A new group of graduate students and their advisers is joining the drive to increase diversity and inclusion in science.
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has awarded 2018 Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study to 45 doctoral student-adviser pairs from across the country. All have demonstrated high promise to become leaders in their fields, says David Asai, HHMI’s senior director for science education.
“These are incredibly talented young scientists with the desire to become college and university faculty, where they will help shape the next generation students,” Asai says.
The Gilliam program aims to ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce is prepared to assume leadership roles in science, he explains. HHMI is taking a two-pronged approach: supporting promising graduate students from groups that are underrepresented in science and helping their thesis advisers build inclusive training environments.
Each pair will receive an annual award totaling $50,000 – which includes a stipend, a training allowance, and an institutional allowance – for up to three years. Fellows’ thesis advisers will participate in a year of mentor development activities, including online training and two in-person workshops at HHMI headquarters in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Effective mentoring is crucial for supporting the growth of a student’s research and professional skills, Asai says. What’s more, improving a scientist’s mentoring abilities has an amplifying effect: “Every student currently in the mentor’s lab, and every future student, can benefit,” he says.
For the first time since the program began in 2004, a portion of the annual award will support activities designed to foster diversity and inclusion in the mentors’ labs and departments. Applicants proposed some creative ideas, including partnering with their departments to impact faculty hiring practices and holding symposia that include speakers from underrepresented backgrounds. Such conferences “will show students that successful scientists don’t all look the same,” Asai says.
HHMI created the Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study in honor of the late James H. Gilliam Jr. A charter trustee of HHMI, Gilliam was a respected business and civic leader who spent his life nurturing excellence and diversity in science and education.
This year, HHMI received 231 applications for Gilliam Fellowships. Selection criteria include nominating materials from the student’s university, the student’s research proposal, a leadership statement, a letter of recommendation, and the adviser’s mentoring plan and proposal for a diversity and inclusion activity.
To be eligible, students must be enrolled in their second or third year of a PhD program in biomedical or life sciences disciplines, but not in an MD/PhD program. Students must be eligible for grants awarded through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and must be from racial, ethnic, or other underrepresented groups in the sciences or be alumni of the HHMI EXROP program. Students also must aspire to careers in academic science and demonstrate a commitment to the advancement of diversity and inclusion in the sciences.
2018 Gilliam Fellows
|Emily Ackerman||University of Pittsburgh||Jason Shoemaker|
|Megan Agajanian||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||Ben Major|
|Shanique Alabi||Yale University||Craig Crews|
|Marcus Alvarez||University of California, Los Angele||Paivi Pajukanta|
|Angelo Andres||University of Kansas||Blake Peterson|
|Raquel Aragon||University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine||Luisa Iruela-Arispe|
|Aleena Arakaki||University of California, San Diego Medical Center||JoAnn Trejo|
|Luendreo Barboza||New York University||Cristina Alberini|
|Isle Bastille||Harvard University||Chenghua Gu|
|Jessie Benedict||Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine||David Linden|
|Abraham Beyene||University of California, Berkeley||Markita Landry|
|Amanda Bradley||University of Washington Medical Center||Richard Gardner|
|Jordan Brown||Vanderbilt University School of Medicine||Danny Winder|
|Taylor Brown||University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine||Elissa Hallem|
|Amber Caldara||Emory University School of Medicine||Andrew Kowalczyk|
|Francis Cambronero||Vanderbilt University Medical Center||Angela Jefferson|
|Kate Cavanaugh||University of Chicago||Margaret Gardel|
|Sergio Cepeda||University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio||Ann Griffith|
|Monica Cesinger||University of Washington Medical Center||Houra Merrikh|
|Lars Clark||Harvard Medical School||Jonathan Abraham|
|Willow Coyote-Maestas||University of Minnesota Twin Cities||Daniel Schmidt|
|Abel Ferrel||Stanford University||John Boothroyd|
|Erik Gonzalez-Leon||University of California, Irvine||Kyriacos Athanasiou|
|Sara Haile||Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine||Cynthia Wolberger|
|Cody Hernandez||University of Chicago||Jonathan Staley|
|Cherice Hughes-Oliver||Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University||Robin Queen|
|Brittany Johnson||University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center||Russell DeBose-Boyd|
|Matias Kaplan||Stanford University||Christina Smolke|
|Jessica Kohn||Columbia University||Rudy Behnia|
|Juanita Limas||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine||Jeanette Cook|
|Jose Llongueras||Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine||Ulrich Mueller|
|Jeremy Lomax||Brown University||Elizabeth Brainerd|
|Naomi Lopez Caraballo||New York University School of Medicine||Robert Froemke|
|Jessica Ochoa||University of California, Los Angeles||Todd Yeates|
|Tolu Omokehinde||Vanderbilt University Medical Center||Rachelle Johnson|
|Gian Carlo Parico||University of California, Santa Cruz||Carrie Partch|
|Susana Restrepo||University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine||Jason Aoto|
|Jaime Reyes||Baylor College of Medicine||Margaret Goodell|
|Stefany Rubio||University of California, Santa Cruz||Lindsay Hinck|
|Lauren Thurlow||University of California, Los Angeles||Tracy Johnson|
|Miriam Van Dyke||Emory University School of Public Health||Tene Lewis|
|Cesar Vargas||Rockefeller University||Erich Jarvis|
|Charles Washington||University of Chicago||Carole Ober|
|Patricka Williams-Simon||University of Missouri-Columbia||Elizabeth King|
|Kurtresha Worden||University of California, Berkeley||Kaoru Saijo|
Updated October 16, 2018