Table of Contents

  1. Eligibility
  2. Application Guidelines
  3. Review Process
  4. Employment as an HHMI Investigator; Time Commitment to Research
  5. Compensation and Benefits for HHMI Investigators
  6. Grant and Other Nonprofit Funding
  7. Budgets, Indirect Costs, and Laboratory Staff
  8. Research Collaborations, Consulting, and Industry Funding
  9. Intellectual Property – Patenting and Licensing

A. Eligibility

General

A1. What are the eligibility requirements?
  • PhD and/or MD (or the equivalent).
  • Tenured or tenure-track position as assistant professor or higher academic rank at one of the eligible US institutions, or, if at an eligible institution that has no tenure track, an appointment that reflects a significant institutional commitment. Federal government employees are not eligible.
  • More than five but no more than 15 years of experience since beginning your first post-training, professional position. To meet this requirement, the applicant’s first post-training, professional position must have begun no earlier than March 1, 2005, and no later than April 1, 2015.
  • As of April 1, 2020, principal investigator on one (or more) active, national peer-reviewed research grants with a duration of at least three years. Mentored awards and training grants do not qualify. Multi-investigator grants may qualify.
A2. How do I know if I am eligible to apply?
Establish eligibility by registering on the HHMI Application and Review Channel website and completing the Eligibility section of the application (https://arc.hhmi.org).
A3. What fields of research are supported by the HHMI Investigator Program?
HHMI’s community of basic researchers and physician scientists bring innovative approaches to the study of biological problems in basic and biomedical sciences, plant biology, evolutionary biology, biophysics, chemical biology, biomedical engineering, and computational biology. See HHMI Investigator profiles for an overview of the research conducted by current Investigators. Research on health education, health care delivery, or health services are not eligible fields. There are no preferred fields within the broad range of fields supported by HHMI. In their applications, individuals identify their field of interest against a choice of almost 100 research areas of study.
A4. What is the policy regarding eligibility of faculty members with administrative responsibilities?

Individuals with administrative responsibilities are eligible to apply, but those appointed to be HHMI Investigators must devote at least 75% of their total professional time to the direct conduct of research.

  • The permitted 25% of non-research activities include administrative duties, teaching, faculty service, and consulting (subject to HHMI’s policies on consulting).
  • HHMI Investigators may serve in leadership positions (e.g., department chair, director of a departmental division, head of a research center or a graduate program, etc.) if HHMI determines that the duties are compatible with devoting at least 75% of their total professional time to the direct conduct of research.
  • HHMI Investigators may not hold the positions of dean, provost, vice president, or president of an institution, as we do not believe it is possible for individuals in these positions to meet the 75% requirement. Also, see E4 concerning salary support for administrative responsibilities.

Current Position

A5. I am considering moving to a new institution after September 2, 2020 (the deadline for applying for this competition). If selected by HHMI in this competition, could I be appointed at the new institution?

Yes, provided:

  • you notify HHMI of your intent to change institutions no later than March 9, 2021;
  • you provide a copy of your signed offer letter (with confidential information such as your salary and support, etc. redacted) by March 9, 2021;
  • the new appointment starts no later than September 1, 2022;
  • the new institution where you will hold your primary appointment is an eligible institution for this competition; and
  • your new appointment is to a tenured or tenure-track position or, if the new institution has no tenure track, your appointment reflects a significant institutional commitment.
A6. I’m an adjunct professor at one of the eligible institutions and a tenured or tenure-track faculty member at another institution that is not an eligible institution. Am I eligible?
No.
A7. I have my principal research space and/or am employed at a US federal government laboratory, although I am on the faculty at an eligible institution. Am I eligible?
No. Federal employees are not eligible for appointment as HHMI Investigators. If your principal research location is at a federal facility, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a US Department of Agriculture facility, a US Department of Energy lab, or US Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital, you are not eligible for this competition.
A8. What makes a position equivalent to tenure track at an institution without a tenure track?
Applicants at institutions without tenure-track positions are required to have a position at their institution that is the most similar to a tenure-track appointment at other institutions (i.e., equivalent in terms of institutional commitment to the employee, etc.). If you are uncertain about whether your appointment meets this eligibility requirement, provide information about the terms of your position to sciencecomp@hhmi.org prior to submitting an application.
A9. I have a faculty-in-residence appointment that is non-tenure track at an institution that also has a tenure track. Am I eligible?
No.

