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Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program 2021

FAQs

Please find answers to several FAQs below. If your question is not answered on the FAQs or program details, please write becas@fbarrie.org

Eligibility

1. I have completed my undergraduate degree. Can I still apply?
No, only current undergraduate students are eligible to apply for the fellowship.
2. I am currently in my first year of an undergraduate degree program. Can I apply for the fellowship?
No, only current undergraduate students who have completed the first academic year of their undergraduate degree are eligible to apply for the fellowship. You must upload transcripts of your studies so far.
3. Is the program limited to students of specific academic disciplines?
Yes, only students enrolled in a degree-granting program in any of the following fields of study are eligible to apply:
	
i. Biology
	
ii. Biochemistry
	
iii. Biotechnology
	
iv. Biomedical Engineering
	
v. Genetics
	
vi. Microbiology / Molecular Biology
	
vii. Medicine
	
viii. Pharmacy
	
ix. Biomedical Sciences
	
x. Veterinary Sciences
4. I am a Spanish citizen with Galician origin enrolled in a degree program overseas. Am I eligible to apply?
No, applicants enrolled at foreign-based universities abroad are not eligible to apply.
5. I am studying abroad this semester or for the entire academic year. Am I still eligible to apply?
If you are still enrolled as a degree-seeking student at an accredited Spanish university, you are eligible for fellowship.
6. Can I apply for the fellowship if I have registered for an English language test (IELTS, TOEFL, CAE, or PTE Academic) but have not taken it?
Yes, you can apply, however to be eligible, you will need to provide by 10 am on March 22, 2021 copy of original English language test results. The following scores set are required for all candidates:
	
i. an Academic IELTS result with an overall score of at least 6.0; or
	
ii. an internet-based TOEFL score of at least 87; or
	
iii. a CAE score of at least 160 (Grade C); or
	
iv. PTE Academic overall score of 59.
Please note that extensions to the March 22, 2021 deadline will not be granted in any circumstances and applicants should, therefore, ensure that they take their test well in advance of the deadline.
7. I took an English Language test (IELTS, TOEFL, CAE, or PTE Academic) more than two years ago. Is my score still valid?
We will accept test scores from exams taken within three years of the application deadline. If your scores are more than three years old, you will need to take a new exam to be considered for the fellowship.
8. I won’t be able to take the English Language test (IELTS, TOEFL, CAE, or PTE Academic) due to COVID-19 restrictions. What can I do?
Now that restrictions are being lifted in Spain, test centers have begun to reopen. We highly recommend that you register months in advance of the test, as testing centers have limited availability and seats tend to fill up quickly. As COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation, some test providers -such as ETS- are temporarily offering at home versions of their English Language tests to meet the needs of students who are unable to take the English Language Test at a test center.
9. I am studying a Bachelor´s degree fully taught and evaluated in English at an accredited Spanish university. Do I have to submit an English Language Test or can I use my degree to waive the language requirements?
Applicants who are studying a Bachelor’s degree that is fully taught and evaluated in English at an accredited Spanish university are exempt from submitting an English language test. Unofficial transcripts indicating language of instruction must be provided by your university to support your claim. Official letters, sent directly from the Registrar's Office, verifying that all subjects are taught in English are also acceptable.
10. I have completed one semester of full-time study at a university located and accredited in an English-speaking country as part of an international exchange program. Do I have to submit an English Language Test score or can I waive the language requirements?
You will need to submit copy of original English language test results by March 22, 2021 as a proof of your English proficiency. Only applicants who have completed at least one academic year of full-time study at a university located in an English-speaking country as part of an international exchange program leading to an accredited Bachelors degree are exempt from submitting an English language test. The exemption will not be granted for distance-learning courses or studying at the overseas campus of a university-based in an English-speaking country.
11. My score is below the minimum English requirement, can I still apply?
Yes, you can apply, however to be eligible, you will need to provide by March 22, 2021 copy of original English language test results. The following scores set are required for all candidates:
	
