Call for Participation for YPF (Graduate Students & Post-docs) Funded Trip to Korea; Deadline February 17th

Dear KSEA Members,

We at KSEA are very pleased to announce the 2019 Young Professional Forum (YPF) program to be held from July 1 to July 7, 2019, in Seoul, South Korea. Each year since 2002, the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (KOFST) and the Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association (KSEA) have been hosting the Young Generation / Young Professional Forum by bringing young Korean Heritage scientists and engineers from all over the world to Korea. The goal is to share the Korean vision of science and technology around the world.


·        Trip to Korea includes hotel, meals, and activities

·        Airfare support to Korea

·        Opportunity for global networking with scientists and engineers

·        Attend lectures by industry leaders

·        Heritage and cultural tours

·        Once-in-a-lifetime experience

This year, the YPF will bring together 80 of the brightest ethnic Koreans from all over the world, including Korea itself, US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, and China. KSEA is proud to be able to send 8 delegates from the US to the event.

The YPF is a place for mutual exchange, and for strengthening and fostering the capacity of future generations of domestic and overseas talent. In addition, the goals are to provide training and networking opportunities to grow into global leaders; identify the current status of science and technology development amongst our countries and promote academic exchanges.

Program Summary 



Monday, 7/1

Registration & hotel check-in, opening ceremony with ice breaking, welcome keynote speech, Fame-Lab**, group discussion sessions by various topics, special lectures, welcome dinner and talent show

Tuesday, 7/2

Group discussion sessions by various majors, presentation on the group discussion results from each team, mentoring program by majors and industry

Wednesday, 7/3

Young professional leaders career group discussion, YPF-YGF networking, CEO-CTO forum, Pangyo Techno Valley tour, networking dinner

Thursday, 7/4

Attend Korea Science and Technology Annual Meeting (opening ceremony, keynote speech, symposium, award ceremony, welcome dinner etc.)

Friday, 7/5

Industry tour at Hyundai Motors Ulsan factory and POSCO, heritage and cultural tour at Bulguksa Temple

Saturday, 7/6

Heritage and cultural tour at Seokgulam and Gyeongju Museum, YPF review, awards and closing ceremony, farewell dinner

Sunday, 7/7

Hotel check-out & dismissal

* program is subject to change

** Information regarding Fame-Lab at YPF is to be announced. See this reference for general information.

Eligibility and Criteria

  1. Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in a science and engineering major
    1. Postdoctoral researchers must be within 5 years of the acquisition of the doctoral degree
  1. Born on or after 1984.1.1
  2. Able to commit to attendance by March 1st, 2019
  3. Able to communicate in English and Korean
  4. US Citizen or Permanent resident (with verification of US Passport or US Permanent Resident card)
  5. Have not attended Young Generation Forum (YGF) or prior YPF

Note: Additional consideration will be given for socially disadvantaged (orphans, single parents, adoptees, etc.)

Application (you must complete all three parts)

  1. Sign-up for or renew your KSEA membership at the KSEA membership page 
    1. $35 for regular members including post-doc
    2. Membership term is valid until June 30th
    3. Please take note of your KSEA membership ID number (you will need it for the application)
  1. Fill out and submit the YPF Application
  2. Submit proof of legal US Residency to YG Committee Dropbox
    1. US Passport, US Green Card, US Permanent Resident card –

1) Social security cards, driver’s licenses, state ID cards, and bank statements are NOT valid proofs of legal residency.

    1. To help us match your file with your application, please name your file:

1)      LastName_Firstname_Birthyear.ext (example: Doe_John_1987.pdf)

Deadline: February 17th 2019, 11:59pm PT

Please review the FAQ below for additional information. Please contact for any questions.


John Lee

YG Committee Chair

2019 KSEA YPF and YGF Co-Chair

Yun Choe

2019 KSEA YPF and YGF Co-Chair

Dennis Cha

2019 KSEA YPF and YGF Committee

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility Questions

Q: I will be finishing graduate school program this May or June. Am I still eligible? [do we need to ask KOFST?  This always has been an issue.]

A: Yes, you are eligible.

Q: I starting a graduate program this fall. Am I still eligible?

A: No, you are not eligible.

Q: Do post-baccalaureate programs count as graduate degrees?

A: No, unfortunately, they do not.

Q: I am a young professional (i.e. non-student or non post-doc); can I still apply?

A: Unfortunately, no.

Q: I have attended school in the US, but I am not a citizen nor a permanent resident. May I still apply?

A: Unfortunately, no.

Q: I am not a US Citizen / Permanent Resident but a citizen / permanent resident in a country other than Korea or US. Can I still apply?

A: No.  KSEA only is in charge of selection of the US applicants. Other countries (e.g. Canada) must apply through their sponsoring organization. 

Q: Do I need to be active in KSEA, or a current member?

A: YES. The only requirement is that you are a paid/registered member of KSEA at the time of application.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the eligibility requirements?

A: No, unfortunately not.

Application Questions

Q: Is a copy and paste from an unofficial transcript OK for the application?

A: Yes, it is. However, all information on your application may be subject to verification.

Q: What are the criteria for judging applicants?

A: The admissions process is holistic. We are looking for three things: academic achievement, leadership achievement and/or interesting experiences. It isn’t necessary to show achievement in all three aspects, but please try to show positive attributes in at least one of these aspects. Also, as this is an intense networking forum, we want to see that you can handle long days that are full of meeting many new and very interesting people, sightseeing, and working on team building exercises.

 Q: What should I do if my summer plans are unknown?

A: Unfortunately, you will need to determine your summer plans before applying. We highly discourage people from canceling as KOFST does not wait-list candidates and cancellations reduce the number of spots accepted from the U.S. the following year. On the other hand, you may submit your application, and can let us know by the application deadline if you still would like to attend.

Q: Are there any other special considerations?

A: Yes, KOFST encourages socially disadvantaged students to apply, such as being an adoptee, an orphan, from a single parent family, etc. There is a place in the application to indicate this.

 Q: What does it mean to be a finalist versus getting the final notification from KOFST?

A: Finalist means that you were nominated by KSEA to attend, and are likely to attend. However, final acceptance is pending by KOFST, usually by the end of April. 

Program Questions

Q: Is the trip really covered?!

A: Yes, food and lodging is fully covered by KOFST at no expense to you. You will have to purchase your own flight tickets and will be reimbursed after the conference, up to $1,400 (West Coast), $1,500 (Middle), and $1,600 (East Coast), for round-trip. Your location (west, middle, or east) is determined by the address listed on your application.

Q: What if my round-trip flight costs more than the allocated amount (listed above)?

A: Unfortunately, summertime flights to Korea are expensive and the reimbursement amount might not cover the entire amount. Attendees are expected to cover the difference, but we hope that the free lodging, free meals, and the flight reimbursement (plus the experience!) offset any major financial burden.

Q: Can I arrive earlier or leave later than the YGF program dates?

A: Yes, we encouraged participants to arrive early or stay later for further sightseeing, family visits, or post-forum meet-ups with your new YPF friends depending on your schedule. You may purchase your airplane ticket to accommodate this extended schedule. However rooming and meals outside of the YPF program will be on your own. You may coordinate with your fellow US attendees via Facebook group or email once accepted.

Q: What is the purpose of this trip?

A: The goal of this program is to increase collaboration and create networks between promising young students with Korean heritage from around the world. The idea is to start an intellectual / cultural exchange, and to help promote ties between ethnic-Koreans around the world as the future global leaders.