The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) initiated a $1.5 billion contribution to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce in science. With this commitment, HHMI plans to support over 150 faculty members, including biomedical researchers and physician scientists. Scholars will be given $8.6 million in salary, benefits, research budgets, and equipment to support their work over the span of 10 years.
In addition, HHMI is undergoing a $2 billion commitment to elevate gender, racial, and ethnic diversity within the science field to increase researchers from underrepresented backgrounds. “For academic science to thrive in an increasingly diverse world, we need to attract and support scientists from a wide variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds,” said HHMI’s president, Erin O’Shea.
“Early-career faculty play a key role because they are the leaders of tomorrow. We’re excited to support talented early career scientists dedicated to a model of excellence in science that combines innovative scientific research and intentional, inclusive development of postdocs, students, and other lab members.”
The Freeman Hrabowski Scholars Program is now accepting applications from outstanding basic biomedical researchers, including physician-scientists, who are strongly committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in science. Over the next 20 years, HHMI expects to hire and support up to 150 early career faculty as Freeman Hrabowski Scholars – appointing 30 Scholars every other year for the next decade. Each Scholar will be appointed to a five-year term, renewable once with evaluation.
Each Freeman Hrabowski Scholar will receive up to $8.6 million over 10 years, including full salary, benefits, a research budget, and scientific equipment. In addition, Scholars will participate in professional development to advance their leadership and mentorship skills.
With these resources, Scholars will be positioned to advance their scientific research and their capacity to create an equitable and inclusive lab climate that values diversity. HHMI anticipates that Scholars will work toward becoming leaders in their field and believes this program can benefit everyone working in Scholars’ labs, providing the foundation for their future success in science.
“For academic science to thrive in an increasingly diverse world, we need to attract and support scientists from a wide variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds,” says HHMI President Erin O’Shea. “Early career faculty play a key role because they are the leaders of tomorrow. We’re excited to support talented early career scientists dedicated to a model of excellence in science that combines innovative scientific research and intentional, inclusive development of postdocs, students, and other lab members.”
Scholars will maintain their appointments and labs at their home institutions while becoming employees of HHMI. Scholars will be included in HHMI’s community of scientists, educators, and students for scientific meetings, networking, and other opportunities.
“Our goal is to help promising researchers build the future of science,” says Leslie Vosshall, an HHMI vice president and the Institute’s chief scientific officer. “In keeping with HHMI’s ‘people, not projects’ ethos, we want Scholars to follow their own scientific curiosity, ask innovative research questions, and go where the science takes them.”
HHMI named the program in honor of Freeman A. Hrabowski III, outgoing president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a major force in increasing the number of scientists, engineers, and physicians from backgrounds underrepresented in science in the United States.
“We should all be encouraged by HHMI’s commitment to changing the face of science in America,” Hrabowski says. “This initiative shows what is possible when an institution is guided by its values and by evidence of what works. I am deeply honored to be connected with HHMI and with this new program.”
HHMI is the largest private biomedical research institution in the nation. Their scientists make discoveries that advance human health and our fundamental understanding of biology. They 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.