i. an Academic IELTS result with an overall score of at least 6.0; or
	
ii. an internet-based TOEFL score of at least 87; or
	
iii. a CAE score of at least 160 (Grade C); or
	
iv. PTE Academic overall score of 59.
Please note that extensions to the March 22 deadline will not be granted in any circumstances and applicants should, therefore, ensure that they take their test well in advance of the deadline.
12. I completed English coursework at my University. Am I still required to satisfy the English proficiency requirement?
Yes, you are still required to provide by March 22, 2021 copy of original English language test results. Previous English coursework, even when taken in an English speaking country, do not satisfy the English proficiency requirement.
13. I do not have any English language certificate but I hold dual citizenship, from both Spain and a country whose official language is English. Can I be exempted?
Applicants who are nationals of an English-speaking country and educated elsewhere are still required to satisfy the English proficiency requirement.

Application

1. Do I have to complete my application all at once?
No. You may work on it in multiple sessions, though you will need to save your work after you finish each section of the application by clicking on either the “Save” or “Next” button. Once you have submitted the application, you cannot work on it again.
2. Can I submit my application in Spanish?
The Selection Committee members come from Spain and the United States, and English is their common language. If an application is completed in any language other than English, we cannot guarantee that the content will be read and/or understood for its original meaning.
3. Can I submit my application form or supporting documentation after the application deadline?
No. Active but incomplete applications will not be considered once the system is closed. Supporting documentation submitted after the system is closed will not be considered.
4. My passport is expired. Do I need to renew my passport before the application deadline?
Applicants are not required to hold a valid passport at the time of their applications. However, selected candidates will be required to have valid passports in order to participate in the summer program. If you are offered an award and do not have a valid passport at the time of notification, you will need to expedite a new passport by Mid-March 2021, at the latest. Please note that visa application processing fees are paid by the program, but passport application fees, including the cost of expediting a passport, are the responsibility of the applicant.
5. Do I need to submit official transcripts, or are unofficial transcripts acceptable?
All applicants are required to upload a scanned copy, front and back, of their most recent, cumulative transcript. A downloaded transcript from your University portal or system (unofficial transcript) will be acceptable for review. Transcripts must be in English or accompanied by an English translation prepared by the University.
6. I am currently studying abroad (or have in the past) as part of an International Exchange Program. Do I need to submit the unofficial transcripts from my Spanish University as well as my study abroad institution?
Yes, you should provide both an unofficial transcript from your Spanish University and an unofficial transcript from your study abroad institution. You can submit these transcripts by merging them into one PDF; if you have difficulty with this, please contact us.
7. Who can be a referee?
They should be people who can comment on your general suitability to participate in the summer program. Referees should be known to you, either in an academic or professional capacity. We recommend that you ask them to be a referee as early as possible in order to ensure that they have enough time to complete their reference.
8. Can my references be submitted in Spanish?
References must be written in English. If your referee has written their reference in another language, you can upload this so long as you also upload a translation in English of the original reference. If a reference is submitted in a language other than English and does not have an English translation contained in the same document, we will not be able to accept it.
9. I will not be able to provide all necessary documents in time before the deadline expires. Can my application still be considered?
It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit a complete application, and we reserve the right to exclude applications that are incomplete or were completed after the deadline. Please be aware that only complete applications will be processed.