Years of Experience

A10. Am I eligible if I started my first post-training, professional position before March 1, 2005, but have fewer than 15 years of experience due to one or more periods of leave?
Circumstances such as military service, family or medical leave, or approved tenure-clock extensions may justify an exception when such leave or tenure-clock extension has been approved by your institution and is consistent with and authorized by a policy at your institution. Request an exception by sending the signed and dated approval authorizing your leave of absence or tenure-track extension and a copy of the relevant policy to sciencecomp@hhmi.org.
A11. Am I eligible if I started my first post-training, professional position days after April 1, 2015?
No, you are not eligible. No exceptions are being made to the requirement that applicants must have started their first post-training, professional position no later than April 1, 2015.
A12. How are post-training positions defined for determining years of post-training, professional experience?

The following positions qualify as post-training for calculating years of experience:

  • Tenure-track Assistant Professor or higher rank positions.
  • Positions at institutions without tenure-track positions that are most similar to a tenure-track appointment (i.e., in terms of institutional commitment to the employee, etc.).
  • Research (non-tenure) track faculty positions, if the scientist:
    • had institutionally assigned space independent of a mentor’s space, and
    • received a start-up package as a Principal Investigator.
  • Industry positions not identified as postdoctoral training positions.
  • Full-time clinical positions without a training component.

In contrast, time in the following types of positions is not included when determining years of experience:

  • Postdoctoral positions, regardless of position title.
  • Medical internships, residencies, and fellowships.
  • Fellow positions made through programs providing financial support for early career scientists to run independent groups.
  • Research (non-tenure) track faculty positions that do not meet the criteria listed above or other positions in which the scientist works within a mentor’s laboratory even if leading projects, guiding students, or being a Principal Investigator on a research award.

Grant Requirement

A13. I am a Principal Investigator on an NIH R01 grant now, but I’ve been told my grant will not be renewed. I don’t have another grant. Am I still eligible?
Yes, provided that the grant is in active status on April 1, 2020. Grants in an official no-cost extension period will qualify provided that the original grant term was at least three years in duration and the grant was a national, peer-reviewed research grant.
A14. My only funding is as a co-investigator rather than a principal investigator. Am I eligible?
No; to be eligible, you must be a principal investigator on one or more active, national peer-reviewed research grants with a duration of at least three years.
A15. I am a co-principal investigator on an NIH R01 grant or a project leader on a multi-investigator award. Am I eligible?
Co-principal investigators are eligible. Also, subcomponent directors of a multi-investigator grant, such as an NIH P01, would likely qualify, but your role in the project would need to be discussed with HHMI staff through an inquiry to sciencecomp@hhmi.org.

B. Application Guidelines

B1. How do I prepare and submit my application?

Your application must be submitted electronically on the HHMI Application and Review Channel website. Formatting guidelines, the required bibliography template, and instructions are provided on the Channel website.

Responses entered in the application and uploaded documents will be assembled into an application PDF. You can view your application PDF at any time while preparing your application by clicking on “View PDF” in the menu shown on the left side of the screen. We recommend reviewing the application PDF closely before submitting your completed application.

B2. What are the components of the application?

Scientific Profile

Applicants provide their research program title, scientific disciplines, research organisms (if any), and research areas, and may also provide keywords to describe their research.

Also required are a summary of the applicant’s major research contributions to date (250-word limit) and a list of active grants including titles, identifying numbers (if any), name of principal investigator, name of funding agency, and total award period (300-word limit).

