Summary

HHMI expands the Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study, a highly successful program for graduate students who are pursuing a PhD in the life sciences and who are committed to increasing diversity among scientists.

Highlights

  • The expansion will award up to 30 Gilliam fellowships annually from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences.
  • Each fellow will receive an annual award totaling $43,000, for up to three years.
  • Previously, HHMI selected between six and nine Gilliam fellows per year, a total of 62 fellows during the program's first ten years.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is announcing an expansion of the Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study, a highly successful program for graduate students who are pursuing a PhD in the life sciences and who are committed to increasing diversity among scientists.

The expansion will award up to 30 Gilliam fellowships annually to students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. Each fellow will receive an annual award totaling $43,000, which includes a stipend, a training allowance, and an institutional allowance, for up to three years. Previously, HHMI selected between five and nine Gilliam fellows per year. A total of 62 students were awarded Gilliam fellowships during the program’s first ten years.

The program’s goal is to ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce is available to assume leadership roles in science, including college and university faculty who have the responsibility to develop the next generation of scientists. Successful applicants are chosen for their academic excellence, scientific potential, and commitment to the advancement of diversity and inclusion in the sciences.

“We are expanding the program because there is a large need to encourage more PhD students who are committed to diversity.  The first 62 Gilliam fellows are outstanding, and we are confident that we can find many more such talented students,” said David Asai, Senior Director in Science Education. “In addition to expanding the number of fellows, we are also making more explicit our expectation that the thesis advisers and the graduate programs will engage in effective efforts to develop young scientists, including those from groups underrepresented in science. We believe that the Gilliam fellows, supported by their departments and by HHMI, will become leaders in science.”

HHMI established the Gilliam Fellowships in 2004 in honor of the late James H. Gilliam, Jr., a charter Trustee of the Institute who spent his life nurturing excellence and diversity in science and education.

All of the previous Gilliam fellows were alumni of HHMI’s Exceptional Research Opportunities Program (EXROP), an initiative that provides undergraduate minority students with the opportunity to conduct research under the mentorship of HHMI scientists.

In addition to expanding the number of awards, several other key changes will take effect beginning with the Gilliam class of 2015:

  • The fellowships will support students for up to three years of their PhD research, typically in years three, four, and five.
  • Applicants must be enrolled in their second or third year of a PhD program in the life sciences, and have identified a thesis adviser.
  • In addition to EXROP alumni, the applicant pool will be expanded to include graduate students nominated by the principal investigators of non-MSTP T32 training grants awarded through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS).
  • MD/PhD students will not be eligible for the fellowships.

Nominations are currently being accepted. The deadline to apply for the Gilliam fellowships is February 5, 2015. Awardees will be notified in June 2015, and the fellowships will begin on September 1, 2015.

This is a link to the Gilliam webpage: http://www.hhmi.org/programs/gilliam-fellowships-for-advanced-study.

For More Information

Jim Keeley 301.215.8858 keeleyj@hhmi.org