HHMI catalyzes discovery science by investing in outstanding researchers with generous and flexible funding for significant periods of time. HHMI selects people, not projects. Our Investigators ask tough questions in science, even at the risk of failure. They develop new tools and methods that make it possible to ask previously unapproachable questions. Many forge links between biology and medicine. They are committed to mentoring and training the next generation of scientists.
With HHMI’s backing, scientists have radically changed our understanding of cells, the brain, the immune system, the development of organs, and the causes of human diseases. To date, 32 current or former HHMI Investigators have been awarded the Nobel Prize.
HHMI employs and supports more than 250 Investigators, who are based at over 60 universities, colleges, and other research institutions across the US. In addition to their research programs, HHMI Investigators participate in educational activities and hold leadership roles at these host institutions. With our backing, as well as support from other sources, Investigators direct a research team and create a lab environment well suited to tackling profound science questions.
2021 Eligibility Requirements
For eligibility for the 2021 competition, read the full Program Announcement.
General Eligibility Requirements
Although specific criteria may vary for each competition, in general:
- Applicants must hold a PhD and/or MD.
- Applicants must plan to perform research at one of over 200 eligible U.S. institutions.
- Applicants must hold a position that represents substantial commitment by their institution, such as a tenure-track faculty position.
- Applicants must have a track record of peer-reviewed funding.
- Each competition defines a required length of post-training, professional experience prior to the application.
- Each competition defines the breadth of scientific disciplines to be considered; however, most competitions are open to most biological and biomedical disciplines.
General Application and Competition Information
Through periodic competitions, HHMI invites applications from eligible scientists. Subscribe to HHMI News to receive updates on future competitions.
- Applicants apply directly; there is no nomination process and no limit on the number of applications from a single institution.
- Application requirements include five highlighted research articles, a summary of your major research contributions, and a program description focused on your ongoing and planned research program.
- Selection of investigators is made by HHMI scientific leadership and is based on assessment by a panel of distinguished scientists, including members of HHMI advisory boards.
The HHMI investigator appointment has a seven-year renewable term. Renewal decisions are made by HHMI scientific leadership, based on assessment by a panel of distinguished scientists, including members of HHMI advisory boards. Read more about the review process »
- Investigators are employees of HHMI and receive salary and benefits from the Institute.
- Investigators are provided generous financial support for research as well as access to capital equipment funds.
- Investigators belong to a community of nearly 300 investigators as well as other HHMI-funded scientists. They annually attend one of several scientific meetings that highlight science within the Institute.
Appointments involve a collaborative agreement with the investigator’s host institution, where the researcher holds a concurrent appointment and the research is performed.
The HHMI Investigator Program is the Institute’s flagship program aimed at sustaining innovation in science.