Application Process

How to Apply

To apply to the Summer Institute, please submit the following via email to Lori Bruce, Program Director, at

  1. Your most recent transcript (an “unofficial” version is acceptable);
  2. CV or resume;
  3. One letter of recommendation from a professor familiar with your academic ability
    (Send directly to with the subject “Letter of Recommendation for —”);

  4. Essay #1: A short essay (350 words or less) responsive to the following:

    This program provides a broad overview of bioethics and is intended for students and professionals from various disciplines, including medicine, public health, nursing, law, theology, philosophy, and more. How do you expect your participation in the program to affect your study within your chosen discipline(s), or your career? 

  5. Essay #2: A second short essay (550 words or less), responsive to the following:

    Our program seeks curious, thoughtful learners who wish to gain exposure to (among other things) bioethical principles and modes of argument. Bioethics issues often involve conflict, whether “locally” (e.g., at the bedside or in our own life decisions) or in broad debates about social policy. Describe a situation in which you’ve encountered either a “local,” or a more broad social, ethical conflict. How did you think through the issues and resolve the dilemma? 

    Optional alternative: You may answer the second question in a video of not more than two minutes. Please provide a link to the video on Youtube (it may be a non-public video).

  6. TOEFL Score (only for applicants for whom English is not a primary language).  Or, if you have not taken the TOEFL, please describe your English fluency.

    Candidates for whom English is not the first language may need to speak with representatives of the selection committee by telephone or video-call in order to demonstrate competence in spoken English.

  7. If you are a clinician or clinical student (or other applicant with a compressed schedule), and would like to be considered for one of the few 4-week slots, let us know and state the reason you are requesting this exception. 
    * 4-week slots are not offered in 2022 but may be offered again in 2023.  In 2022, clinicians/clinical students seeking a 4-day experience may apply to our Foundations program.
  8. If you are an alum of the Summer Institute and would to return for one 3-week seminar term, please contact us to discuss.   

Tips on Applying

We receive many applications each year, and process them in order of receipt.  Thus it’s best to submit at least one of the appliation materials (such as your CV or transcript) so that we may start your application file as soon as possible.  

Application Deadline

Applications are processed on a rolling basis.  We encourage you to reach out to us at to let us know if you plan to apply, or if you have any questions on the program. We are always delighted to answer questions about the program, especially in terms of whether and how the program may be a good fit for your career goals.  We encourage these discussions throughout the application process.

Selecting Participants 

Qualified students will have a demonstrated interest in bioethics or in ethical tensions relating to medicine, healthcare, or related subject - either by having taken courses or by having engaged with ethical issues through work or extracurricular activities. Students may have completed coursework in bioethics, but bioethics experience/courses are not required. Yale’s Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics interprets “bioethics” broadly to include medical, biological, public health, and animal, and environmental ethics.

Candidates may be undergraduates, graduate students, or professionals in a wide range of disciplines including bioethics, science, medicine, law, philosophy, literature, anthropology, political science, religion, public health, environmental health, technology, history, chaplaincy, or related field. In fact, participants could be from any field as long as they can make the case for the contribution of their field to bioethical debate.

The selection committee will choose candidates on the basis of their established interests, evidence of their academic ability, evidence of their contribution to the group experience; and relevant intellectual, life, and work experience.

2023 Program Fees

Yale Students

A limited number of scholarships is available for Yale students - please email Lori Bruce at

Program Rates for the Full 7-Week Program

** $75 off applications received by November 15th**

The 2024 program rates (for the full 7-week program) are:

$2,400 Undergraduates
$2,650 Graduate Students
$3,000 Young Professionals
$3,750 Professionals

Returning Alumni

Alumni of the Summer Institute have the option to return for Foundations or 1-2 of the 3-week terms.  Please see the Foundations web page to register for that program.  We’re delighted to answer questions about returning alumni; please contact us at Rates are prorated off the full cost of the program.

** A small number of alumni may return to be a part of the Program Management team.  It’s a wonderful way to participate! Ask us about this option. **


The program fee is exclusive of visa, transportation, housing, meals, and all other costs, which participants must fund themselves.  Please note that our rates are significantly lower than similar programs: part of our mission is to reduce economic barriers to bioethics education. 

Payment Schedule

Full payment of the program fee is due 30 days after receiving a letter of acceptance. Payment may be submitted by check - drawn on a US bank - or via wire transfer.  We are not able to accept credit cards.  

Withdrawal Policy

Students who pay, then withdraw from the program, are subject to the following refund schedule:
  • 75% of the program fee is refunded if withdrawal notification is received before April 15 (6 weeks before the program’s start date); 
  • 50% of the program fee is refunded if withdrawal notification is received between April 15th and May 11th.
  • After May 11th, no refund can be offered.

International Students

International students are responsible for obtaining a visa, and we encourage you to begin the process early. Your acceptance letter will help you begin the visa application process.  You may wish to visit the website for the Yale Office of International Students & Scholars.

Funding Opportunities

Funding opportunities are limited, but we encourage you to seek out options. 

Scholarships are available for Yale students - please contact Lori Bruce at

Current Yale students and alums can also look on the fellowships funding page and in the Yale grants database.

Yale and non-Yale students alike may examine the following databases:

§  Michigan State University Libraries comprehensive database of grants to individuals (search each heading that could apply to you)

§  Fastweb financial aid database

§  Fogarty International Center listings of non-NIH funding for biomedical and behavioral research

§  GrantForward research funding lists

§  IIEPassport Study Abroad Funding

§  TakingITGlobal

§  Scholarships for Development (for students from developing countries or students interested in studying development)

§  Fellowship Finder for US students to support graduate studies

International students might find it helpful to search the website of that country’s ministry for education. For example:

§  Australian government information about scholarships, including those for international students hoping to study in Australia

§  Canadian government information on scholarships for Canadians and international students

§  DAAD The German Academic Exchange Service

§  French Embassy may include information on fellowships

International students should also look at this a list of opportunities for Non-US Citizens.