Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study

The Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study support exceptional graduate students who are committed to increasing diversity among scientific leaders, especially those students who will go on to become faculty members at colleges and universities. 

Meet the 2017 Gilliam Fellows

HHMI awards 39 new fellows.

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The 2017 HHMI Gilliam Fellows

The goal of HHMI’s Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study program is to ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce is prepared to assume leadership roles in science, particularly college and university faculty who have the responsibility to develop the next generation of scientists. The training of scientists and engineers has long been a cornerstone of public science policy. HHMI has invested and continues to invest substantially in graduate and medical research education through the direct support of fellowship and training programs. The Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study program promotes excellence in the life sciences and related fields by supporting

  • PhD students committed to a career in academic research, and
  • faculty and training programs dedicated to developing the talents of promising graduate students from underrepresented groups.

The Gilliam program facilitates an environment that supports growth of the fellows’ research and professional skills, including expanding their professional networks. The fellows’ mentors are expected to participate in workshops designed to improve their mentoring skills and sharpen their ability to evaluate themselves as mentors to a diverse and inclusive pool of future scholars. The nomination process, review criteria, and faculty training are intended to encourage participating institutions to adopt activities and policies that promote inclusion and the development of talented scientists from all backgrounds.

The primary desired outcome of the fellowship is that fellows will assume leadership roles in science, particularly in academia. Additional activities are designed to facilitate connections and encourage a sense of community among the different cohorts of awardees.

small group 2015 Gilliam Fellows
  • Students are supported for up to three years of dissertation research, typically in years three, four, and five of PhD study
  • Compensation for the 2018-19 fellowship year is $50,000

HHMI’s Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study are open to eligible pairs comprising thesis advisors and PhD students (“advisor-student pairs”).

  • Advisor-student pairs from eligible disciplines must be nominated by the HHMI-designated institutional representative; and
  • PhD students must be NIGMS training grant eligible, be from racial, ethnic, and other underrepresented groups in the sciences, or Alumni of the HHMI EXROP and be at the appropriate program stage of their PhD training.

The Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study will support students for up to three years of their dissertation research, typically in years 3-5 of their PhD studies. Nominations must therefore be made for students in their second or third year of a PhD program that have advanced to candidacy by September 1, 2018.

The advisor-student pairs must be studying scientific problems in biomedical and life science disciplines including plant biology, evolutionary biology, biophysics, chemical biology, biomedical engineering, and computational biology.

Students enrolled in an MD/PhD program (i.e., Medical Scientist Training Program) are not eligible.

Application for the Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study is by invitation only.

Program Dates

October 2018

Nomination deadline


January 2019

Application deadline


June 2019

Award notification


September 1, 2019

Fellowship start date





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Program Dates

October 2018: Nomination Deadline

January 2019: Application Deadline

June 2019: Award Notification

September 1, 2019: Fellowship Start Date