“Scientists with medical training have a deep understanding of human biology and disease. They can provide valuable viewpoints and new perspectives to discovery science.” David Clapham, HHMI’s vice president and chief scientific officer

Program Update

HHMI regrets to announce that we are suspending MTS. In light of the ongoing economic uncertainty triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be working to determine the right time to relaunch this important effort.

Due to the suspension, HHMI will not review any submitted applications or accept new applications at this time. We do, however, remain strongly supportive of scientists who have trained in medicine and are dedicated to academic careers in basic biomedical research.

Please see the program FAQ for additional information. Subscribe to HHMI News to receive announcements of future HHMI competitions. For more about HHMI’s response to the pandemic, see hhmi.org. (Last updated April 9, 2020.)

About the Program

HHMI believes that basic research leads to a fundamental understanding of biological processes that forms the foundation for future human health advances. With their broad and deep knowledge of human biology and disease, medically trained scientists bring a valuable viewpoint to discovery science. 

Accordingly, HHMI is launching a program to support biomedical researchers who hold a medical degree and are committed to academic careers in basic, fundamental research. The Medically Trained Scientists Program (MTS) will provide fellows with long-term support – starting with mentored postdoctoral training and transitioning to early years as independent faculty.

Up to 10 fellows will be selected in this first open competition.

About the Fellows

We seek applicants who:

  • will focus on basic, fundamental biomedical research and have minimal or no clinical activities for the duration of the award; and
  • are scientifically creative and highly committed individuals whose research will impact significant biological problems.

We welcome applicants proposing basic, fundamental research in the following biomedical disciplines:

  • traditional fields such as biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology, immunology, genetics, neuroscience, and physiology; as well as
  • biophysics, biomedical engineering, chemical biology, computational biology, and evolutionary biology.

Proposals focused on epidemiology, health outcomes or clinical research will not be considered.

HHMI welcomes applicants who will focus on research and engage in minimal or no clinical activities for the duration of the award.


Eligible applicants will:

  • hold an MD, a DO, or an MD, PhD degree; MD or DO must be conferred by a US institution no earlier than June 30, 2013, and no later than July 1, 2021;
  • have been accepted to join a mentor’s research program as a postdoctoral fellow at an eligible institution at the time of the application due date; and
  • have not completed more than 24 months of postdoctoral training by the application due date.

Clinical Training and Activities

  • The program expects MTS fellows to focus on research and be engaged in minimal or no clinical activities during the entire award period.
  • Fellows are permitted to spend up to 10% effort on clinical activities during the postdoctoral training phase and up to 20% effort during the faculty phase, if they choose. However, fellows may not receive compensation for clinical activities during either award phase.
  • Any clinical training (e.g., medical school, residency, or clinical fellowship) must be completed (or terminated) before the start of the award.

HHMI welcomes eligible applicants to the Medically Trained Scientists Program from all gender, racial, and ethnic identities.

HHMI will assess the commitment of the applicant to, and the mentor’s demonstrated record of, training in basic, fundamental research.

Components of the Application


  • A description of the applicant’s prior mentored research experience(s) in basic, fundamental research (one or two projects)
  • A selection of research articles in basic, fundamental research with statements of significance (up to five of the applicant’s articles, including submissions to publicly available preprint servers)
  • The applicant’s bibliography, including submissions to publicly available preprint servers
  • A description of proposed research for the postdoctoral phase

Applicant Information

  • A summary of the applicant’s educational and training record, employment history, and professional activities
  • A personal statement relating to career goals

Postdoctoral Training Mentor

  • The curriculum vitae of the postdoctoral training mentor (form provided)
  • The training record of the postdoctoral training mentor (form provided)
  • Three articles authored and selected by the postdoctoral training mentor to highlight the opportunities for training the applicant in basic, fundamental research within a biomedical discipline


  • A statement of support from the postdoctoral training mentor
  • An evaluative statement from a mentor of a project from applicant’s prior research experience
  • One additional letter of reference

MTS fellows will receive long-term support – starting with mentored postdoctoral training and transitioning to early years as independent faculty.

Mentored Postdoctoral Training Phase

  • A fellow in the postdoctoral phase will receive grant funding to cover salary and institutional health care benefits as well as a flexible expense allowance of $30,000.
  • The postdoctoral training phase is for a minimum of two and maximum of four years.

Faculty Phase

To transition to the faculty phase, fellows must pass a scientific review assessing progress and planned research, and must obtain a tenure-track (or equivalent) faculty position at an eligible US research institution.

  • Fellows in the faculty phase will be HHMI employees and receive full salary and benefits from the Institute and will be provided with an annual research budget of $250,000.
  • This phase of the award has a maximum length of four years.
  • A loan repayment plan will be available to fellows in the faculty phase.

2021 MTS Competition

Competition is closed.


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