Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do you have to have a Research Mentor lined up in order to apply to the program?

Yes. Prior to submitting your online application, you must identify a research mentor that you have discussed possible research opportunities with via phone or in person and the research mentor has agreed to fund the initial year of your fellowship.  The FIRST program will fund years 2-4.  Failure to identify a potential research mentor prior to your application submission may result in your application not being reviewed.

2. Do I need to prepare a seminar if called for an interview with the FIRST program?
No. You only need to prepare a seminar if requested to do so by your prospective Research Mentor.

3. When do we receive our annual increase?
Annual increases are given on the anniversary date of when you began the program. So if you began the program on September 1st, your increase will be given on September 1st of the next year. If you began the program on January 1st, your increase would occur the next January.

4. What is the best way to handle travel expenses?
You may apply for an Emory Corporate Card through Emory University Finance division.. Ultimately you are responsible for the bill, however, upon returning from your conference, bring all your receipts to the Senior Program Coordinator for Travel Reimbursement. This way your reimbursement to pay your travel expenses should be already in your account by the time the bill arrives.

5. How do we purchase items with our institutional allotment?
All items purchased with your institutional allotment should be ordered through the Senior Program Coordinator,  particularly computers or other large ticket items. Smaller items, such as software or books, may be purchased individually, however, please check with the finance personnel to make sure you still have funds available and also to see if the item you want to purchase is an approved expense.

6. What is the deadline to spend the institutional allotment?
July 31st of the each calendar year is the deadline for ordering equipment and supplies with your institutional allotment. Any unspent money will not carry forward to the next year and ultimately will be lost.

7. Who can I contact to find out how much money I have left in my account?
You many contact the Senior Program Coordinator to request the balance of your allotment.

8. How often does the entire program meet?
The entire group of fellows and administrators come together for lunch once quarterly to discuss successes, problems or concerns, and upcoming events. The entire group also meets every 2nd Wednesday for the FIRST Fellows Monthly Seminar, where one 2nd or 3rd year fellow develops a presentation to share the progress of their research projects. 

9. How many conferences can I attend?
Fellows are given $1000 to spend for travel. This will generally cover one or possibly two scientific meetings depending on the location.