Lab Census

Applicants provide the number of predoctoral trainees, postdoctoral trainees, MD Fellows, research staff (technicians, lab managers, research specialists, computation specialists), and undergraduates currently working in their laboratory.

Research Program

Applicants provide a research program abstract (300-word limit) and description (not to exceed 3,000 words) of their ongoing and planned research program, with up to one page of figures and a list of essential references. Figures and accompanying legends may be interleaved within the body of the description. Figures, legends, and essential references are not included in the 3,000-word limit.

Publications

Applicants select five articles that report their most important scientific contributions with a focus on the most recent five years. For each article, the applicant provides a statement that summarizes the significance of the selected article (300-word limit). Only papers that are published, accepted, or deposited in a preprint server as of September 2, 2020, may be included.

Additional publications may be listed using the HHMI bibliography template, which is provided on the HHMI Application and Review Channel website. These should include only peer-reviewed publications and preprint articles listed in reverse chronological order. There is an eight-page limit on this subsection of the bibliography. A separate list of reviews, perspectives, other articles, book chapters, and patents are permitted. There is a two-page limit on this subsection.

Applicant Information

Applicant provides contact details not previously entered on the Eligibility page.

Education & Training

Applicant completes an educational or research training record for each career stage starting with undergraduate education and continuing sequentially through all training positions. For post-degree training, applicant would select “No Degree” under “Degree.”

Note that the following are considered training positions for the purpose of this application:

  • Postdoctoral positions, regardless of position title.
  • Medical internships, residencies, and fellows.
  • Fellow positions made through programs providing financial support for early career scientists to run independent groups.
  • Research (non-tenure) track faculty positions unless the individual was (a) controlling his/her own research direction and laboratory space and (b) received a start-up package from the institution.
  • Other positions in which the scientist worked within a mentor’s laboratory even if leading projects, guiding students, or being the Principal Investigator on a research award.

Applicant may enter records in any order. Records will appear in the application PDF sorted by start date from oldest to most recent.

Employment History

Applicant completes an employment record for each position starting with their first post-training professional position and continuing sequentially through their current position(s). Additional notes provided under Education & Training, above, explain what to include as Employment History versus Education & Training.

If appropriate, applicant should explain any gaps in the sequence of educational programs, training experiences, and professional positions in the space allocated for explanatory notes (100-word limit).

Professional Activities

Applicants have an opportunity to provide information about:

  • significant professional activities including, for example, service on advisory panels, editorial boards, or consulting;
  • honors and awards;
  • significant outreach activities including, for example, science outreach in the community and contributions to equity and inclusion efforts; and
  • significant curriculum and/or course development activities that extend beyond fulfilling institutional teaching requirements.

If a section is not applicable, N/A should be entered in the space provided. Responses are limited to 300 words.

Demographic Information

It is voluntary and optional for applicants to provide demographic information about gender, ethnicity, and/or race. HHMI will aggregate this information for all applicants who provide it, and the data will be used to characterize the applicant pool for this competition and to help HHMI plan outreach for future competitions. We may also make aggregated information public in a way that does not permit the identification of any individual applicants.

All applicants are required to acknowledge that responses to the questions on the Demographics page are not required. Demographic information will not be shared with reviewers.

B3. May the five significant articles required in the application include one or more deposited in a preprint server but not yet published or accepted for publication in a scientific journal?

Yes. All of the following are acceptable for inclusion among the five significant articles submitted in the application:

  • peer-reviewed published papers;
  • peer-reviewed manuscripts accepted for publication by a journal;
  • articles deposited in a publicly available preprint server, such as BioRxiv.

B4. Will I be asked to provide reference letters?

No. HHMI will not require or accept reference letters for this competition.

B5. Can I send updates to my application?

