Graphic with text: Freeman Hrabowski Scholars Program, $8.6m potential support per scholar, up to 30 scholars every other year, 10 years potential appointment per scholar

For US science, one of today’s most pressing challenges is to maximize scientific impact by building a workforce that fully reflects our increasingly diverse country. HHMI is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in academic science at key points along career pathways, from undergraduate to tenured faculty.

HHMI is seeking creative and innovative early career faculty for our new Freeman Hrabowski Scholars Program. We are looking for outstanding basic researchers, including physician-scientists, who have strong potential to become leaders in their fields and to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion through their mentorship and understanding of the experiences of trainees from races and ethnicities underrepresented in US science.

Scholars will prioritize scientific excellence in their own research while creating an equitable and inclusive lab climate that values diversity and serves as a model within their own institutions and beyond. Eligible research areas include all basic biomedical science disciplines, as well as plant biology, evolutionary biology, biophysics, chemical biology, biomedical engineering, and computational biology.

Up to 30 Freeman Hrabowski Scholars will be selected in 2023, with future competitions anticipated every other year.

“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.”

Leslie B. Vosshall, HHMI vice president and chief scientific officer

About Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III

The Freeman Hrabowski Scholars Program honors the contributions of Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III, the outgoing president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and a major force in increasing the number of scientists, engineers, and physicians from backgrounds underrepresented in science in the United States. Dr. Hrabowski’s leadership sparked the development of new and growing programs at UMBC, HHMI, and other institutions around the US, including the renowned Meyerhoff Scholars Program for undergraduate students.

Freeman Hrabowski Scholars will be employed by HHMI and will maintain an academic appointment and lab at their research institutions, like HHMI Investigators. The appointment is a five-year term as an HHMI lab head, renewable for an additional five-year term following a successful progress evaluation. Scholars will receive generous and flexible support from HHMI, including full salary and benefits, a research budget of approximately $2 million over the first five years, and eligibility to participate in HHMI capital equipment purchasing programs.   

Freeman Hrabowski Scholars will prioritize scientific excellence in their own research, while fostering an inclusive lab environment and becoming role models of inclusive lab leadership. Through this approach, this program seeks to support both current and future generations of scientists. 

Scholars will be required to spend at least 80 percent of their time on their research; the remainder may be spent on related professional activities such as teaching, academic service, patient care, and consulting (subject to HHMI’s consulting policies). In addition, the program aims to protect Scholars’ time by directly incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts into the work of trainee mentorship and the active conduct of research. Scientists in this program will have freedom to change their research focus, following their scientific curiosity. 

Scholars will participate in professional development to enhance their leadership and mentorship skills, with particular emphasis on supporting trainees from races and ethnicities currently underrepresented in US science. In addition, Scholars will join HHMI’s broader community, contributing to scientific meetings and events alongside HHMI Investigators, Janelia Research Campus Group Leaders, Hanna Gray Fellows, Gilliam Fellows, and others representing a range of career stages.

For more information about key terms and expectations, see the program announcement (PDF).

The program is open to individuals who:  

  • hold a PhD and/or MD (or equivalent) 
  • began their first post-training position and a tenure-track (or equivalent) faculty position on or after July 1, 2018, or have accepted an offer for a tenure-track (or equivalent) position that will begin no later than July 1, 2023 
  • maintain a tenure-track appointment or equivalent at an eligible US institution; federal government employees are not eligible 
  • have a research focus in any area of basic biomedical science, as well as plant biology, evolutionary biology, biophysics, chemical biology, biomedical engineering, and/or computational biology 
  • are authorized to work in the US or can obtain work authorization for the duration of employment; HHMI sponsors visas for eligible individuals 

HHMI seeks a broad and diverse applicant pool. We encourage applications from individuals who are members of groups underrepresented in science. Because the Freeman Hrabowski Scholars program is an employment program, and HHMI is committed to equal opportunity employment, all qualified applicants receive consideration without regard to sex, race, color, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, protected veteran status, disability, ancestry, genetic status or characteristic, citizenship, or other legally protected status. 

This is an open competition and there are no limits on the number of applicants or awardees from an institution.

Application process 

Applicants may establish eligibility and apply via the HHMI Application and Review Channel beginning May 26, 2022. Applications are due by September 28, 2022, at 3 p.m. (ET).   

The application includes the following components:  

  • Brief summary of prior research 
  • Description of ongoing and planned research program 
  • Three selected scientific contributions (e.g., publications, preprints deposited in a repository, software, datasets, technologies) the applicant would like to highlight, as well as paragraphs describing the significance and impact of each contribution 
  • Responses to HHMI culture and climate questions focused on mentorship, understanding of systemic inequity, exclusion, and lack of representation in academia in the US, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in science 
  • Two letters of support from mentors knowledgeable about the applicant’s scientific research, research skills, and research training (could include PhD and postdoctoral mentors and/or others) 
  • Letter of support from department chair at the semi-finalist stage 
  • Additional applicant information such as a bibliography, training and employment history, and lists of current research support and professional activities 

Selection process 

Applications will be rigorously reviewed by scientific experts and experts in diversity, equity, and inclusion.  

Semi-finalists will be invited to record a video presentation describing their research accomplishments and research plans. Between February 27 and March 1, 2023, they will join a virtual advisory panel meeting to give a brief presentation and answer questions.

Competition open

Applications due Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, 3 p.m. ET

Apply ›

Info sessions

Tuesday, June 14, 2022
3-4 p.m. ET (virtual)
Watch the recording

Wednesday, June 22, 2022
4–5 p.m. ET (virtual)
Watch the recording

Key dates

  • May 26, 2022 
    Applications open 
  • Sept. 28, 2022 
    Applications due 3 p.m. ET 
  • Oct. 5, 2022 
    Letters of support due 
  • Early Jan. 2023 
    Applicants notified of status 
  • Feb. 27 – March 1, 2023 
    Semifinalist presentations (virtual)
  • March 2023 
    Scholars selected and notified 
  • April 2023 
    Intent to accept award due 
  • Sept. 1, 2023 
    Projected start date