Investigator Competition

Proposal Opportunities
Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator Competition

Institute Contact:  Gail Spatt, 404.385.8334 or

Sponsor Website:

The deadline for this award has passed. This page is for informational purposes only; it will be updated when new information is available.

The HHMI Investigator Competition is not a limited submission RFP.  However, the EVPR office highly encourages submissions from Georgia Tech faculty and likes to know who on campus is submitting, both for data tracking purposes and to provide appropriate support to the applicants.  If you are planning to submit an application, please email Gail at to let us know.   The most recent program announcement is below.


2015 HHMI Investigator Competition

Howard Hughes Medical Institute is pleased to announce a national competition for the appointment of outstanding scientists as HHMI investigators. This competition will enable HHMI to strengthen its community of researchers and bring innovative approaches to the study of biological problems through biomedical disciplines as well as adjacent fields of biophysics, chemical biology, biomedical engineering, and computational biology. Plant scientists, experimental evolutionary biologists, and patient-oriented researchers are welcome to apply to this general competition.

From this competition, HHMI expects to appoint approximately 20 to 30 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.

This investigator competition places no restrictions on the number of applications from any eligible institution. Researchers with faculty appointments will apply directly; prior institutional endorsement is not part of the application process. It is anticipated that the competition for these appointments will be extremely keen. Those candidates with outstanding records who have shown evidence of significant originality and accomplishments are encouraged to apply. HHMI welcomes applications from women and members of minority groups that are under-represented in biomedical sciences.

For additional information regarding this competition please link to:


Applicants must:

  • Have a Ph.D. and/or M.D. (or the equivalent).
  • Hold a tenured or tenure-track position as assistant professor or higher academic rank at one of the eligible U.S. institutions, or, if at an eligible institution that has no tenure track, hold an appointment that reflects a significant institutional commitment at the time of the application deadline. Federal government employees are not eligible.
  • Have more than 5 but no more than 15 years of experience since appointment as an assistant professor or equivalent position. To meet this requirement the applicant’s faculty position (as assistant professor or equivalent) must have begun no earlier than June 1, 1999, and no later than June 30, 2009, or shortly thereafter.
  • Be the principal investigator on one (or more) active, national peer-reviewed research awards of at least three years duration, such as an NIH R01 grant, at the time of the application deadline. Mentored awards, career development and training grants do not qualify.

Important Conditions:

  • Appointees become full-time employees of HHMI and are appointed for a five-year, renewable period.
  • HHMI investigators are required to devote at least 75% of their total effort to the direct conduct of biomedical research. 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 his or her HHMI appointment would be made. In addition, an investigator may not transfer to another institution during the first appointment term and retain his or her HHMI appointment.
  • Any questions regarding eligibility or HHMI policies should be addressed to

Application Process

Establish eligibility and apply here:
The deadline for applications is June 3, 2014, at 3:00 PM (Eastern Time). Eligibility for the competition must be established before May 1, 2014. All applications must be submitted electronically following instructions on the competition web site.

The application must include the following documents:

  • A curriculum vitae, including a complete bibliography and a list of current research support.
  • A summary of the applicant’s major research achievements (not more than 250 words).
  • A summary of the applicant’s ongoing and planned research program (not more than 3,000 words; references and up to one page of figures are not counted toward the 3,000-word limit).
  • A statement of how an appointment as an HHMI investigator will enhance the applicant’s research program (not more than 250 words).
  • PDF files of five selected publications that document 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.
  • No reference letters are to be supplied with the initial application. Two references will be required from those selected as semifinalists.

The competition web site will provide additional information on application format and file types to eligible applicants.

Selection of Investigators

HHMI review process will include evaluation of applications by distinguished scientists, leading to the selection of semifinalists by early in 2015. 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. Finalists will be announced in the spring of 2015 with appointments as early as September 1, 2015. All applicants should mark their calendars for the April 8-9, 2015, symposium at Janelia Farm Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia. Those named as semifinalists will be required to attend and should plan to arrive on April 7.

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