HHMI International Student Research Fellowship

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) awards three-year fellowships to students while they are engaged in their doctoral dissertation research.

You must pre-apply for the HHMI International Student Research Fellowship through your department.

Your department and The Graduate School pre-select nominees for this fellowship once a year.

More information about the award is available on the HHMI website.

Eligibility

You are eligible if:

Eligible biomedical related fields include biology, chemistry, physics, math, computer science, engineering, and plant biology— as well as interdisciplinary research.

Award Amount

HHMI will provide each fellow an annual stipend of $30,000. HHMI will also provide an annual $10,000 institutional allowance for tuition and fees. The Graduate School will provide any remaining tuition not covered by the institutional allowance.

Each fellow will also receive an annual educational allowance of $3,000 which may be used for health insurance, health care expenses, books and supplies, journal subscriptions, computer-related expenses, travel to scientific meetings, professional dues, tuition for special courses, and other purposes relevant to the fellows study.

  HHMI provides: The Graduate School provides:
Stipend $30,000 --
Tuition/Fees $10,000 Remaining tuition & mandatory fees
Educational allowance $3,000 --
Length of support 3 years (not to extend beyond the student's 5th year of study) 3 years (not to extend beyond the student's 5th year of study)

Award amount for the 2015-2016 fellowship year. Depending on funding, this award may change from year to year.

Nomination

Departmental selection
Each department may nominate two students per year for the UNC-wide competition.

UNC-wide selection
From the departmental nominees, The Graduate School can select seven students for the nationwide competition.

Deadline

Please check with your department for their internal deadline. You must complete your application early enough for your department to nominate you to The Graduate School by the nomination deadline.

Deadlines are posted on the funding deadlines calendar.

If you are nominated, HHMI will provide you information needed to complete an online application, which will be due to HHMI in early February.

How to Apply

Submit Application »

View Frequently Asked Questions about the online award application.

  1. Please check with your department for their internal deadline. You must complete your application early enough for your department to nominate you to The Graduate School by the deadline.
  2. Prepare a research description, statement of research experiences, and curriculum vitae. Arrange for unofficial copies of your graduate transcripts and GRE or MCAT scores and a letter of recommendation from your dissertation advisor. Be sure to follow the application guidelines.
  3. Before submitting your application, we suggest you get feedback on your research description from a person outside of your field.
  4. Submit your materials to The Graduate School Award Online Application.
  5. Once you submit your application, your recommender will receive an email asking him/her to submit a letter via the online system.
  6. At the same time, the fellowship and award approver for your department will receive an email notifying them that you submitted your application.
  7. Once your letter of recommendation has been submitted, your department may nominate you for the fellowship. If your department selects your application, they must nominate it to The Graduate School by the deadline.
  8. We will notify awardees in mid-November.

Application Guidelines

We will not consider your application if you exceed any of the page limits or if you do not follow the proper format.

A complete pre-selection application includes:

  1. Online Application
  2. Research Description

    Address your research description to an audience of intelligent reviewers who may not be familiar with your field. Clearly explain the importance of your research to a lay audience. Do not use jargon or technical, field-specific terminology.

    Format: No more than 5 pages. Double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins, numbered pages, and your name on each page

    Include:
    • A description of your intended dissertation research. Explain the significance and innovation of the intended research project.
    • A limited bibliography of key references.
    • A list of any publications (including submitted or in press) or presentations resulting from the thesis research.
    • Citations (optional) may be included for important references (either footnotes or endnotes). Citations may be single-spaced, however they will count towards the 5 page limit.
  3. Research Experiences

    When describing research experiences, make very clear your intellectual and physical contributions.

    Format: No more than 2 pages. 12-point font, 1-inch margins, numbered pages, and your name on each page

    Include:
    • Dates, project summary, and your role in the project.
    • List of publications or presentations resulting from each research experience (if applicable).
  4. Curriculum Vitae

    Format: No more than 2 pages. 12-point font, 1-inch margins, numbered pages, and your name on each page

    Include:
    • Relevant honors, awards, and professional activities. List publications, presentations, and posters.
    • Other sources of funding, including departmental funding received and external funding (please note if received or pending)
  5. Unofficial Graduate Transcripts

    For more information on printing unofficial transcripts, please visit the Registrar's website.

  6. GRE or MCAT scores

    A copy of your official scores is sufficient.

  7. Letter of Recommendation from your dissertation advisor

    Instructions for recommenders:
    Each letter of recommendation should be no more than 4,000 characters (spaces included), which is approximately 600 words or one single-spaced page.

    Letters of recommendation should be written "To the Fellowship Committee."

    Include:
    • A specific description of the applicant's role in developing and implementing the project
    • His/Her contribution to any publications which might have already come from the project
    • The significance and innovation of the intended research project.

We can only accept letters of recommendation through the online system. Recommenders cannot submit letters directly to The Graduate School or to the student's department.

Please note that the above instructions are for the pre-selection application only. For more information on national application process for UNC-selected nominees, please see the HHMI website.

Contact Us

Graduate School Fellowships Office
gradfunding@unc.edu