HHMI seeks to influence academic science at critical stages along the career pathway – from undergraduate to tenured faculty – to meaningfully advance inclusion and equity.

Today, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) announced a long-term commitment to advancing racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in science that’s built on taking concrete steps toward inclusion and equity for scientists and students across key career stages. The Institute will invest $2 billion over the next decade to pursue 10 goals, shared at Through these efforts, HHMI will contribute to the continued preeminence of US science, by fostering the conditions to attract, develop, and advance people from all backgrounds.

HHMI programs have long supported efforts to diversify biomedical science. What’s new in HHMI’s approach is a focus on not only promoting diversity but also developing infrastructure needed to sustain increased diversity. HHMI’s commitment includes dedicated efforts toward culturally aware mentorship, effective professional development, and inclusive community-building at every key stage along the academic science pathway – from undergraduate and post-baccalaureate through graduate, postdoctoral and early career, all the way to tenure-track and tenured faculty.

“Today, HHMI employs roughly 300 scientists who lead research labs, and often teach students, at more than 60 top universities, colleges, and other research institutions nationwide,” says HHMI President Erin O’Shea. “We’re also currently partnering with more than 200 universities and colleges through our science education grants programs. Together and with others, we can make a difference.”

“This is an exciting moment for the Institute, with new programs and a commitment that is central to our mission of developing and supporting the very best minds focused on solving the most challenging and important biomedical questions,” says HHMI Board Chair Clayton Rose, president of Bowdoin College. “We know that we don’t have all the answers, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with academic, philanthropic, and other leaders to share experiences, learn, and adapt as we seek to have sustained and lasting impact.” Rose points to HHMI’s Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study, launched in 2004, and Hanna H. Gray Fellows Program, launched in 2016, as examples of programs that informed HHMI’s new approach.

Most basic biomedical research – and the teaching and training of future scientists – happens in academic environments. It’s also from academic science that HHMI recruits its scientific leadership, as well as scientists, educators, and students to support. As part of the academic ecosystem, HHMI is holding itself accountable, including the public release of demographic data about its employee population today and over time.


HHMI is the largest private biomedical research institution in the nation. Our scientists make discoveries that advance human health and our fundamental understanding of biology. We also invest in transforming science education into a creative, inclusive endeavor that reflects the excitement of research. HHMI’s headquarters are located in Chevy Chase, Maryland, just outside Washington, DC.

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