Call for Nominations: Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study

The goal of HHMI’s Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study program is to ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce is prepared to assume leadership roles in science by supporting PhD students committed to a career in academic research and the faculty and training programs dedicated to developing the talents of promising graduate students from underrepresented groups*.

The annual Fellow stipend is $33,000 and there is no dependency allowance. Additionally, the award provides fellows with a $3,000 annual educational allowance. Gilliam fellows are not permitted to supplement the stipend by private employment or consulting work, or to receive significant funds from other fellowship/scholarship sources or from training grants.

Eligibility: HHMI’s Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study are open to eligible pairs comprised of thesis advisors and PhD students (“advisor-student pairs”).

  • Advisor-student pairs from disciplines studying scientific problems in biomedical and life science disciplines including plant biology, evolutionary biology, biophysics, chemical biology, biomedical engineering, and computational biology must be nominated by the HHMI-designated institutional representative.
  • PhD students must be NIGMS training grant eligible (U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals or permanent residents eligible for Kirschstein-NRSA support), be from racial, ethnic, and other underrepresented groups in the sciences, or alumni of the HHMI Exceptional Research Opportunities Program (EXROP) and be at the appropriate program stage of their PhD training.
  • Trainees must be in their second or third year of a PhD program that have advanced to candidacy by September 1, 2018.

*The following racial groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: African Americans, Latino/Hispanic Americans, Native Americans/Alaska Natives who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment, Hawaiian Natives and natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands. Also included are individuals who come from a social, cultural, or educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments.

Nomination Limits and Deadlines: Each program or department may submit one nomination. Nominations must be submitted online using Grad Status ( ) no later than 5 pm on September 29, 2017.

Evaluation Criteria: Nominees will be assessed on the following factors:

  • How the advisor-student pair fit the eligibility requirements;
  • Evidence that the thesis advisor has the interest, demonstrated ability and commitment to successfully develop the talents of the students, including those from underrepresented groups;
     Evidence that the student nominee shows high promise as a scientific investigator and his/her potential for leadership in the academic and scientific community;
  • Evidence that the student nominee has a commitment to diversity and inclusion;
  • Evidence that the training grant or graduate program is able and committed to developing a diverse and inclusive talent pool. Demographic characteristic of the program may be provided;
  • Evidence that the training grant or graduate program is a good match for the student nominee’s professional interests; and
  • How HHMI’s Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study will help the graduate program improve its ability to develop an outstanding, diverse pool of PhD graduates.

Required Application Information: The information shown below is required for each the prospective student and thesis advisor.

Prospective Student:

  • Applicant’s contact information, including name, current and permanent addresses, email address, and other pertinent contact information.
  • Educational history, including names of all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended, dates of attendance, and degrees obtained. Transcripts are not required.
  • A list of publications authored or co-authored by the applicant.
  • A dissertation research plan with relevant literature cited. The plan should be at least three single–spaced pages, 12-point font size, Times New-Roman font.
  • A leadership statement describing how the applicant plans to contribute to the advancement of diversity and inclusion in science and in the professoriate. The statement should be no more than two single-spaced pages, 12-point font size, Times-New Roman font.

Thesis Advisor:

  • A current curriculum vitae including current and pending research support;
  • A plan that describes how the award will be used to advance diversity and inclusion; and
  • A personal statement that provides evidence of developing students and a detailed mentoring plan for the student applicant. The statement should include the justification for support of the student including an assessment of his or her potential to become an academic scientist. It should also include a clear statement in which the advisor agrees to participate in the mentor development activities and to attend at least two annual meetings of the Gilliam Fellows. These expenses for the mentor development activities and attendance at the annual meetings will be paid by HHMI.
  • The plan and the personal statement should be no more than two single–spaced pages, 12-point font size, Times New-Roman font.

Faculty Reviewers: Graduate Coordinators who nominate an individual for the HHMI Gilliam Fellowship will be expected to participate in the evaluation process. Participants will not be asked to evaluate a nominee from their own department but will rate nominees from broadly related disciplines. If a graduate coordinator is not able to participate in the review process, a member of the department’s graduate faculty should be selected to evaluate nomination files in place of the graduate coordinator. The name and UGA ID (810) of the new reviewer should be sent to Karen Young ( ).

Keys to Success: Below are tips that can strengthen your application

  1. Evidence of a strong mentoring plan for the student.
  2. Evidence of the student’s committed leadership, not just participation, in diversity initiatives.
  3. Student’s participation in diversity initiatives prior to and in graduate school.
  4. Clear description of the mentor’s previous mentoring experience and commitment to diversity.
  5. Ensure the student is positioned to promote diversification of the workforce if he/she is not headed to academics.
  6. The student should incorporate a compelling personal story, within the leadership statement, that includes his/her social and community building activities.
  7. If student does not yet have a first author publication include his/her role in any published projects.

For More Information: Review the HHMI Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study 2018 Program Announcement at for additional information.