Awards & Honors: 2018 HHMI Investigator Competition

The 2018 HHMI Investigator Competition enables the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to strengthen its community of basic researchers and physician scientists who bring innovative approaches to the study of biological problems in biomedical disciplines, plant biology, evolutionary biology, biophysics, chemical biology, biomedical engineering, and computational biology.

This program is considered Highly Prestigious by the National Research Council (NRC).

Deadline: June 27, 2017, 3 p.m. EDT

Selection Criteria

From this competition, HHMI expects to appoint up to 20 new investigators who will be among the most creative and promising in the nation. HHMI investigators are expected to demonstrate a combination of the following attributes that distinguish them from other highly competent scientists in their field.

  • They identify and pursue significant biological questions in a rigorous and deep manner.
  • They push their chosen research field into new areas of inquiry, being consistently at its forefront.
  • They develop new tools and methods that enable creative experimental approaches to biological questions, bringing to bear, when necessary, concepts or techniques from other disciplines.
  • They forge links between basic biology and medicine.
  • They demonstrate great promise of future original and innovative contributions.


  • PhD and/or MD (or the equivalent).
  • Tenured or tenure-track position as an assistant professor or higher academic rank (or the equivalent) at an eligible S. institution. Federal government employees are not eligible.
  • More than 3, but no more than 12, years of post-training, professional To meet this requirement, the applicant’s first professional appointment must have begun no earlier than June 1, 2005, and no later than September 1, 2014.
  • Principal investigator on one or more active, national, peer-reviewed research grants with an initial duration of at least three years, such as an NIH R01 grant, as of August 1, 2017. Mentored awards, career development and training grants do not Multi-investigator grants may qualify.

Important Conditions:

  • Appointees become full-time employees of HHMI and are appointed for a seven-year, renewable
  • HHMI investigators are required to devote at least 75% of their total effort to the direct conduct of biomedical Applicants with administrative responsibilities or other duties inconsistent with this time commitment may apply, but must reduce those other commitments to be appointed.
  • At the time of the submission deadline, applicants must hold a qualifying position at the institution where their HHMI appointment would be In addition, an investigator may not transfer to another institution during the first five years of the initial appointment term and retain their HHMI appointment.

Application Process

Establish eligibility and apply here:

The deadline for applications is June 27, 2017, at 3:00 PM (Eastern Daylight Time). All applications must be submitted electronically following instructions on the competition web site.

The application includes the following documents:

  • A curriculum vitae, including a list of current research support, and a bibliography.
  • An overview of the applicant’s most significant research achievements (not more than 250 words).
  • An abstract providing an overview of the biological questions, goals and approaches of the research program (not more than 300 words).
  • A description of the applicant’s ongoing and planned research program (not more than 3,000 words).
  • Five selected publications that report the applicant’s most important scientific contributions with a focus on the most recent five years, as well as a paragraph describing the significance of each publication.


Any questions regarding eligibility or HHMI policies should be addressed to Additional information is available in the FAQ.