HomeAbout UsFor Our Host Institutions
For Our Host Institutions
HHMI’s flagship Investigator Program and Early Career Scientist Program are host-based and managed from HHMI headquarters.

Each HHMI host institution either has an on-site HHMI Office of Administrative Services (OAS) headed by a Manager of Administrative Services (MAS) or is assigned to an OAS (and MAS) in the same geographic area. An OAS handles the day-to-day administrative business for all of HHMI’s labs at the host institutions assigned to that OAS. The MAS also acts as liaison to the host institutions assigned to his or her OAS. The activities of local OASes are coordinated with HHMI headquarters through five Regional Offices of Administrative Services.

Examples of administrative matters handled by an HHMI OAS include:

  • Coordinating investigator purchases made using HHMI funds;
  • Coordinating all human resources related activities for the investigator and HHMI lab members, including work authorization issues for foreign national hires;
  • Working closely with the host, the investigator, and HHMI headquarters to maintain an accurate inventory of space occupied by the investigator; and
  • Assisting investigators with management of their HHMI budgets. 

The local MAS usually is the best initial contact at HHMI for host institution personnel on any matter having to do with the operations of HHMI laboratories at that host.  The MAS also can refer host institution personnel as needed to others within HHMI, such as the HHMI scientific officer, HHMI attorney or contracts counsel assigned to the site.

The Collaboration Agreement

Executed prior to the appointment of the first HHMI investigator at a host institution and updated periodically, the collaboration agreement between HHMI and the host institution documents how HHMI and the host institution conduct their collaborative research efforts.  The collaboration agreement addresses issues such as:

  • an investigator’s dual status;
  • the assignment of lab space to investigators and HHMI’s payment of occupancy fees; and
  • the ownership and commercialization of intellectual property arising in HHMI labs at the host.

Investigator’s Dual Status

While investigators remain physically based at the host institution and continue to serve as faculty members (or the equivalent if the host is not a university and does not use the term “faculty”), investigators are HHMI employees. HHMI laboratories typically include a mix of staff employed by HHMI and staff employed by or otherwise affiliated with the host institution. It is expected that HHMI investigators and their HHMI staff will have the same access to host institution resources, such as libraries, computers, dining, parking, and recreational privileges, as host institution faculty and staff.

Investigator Administrative Service to Host and Salary Supplementation

Effective September 1, 2013, an investigator may be paid by his or her host institution for administrative service: for example, as a department chair or as head of a division, institute, or core facility within the host or for similar administrative service to the host.

Research-Related Questions?

HHMI’s research policies can be a useful resource when questions arise. Topics specifically addressed by the posted research policies include:

Host institution personnel can contact the OGC Contracts Counsel assigned to their institution with questions about MTAs covering transfers of materials to HHMI laboratories at the site and the HHMI site attorney assigned to their institution with questions about any other types of agreements for HHMI laboratories or with general questions about HHMI’s research policies.

Host Institution Press Releases About Investigators and Their Research

Host institutions should coordinate external communications concerning investigators and their lab employees with HHMI. This includes external communications related to an investigator’s HHMI appointment; the publication of research findings; technology developed in an investigator’s laboratory; and prizes, awards, and honors received by an Investigator or an HHMI employee in an investigator’s laboratory.

Direct questions about press releases and other communications to pressroom@hhmi.org.

Use of HHMI Name and Logo

HHMI has a reputation for excellence in conducting independent biomedical research and supporting innovative science education. The HHMI name is a valuable asset that must be protected. Therefore, HHMI is cautious about any use of its name by commercial entities. 

The HHMI signature is the primary expression of HHMI’s identity. The two elements of the HHMI signature are the logo “HHMI” with the logotype “Howard Hughes Medical Institute” underneath.

The HHMI signature and its elements should never be redrawn or modified unless prior approval has been obtained from HHMI. Proper usage of the HHMI logo and signature are covered within the HHMI Identity Guide.

Intellectual Property

All investigators, as well as lab personnel who become HHMI employees, generally are required to assign to HHMI any intellectual property that arises from their research. In turn, in accordance with the terms of the collaboration agreement between HHMI and the host institution, HHMI assigns its rights to the host institution, subject to a research use license retained by HHMI. The host institution typically then takes the lead in patenting or licensing that intellectual property in accordance with the terms of its collaboration agreement with HHMI and subject to compliance with HHMI’s policies. Relevant policies include, for example, HHMI’s policies requiring sharing of research tools and other publication-related materials, data, and software. A copy of HHMI’s Intellectual Property Guide for Hosts is a useful resource for intellectual property issues.

By comparison, HHMI’s own Janelia Farm Research Campus is the only location at which HHMI itself has an active patenting and licensing program. Consistent with HHMI’s goal of making published research tools and other materials broadly available, Janelia actively shares new software and tools developed as a result of research there. Janelia’s Technology Transfer page includes a current list of software, tools, and innovations available for licensing or optioning.