If you are selected as a semifinalist, you will be able to submit a one-page statement updating your application, including any new articles accepted, published, or deposited in a preprint server.

B6. Can work supported by active or submitted grants be included in the Research Program Description?

Yes. We are interested in any of your current and planned work, regardless of sources of funding.

B7. Should specific aims be included in the Research Program Description?

Describe future goals, but not at the level of experimental detail that may be expected in a research grant proposal, for example, to a federal agency.

B8. Should I include background information in my research plan?

Background information will likely be necessary to set the stage for the description of your ongoing and planned research program and its significance. Reviewers will receive the full application (minus demographic information), including the five selected publications and your statements regarding those publications as well as the summary of your major research contributions.

B9. What should I include in the Major Contributions section?

This section is meant to highlight selective research achievements that you consider to be your most significant contributions to date. Do not include scientific mentoring or other educational achievements.

B10. Do I need endorsement or approval from my institution in order to apply for this competition?

No. Institutional approval or endorsement of your application is not part of the application process. Because you are applying to become an employee of HHMI, your application does not need to be registered with or approved by your department or any administrative unit in your institution.

C. Review Process

C1. How does the HHMI review process work?

The HHMI review process will include evaluation of applications by distinguished scientists, leading to the selection of semifinalists. Further review will include a symposium attended by HHMI scientific leadership and the final advisory panel at which each semifinalist will make a brief research presentation. The dates for notifying applicants of their status in the competition, including if they were selected to be a semifinalist, will be provided by September 2, 2020.

C2. When is the symposium at which semifinalists will make brief presentations to HHMI scientific leadership and the final advisory panel?

The dates for the competition symposium will be announced by September 2, 2020. The event will be held at HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia. Those selected as semifinalists will be required to attend and should plan to arrive the day before the symposium is held and depart on the day following the symposium.

C3. Who are the reviewers?

Reviewers include distinguished scientists selected by HHMI. These may include current and past members of HHMI’s Medical Advisory Board and Scientific Review Board, and other scientists, including current HHMI Investigators and HHMI’s scientific staff. Except in extraordinary circumstances, we do not entertain individual requests from applicants to exclude reviewers.

C4. Can I get a list of potential reviewers who might be assigned to my application?

No. We do not make public the roster of reviewers for an Investigator competition. However, HHMI does consider current and past institution affiliation and mentoring and collaboration relationships, among other factors, when determining if reviewers have a conflict of interest with an applicant.

C5. What are the criteria for selecting HHMI Investigators?

In choosing scientists to appoint as HHMI Investigators, HHMI will be guided by the principle of “people, not projects.” Please consult www.hhmi.org/about to learn more about HHMI programs, including the Investigator Program.

C6. Does HHMI give a preference to applicants who are already at institutions where there are other HHMI Investigators?

No.

C7. When will I know the status of my application?

The dates for notifying applicants of their status in the competition, including if they were selected to be a semifinalist, will be provided by September 2, 2020.

C8. Will I receive written comments on my application from the reviewers?

No. Written comments on applications submitted for this competition will not be provided.

D. Employment as an HHMI Investigator; Time Commitment to Research

D1. I understand that as an Investigator I would become an HHMI employee. Would this affect my faculty status at my institution?

No. Appointment as an HHMI Investigator does not affect your faculty status at your institution. Moreover, you must retain your faculty status at the host institution as a condition of your Investigator appointment and HHMI employment.

D2. I am a tenured faculty member at my institution and I also have a faculty appointment at another institution. Will I have to give up that other faculty appointment if I become an Investigator?

No. However, if you have a second laboratory at the other institution, we would need to review that arrangement with you before your appointment in order to determine whether the arrangement is consistent with HHMI policies. In addition, we might need to put in place an agreement between HHMI, your host institution, and the institution at which your second laboratory is located.

D3. If I am selected to be an Investigator, are there aspects of my current duties that could delay or even block my appointment as an Investigator?

Yes.

