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Research Policies

HHMI’s scientific research is governed by policies that address the conduct of research, the sharing of data and materials, collaborations, and intellectual property, setting high standards for scientific and ethical conduct.

Research Philosophy

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is dedicated to promoting knowledge and advancing human health through discovery research in the basic biomedical sciences. HHMI’s guiding principle is to support ‘people, not projects’ because we believe that it is individuals who — with creativity, curiosity, and persistence — break through barriers to advance scientific knowledge.

In carrying out our mission, we are committed to supporting discovery science in basic biomedical research fields for public benefit. Equally, we are committed to ensuring that scientists we employ as HHMI Investigators, Freeman Hrabowski Scholars, and Janelia Senior Group Leaders and Janelia Group Leaders have flexibility in conducting their research and are free to promptly publish and broadly share their results, including tools and data. Our policies and practices reflect these core research values.

We expect scientists employed by HHMI, including HHMI Investigators, Freeman Hrabowski Scholars, and Janelia Senior Group Leaders and Janelia Group Leaders, to conduct all of their work consistent with these core values as they are reflected in HHMI policies and practices. Because of their affiliation with the universities, hospitals, and other research institutions that host their laboratories, HHMI Investigators and Freeman Hrabowski Scholars are also subject to their host institution’s policies and practices. These typically align well with HHMI’s.

When HHMI scientists propose to engage with other organizations whose policies and practices do not align with HHMI’s, we weigh any competing considerations. Our goal is to strike a balance that allows our scientists to proceed with their research priorities, while also protecting our core research values.


Operations and Conduct Policies

Insider Trading Policy

HHMI employees, officers, trustees, and advisors must not use or share material nonpublic information in a way that violates laws against insider trading.

Workplace Conduct

As a non-profit charitable organization, HHMI is committed to conducting its activities in accordance with the highest standards of integrity and ethics. As part of this commitment, HHMI expects that all employees and other individuals in the HHMI workplace or at an HHMI event will be treated with decency and respect. HHMI prohibits unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in our workplaces, will promptly investigate any complaints, and, following investigation, will take any appropriate corrective action.

Whistleblower and Fraud Reporting Policy

HHMI strongly encourages the reporting of suspected fraudulent or dishonest use or misuse of HHMI resources or property.