Selection

1. When will I be informed of the outcome of the screening stage?
Please see our fellowship timetable for further details about when you should expect to receive an update on your application. Candidates will be notified via email so we recommend that you check your junk or spam folders.
2. What documents do I need to take with me to my interview?
You will need to take your passport or national ID. In your invitation to interview, you will be told whether you need to bring additional documentation.
3. Is there an option for my interview to be conducted via videoconferencing?
Applicants are required to attend in-person interviews at the Barrie Foundation headquarters in A Coruña. Only in exceptional circumstances are virtual interviews permitted. Such instances are considered on a case-by-case basis and a decision is made following consultation with LSU Health Science Center, Shreveport.
4. I am not able to attend an interview on any of the dates or times provided. Can I be interviewed on a different date in the interview period?
You will need to contact the Barrie Foundation in this case, but please note that only in exceptional circumstances will an additional appointment be made available. Failure to attend the interview may result in your withdrawal from the competition.
5. What questions will be asked at the interview?
The interview will be an opportunity to discuss some of the information you provided in the application form. The panel will ask questions that will enable you to fully explain your personal and professional aspirations and how the summer program can facilitate these goals for you.
6. How will the interview be assessed?
The interview panel will ask a series of questions and your answers will be evaluated in accordance to a number of set criteria.
7. Will I be notified if I am not selected after my interview?
Yes. All candidates will be notified about the outcome of their interview. You can find out more information about when you will receive interview results by checking the fellowship timeline available at the Barrie Foundation’s website.
8. I have received an email to say that I have been conditionally selected for an award, what happens now?
You will be asked to provide additional information (e.g. copy of original English language test results, etc.) by a given deadline. Should you respond in a timely way with the requested information, the conditions will be removed and you will be awarded the fellowship.
9. What does it mean if I’m a reserve candidate?
If you have been selected as a reserve candidate, it means that you may be able to take up an award should another applicant withdraw.
10. My application has been rejected. Can I receive feedback?
Individual feedback will be provided upon request to candidates shortlisted to interview only.

Fellowship

1. What expenses will the fellowship cover?
The fellowship will cover the following expenses:
	
• Round-trip international travel and domestic flights.
	
• Stipend of $4,320 (before taxes), based on 40 hours' work per week at rate of $12 per
	
hour in an assigned laboratory.
	
• J-1 visa application processing fees.
	
• J-1 visa health insurance coverage.
	
• A contribution of €2,000 towards living expenses.
	
• English Language test fees, upon receipt of proof of payment. Fellows can only request
	
reimbursement of one test fee. Only tests taken after the application start date will be
	
considered for reimbursement.
2. Am I required to obtain the appropriate visa to participate in the program?
Yes, it is your responsibility to timely secure the exchange visitor visa (J-1). Visa application processes are lengthy and fellows should plan accordingly. LSU Health Shreveport and the Barrie Foundation will provide fellows with supporting documents for visa application, and will reimburse fellows visa application processing fees.
3. How will my travel be covered?
Travel will be booked and paid for by the Barrie Foundation directly. Any additional charges related to travel are the responsibility of the fellow. Fellows are not entitled to create their own travel itinerary, nor are they entitled to reroute or extend the itinerary created by the Barrie Foundation. The Barrie Foundation shall not be liable for any loss or expenses (including airfares) of the fellow for travel delays incurred by the applicant as a result of inaccurate information provided by the fellow, delays in submitting the appropriate forms to the relevant authorities or refusals of host country authorities to grant a visa to the applicant.
4. I will be abroad in the spring prior to the start of the summer program. Can the Barrie Foundation cover my international travel to A Coruña for the pre-departure Orientation?
No, the Barrie Foundation is unable to provide international airfare to participants for the pre-departure orientation or to reimburse any portion of this expense.
5. Can I leave the U.S. during the fellowship period, especially if I am sure to make arrangements that would not interfere with the program?
No. Travel outside of the U.S. is not permitted, even in cases where it does not conflict with the summer program.
6. How flexible is the program when it comes to the start date?
The program begins on June 28 and ends on August 27, 2021. Unfortunately, there is no flexibility for logistical reasons.

Covid-19 Information

1. How is the Fellowship Program impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
The Barrie Foundation and LSU Health Shreveport recognize that fellows might be unable to participate in the Program in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In such event, LSU Health Shreveport Department of Microbiology and Immunology will endeavor to offer fellows the option of a one year deferral, whenever the Department of Microbiology and Immunology deems deferral to be feasible. Deferral offers shall be documented in writing and will only be granted for participation in the subsequent academic year’s program. If a fellow has been offered a deferral, he/ she shall have the option to either defer the Program’s start date by 12 months from the start date set out in his/her award letter or waive his/her right to participate in the Program.
2. Will it be safe to travel to the United States?
The safety and well-being of fellows is our highest priority. The Barrie Foundation and LSU Health Shreveport will monitor guidance from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and U.S. Department of State about when it is realistic and safe to travel to the United States from Spain. The Barrie Foundation and LSU Health Shreveport will regularly reassess the situation and make changes accordingly to ensure the safety and well-being of fellows.