  • HHMI requires Investigators to devote at least 75% of their total professional time to the direct conduct of research, regardless of how funded. Up to 25% of total professional time may be spent on administrative duties, teaching, faculty service, and consulting (subject to HHMI’s policies on consulting). An HHMI Investigator appointment cannot go into effect until your pre-existing non-research duties have been reviewed.
  • Industry-sponsored research funding in HHMI laboratories and consulting for companies are subject to review, and continuing arrangements will likely need to be modified before you can be appointed as an HHMI Investigator. Arrangements with start-up companies can present additional considerations under HHMI’s policies (e.g., nature of your role with the company, board of director service, equity ownership, and interactions between the company and your laboratory) and will need to be reviewed and modified accordingly. (Also see Section H. Research Collaborations, Consulting, and Industry Funding).
  • In some cases, the terms of other funding arrangements are not compatible with status as an HHMI Investigator. If you have funding arrangements in this category, and they cannot be modified for consistency with HHMI policies, you will need to choose whether to forego appointment as an HHMI Investigator or discontinue the other funding arrangements. This is currently the case, for example, with Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigators and Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy Member Researchers.

D4. If I am selected to be an Investigator, how long would my HHMI appointment continue?

Investigator appointments have an initial term of seven years and may be renewed for additional seven-year terms, each contingent on a successful scientific review. If a scientific review is unsuccessful, the Investigator will be provided with approximately two additional years of phase-out support beyond the end of the Investigator’s seven-year term.

D5. My institution allows me to consult or engage in other outside activities for up to one day per week. Does HHMI have a limit on outside activities?

Yes. As noted in D3, above, the sum of all non-research activities, including consulting activities, cannot exceed 25% of total professional time. See also H4, below, regarding consulting for companies.

D6. Can I move an HHMI appointment to another institution?

Investigators who wish to transfer to another institution during the first five years of their initial seven-year appointment term may not do so and retain their HHMI appointment. However, Investigators may request an early scientific review after the first five years of their initial HHMI appointment term, and, if their appointment is renewed, they may transfer to another HHMI host institution and retain their HHMI appointment, as detailed in HHMI’s Transfer Policy. An HHMI Investigator is permitted only one transfer during their tenure with HHMI.

E. Compensation and Benefits for HHMI Investigators

E1. What is included in the compensation package of an HHMI Investigator?

HHMI pays the full salary of the Investigator and offers a comprehensive benefits package to Investigators and other eligible employees. Once semifinalists are identified, they will be provided with a current description of HHMI benefits for planning purposes.

E2. How will my initial HHMI salary be determined?

HHMI applies a non-negotiable salary scale for our Investigators. The salary scale uses third-party benchmark data and reflects transparent and competitive salary rates for Investigators and our Janelia Group Leaders. Salaries vary by geographic region, years of experience as an independent lab head, degree (PhD or MD), and certain types of scientific recognition (specifically, membership in the National Academy of Sciences or Royal Society, and/or receipt of a Nobel Prize). For planning purposes only, semifinalists will be provided with their projected starting salary based on the information available when semifinalists are identified.

E3. How is salary determined subsequently?

HHMI’s non-negotiable salary scale for our Investigators provides for salary increases. HHMI Investigators have access to the salary scale once their appointments begin.

E4. Can I receive salary supplementation from my institution for administrative or other duties?

Investigators may receive salary supplements from their host institution for administrative service. The administrative effort must accommodate the requirement that 75% of your total professional time be spent on research. The compensation must be comparable to that received by similarly positioned faculty and must comply with HHMI’s Investigator Administrative and Non-Research Activities and Salary Supplementation for Administrative Service to Host Policy.

E5. As an HHMI Investigator, could I continue to receive housing, tuition assistance, or other similar benefits offered by my host institution?

HHMI permits certain types of benefits that host institutions make available to an Investigator on the same basis as to other similarly situated faculty members, and that are not offered by HHMI. Most commonly these benefits include faculty housing assistance and tuition remission.

