HHMI seeks to appoint up to 30 new HHMI investigators in 2013. Applications open on March 15, 2012.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) seeks to appoint up to 30 new biomedical researchers through a national open competition. The initiative represents an investment of approximately $200 million in basic biomedical research by the Institute.

This HHMI investigator competition is open to scientists at more than 200 eligible institutions who study significant biological problems in all of the biomedical disciplines, as well as in adjacent field such as biophysics, chemical biology, biomedical engineering, and computational biology. Plant scientists, experimental evolutionary biologists, and patient-oriented researchers are welcome to apply. Those selected in this competition will receive a five-year appointment to HHMI, which is renewable pending favorable scientific review.

We find the best original-thinking scientists and give them the resources to follow their instincts in discovering basic biological processes that will lead to better biomedical outcomes.

Robert Tjian

“HHMI has a very simple mission,” says HHMI President Robert Tjian. “We find the best original-thinking scientists and give them the resources to follow their instincts in discovering basic biological processes that will lead to better biomedical outcomes. I think that is pretty straightforward, but not so easy to do sometimes. The reason it’s not so easy is that the best research is not predictable.”

HHMI’s distinctive model provides its scientists with long-term, flexible funding that gives them the freedom to explore and even change their research direction. “We’re betting on the individual, not necessarily on the specific research that they’re conducting today,” said Jack E. Dixon, vice president and chief scientific officer.

Candidates apply directly to HHMI. Applications must be received by June 13. Successful candidates are expected to meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a Ph.D., and/or M.D. or equivalent degree.
  • Hold a tenured or tenure-track position as Assistant Professor or higher academic rank (or the equivalent) at an eligible institution.
  • Have more than 5 but no more than 15 years of experience since appointment as an assistant professor or equivalent position.
  • Be the principal investigator on one (or more) active, national, peer-reviewed research grants with a duration of at least three years.

Candidates will be evaluated by distinguished biomedical researchers. All semifinalists will be expected to attend a scientific symposium at HHMI in April 2013 and present a brief research talk to an advisory panel. Finalists will be selected shortly after the scientific symposium.

Through its flagship HHMI Investigator Program, the Institute has joined with more than 70 distinguished U.S. universities, hospitals, institutes, and medical schools to create an environment that provides flexible, long-term support for approximately 340 Hughes scientists and members of their research teams. HHMI investigators are widely recognized for their creativity and research accomplishments: 147 HHMI investigators are members of the National Academy of Sciences and there are currently 13 Nobel laureates within the investigator community.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute plays an influential role in advancing scientific research and education in the United States. Its scientists, located across the country and around the world, have made important discoveries that advance both human health and our fundamental understanding of biology. In a complementary program at HHMI's Janelia Farm Research Campus in Loudoun County, Virginia, leading scientists are pursuing long-term, high-risk, high-reward research in a campus designed to bring together researchers from disparate disciplines. The Institute also aims to transform science education into a creative, interdisciplinary endeavor that reflects the excitement of real research. For more information, visit

During fiscal 2011, the Institute made disbursements of $905 million, including $825 million for biomedical research and $80 million in grants to support science education and international science. The Institute’s endowment at the close of fiscal 2011 stood at about $16 billion. HHMI’s headquarters are located in Chevy Chase, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.

For More Information

Jim Keeley 301.215.8858