to make arrangements to either ship a bicycle, bring a bicycle with them, or be prepared to rent or purchase a bicycle while at WHOI. Other than taxis, there is some public transportation avaialble, but the routes are limited and access to a bus stop can mean a lengthy walk or a ride from a friend.

Q. Are dining services available?
There are no meal plans available, however all institution housing comes with fully equipped kitchens. There are also cafeterias on both the Quisset and the village campuses.
» The Buttery
» Café Swope

Q. What other activities take place at WHOI during the summer?
 A variety of seminars and colloquia throughout the summer in the Woods Hole scientific community provides a very useful introduction to the many fields of oceanographic research. There is also the SSF cookout,  the Summer Lecture Series, Ethics in Science Workshop, Mid-Summer Progress Reports, R/V Tioga cruises, and graduate school Q&A with Joint Program Students.
»  Field work on R/V Tioga
» WHOI calendar
 
» Fitness Trail
» Anything-But-A-Boat Regatta

» Diversity Committee
» GLOW: GAYS, LESBIANS AND OTHERS @ WHOI
» Gender Equity Advisory Committee

Q. Where can I find general information about Cape Cod?
» Woods Hole
» Falmouth Chamber of Commerce

Last updated: October 17, 2013