F. Grant and Other Nonprofit Funding

F1. Can I continue to receive government grant funding if I become an HHMI Investigator?

Yes. As an HHMI Investigator, your laboratory could continue to receive grant funding from government agencies. See also Section H. Research Collaborations, Consulting, and Industry Funding regarding industry funding.

F2. I receive at least part of my salary from my federal grant funds. Because my entire salary must be provided by HHMI, would I be required to return those funds if appointed as an Investigator?

Your institution cannot continue to accept any such funds for your salary after your HHMI appointment is effective. Investigators typically negotiate directly with the granting agency regarding possible reallocation of grant funds.

F3. I am currently reporting very close to 100% effort on my government grants. Would that be an issue?

Although HHMI does not use or require effort reporting, if you are successful in this competition, we would ask you and your institution to reexamine your effort commitments.

F4. Can I receive funding from other nonprofit sources for research in my laboratory if I become an HHMI Investigator?

Yes, provided the funding arrangements are consistent with the application of HHMI policies to your research. Upon appointment as an HHMI Investigator, you become an HHMI employee, and HHMI policies apply to the conduct of all research in your laboratory. There may be circumstances where the terms of another funding arrangement with a company or a nonprofit institution are not compatible with HHMI policies. Prior to appointment as an HHMI Investigator, HHMI reviews arrangements affecting your research in order to determine whether any modifications are required for compliance with HHMI policies. In certain cases, if an arrangement cannot be modified, you may be required to choose between an HHMI appointment and maintaining one or more of your other arrangements. See also Section H, Research Collaborations, Consulting, and Industry Funding regarding industry funding.

G. Budgets, Indirect Costs, and Laboratory Staff

G1. What does an Investigator’s budget include?

The Investigator budget includes research funding that may be used for non-Investigator personnel (e.g., compensation and benefits for laboratory staff) and for laboratory operations (e.g., supplies, services, and minor equipment). In addition, HHMI Investigators may submit requests to HHMI for funding of major equipment. Investigators’ salaries and benefits packages are provided by HHMI separate from Investigators’ laboratory budgets.

G2. How does HHMI establish an Investigator’s budget?

HHMI has standard laboratory operations budget levels for HHMI Investigators that are reviewed annually and adjusted as required. HHMI laboratory operations budgets for new Investigators are set to the lowest level for year one and increase to the second level in year two. Subsequently, new HHMI Investigators typically receive inflation adjustments to their HHMI laboratory operations budgets each year until their budget is increased to level three after completing seven years as an HHMI Investigator and passing their first review. All HHMI Investigator laboratory operations budgets are subject to the approval of HHMI’s President and Trustees.

G3. Does HHMI pay indirect costs?

HHMI does not pay indirect costs. HHMI makes occupancy payments to the host institution in connection with an Investigator’s research and office space and pays certain other expenses. These payments are paid directly to the host institution, and they are not a part of an Investigator’s budget.

G4. If I am appointed as an Investigator, can some of my laboratory staff become HHMI employees? Would they be eligible for health insurance from HHMI? Who sets their salaries?

Yes. Any of your postdoctoral associates, technicians, and other research and administrative staff could become HHMI employees (subject to the limitations of your budget, and assuming the individual meets the requirements for an HHMI position). Although graduate students cannot become HHMI employees, funds from Investigator budgets can be used in support of students conducting research in the lab. Also, note:

  • It is generally expected that you will have some HHMI employees in your laboratory in addition to yourself.
  • Full-time and part-time (scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week) HHMI employees are eligible for benefits that include access to a 403(b) retirement plan, as well as health, dental, and vision coverage. Temporary employees, such as summer students, generally are not eligible for benefits from HHMI.
  • You set salaries for HHMI employees in your laboratory, within HHMI salary guidelines.
  • A lab member’s salary cannot be split among HHMI and another entity.
  • There may be certain types of positions that are not permitted for an HHMI employee (e.g., full-time grant writer).

H. Research Collaborations, Consulting, and Industry Funding

H1. Can I receive industry funding for research in my laboratory?

Yes, provided the arrangements are consistent with HHMI’s Company Funding Arrangements Policy. Your host institution negotiates the terms for industry funding to your laboratory under similar circumstances as other faculty. However, HHMI staff reviews all arrangements to ensure that the terms are consistent with HHMI policies. Any existing company-sponsored research arrangements will be reviewed by HHMI and may need to be modified before you can be appointed as an Investigator.

H2. Can I collaborate with industry?

Yes, provided the arrangements are consistent with HHMI’s policies. Research collaborations with company scientists that include company funding are reviewed by HHMI for consistency with HHMI’s Company Funding Arrangements Policy. Unfunded research collaboration projects with company scientists are reviewed by HHMI for consistency with HHMI’s Research Collaborations Policy. All collaborations with companies, whether funded or unfunded, must be documented by an agreement that has been reviewed by HHMI’s Office of the General Counsel.

H3. Are collaborations with my academic colleagues also reviewed?

Your collaborations with academic colleagues require HHMI review only when you have a significant scientific collaboration with an academic colleague who is funded for that research by a company, or when the collaborator or your host institution require any written agreement. See also F4 regarding funding from nonprofit sources.

H4. As an HHMI Investigator, can I consult for a company?

Yes, provided the arrangements are consistent with HHMI’s consulting policies. Consulting activities with companies must be documented by an agreement that has been reviewed by HHMI’s Office of the General Counsel. Information about HHMI’s consulting policies can be found on HHMI’s Policies page.

Note that service as a member of a company’s board of directors is permitted only in limited circumstances, and service as an officer of a company is never permitted. Also, an Investigator may not consult for and collaborate with or receive funding from a company at the same time.

H5. Can I have equity ownership in a company, including a start-up?

Yes. Equity ownership in start-ups and other companies must be consistent with HHMI policies. Information about HHMI’s policies regarding equity ownership is available in HHMI’s Consulting for Companies – General Policy (See H4, above, and also HHMI’s Policies on Consulting for and Equity Ownership in Start-Up and other Private Companies).

H6. Can I consult for a nonprofit organization?

Yes, provided the arrangements are consistent with HHMI’s consulting policies. Consulting arrangements with nonprofit entities that include only basic terms, such as the scope of duties, time commitment, and the amount of any honorarium or other compensation, do not need to be reviewed by HHMI staff. Information about HHMI’s policies regarding nonprofit consulting is available in HHMI’s Service to Nonprofit Organizations and Government Agencies Policy.

I. Intellectual Property – Patenting and Licensing

I1. How does HHMI handle intellectual property?

As the employer, HHMI owns any intellectual property developed by its Investigators and other employees. HHMI assigns intellectual property rights to the host institution, subject to certain retained rights for research purposes, and shares patenting and licensing expenses and any royalty income with the host institution to the extent specified in HHMI’s collaborative agreement with the Investigator’s host institution. The relevant host institution’s policy applies in determining the amount and timing of distributions of royalty income to inventors.

I2. Some technology I developed in the past has been licensed to companies. Will HHMI be concerned about those arrangements?

Yes, if they affect your ongoing research. If you are successful in this competition, we will ask your host institution for copies of all active licenses to for-profit companies relating to technology developed in your laboratory. If any such licenses cover future improvements that might result from your research as an HHMI Investigator, we are likely to require modifications in those licenses be made before your appointment can proceed.

I3. If I get royalties from a company that licensed technology I developed in the past, can I collaborate with or consult for that company?

Yes, assuming that the license and collaboration or consulting arrangements are consistent with HHMI policies.

For more detailed information about HHMI’s research policies, please refer to the Policies page.