Monday, October 5, 2015

Accepting Nominations: 2016 HHMI International Student Research Fellowship

UW Deadline:   October 30, 2015, 12:00 noon (PDT)

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has opened the competition for the 2016 International Student Research Fellowship and 57 institutions around the U.S. have been invited to submit nominations. These fellowships will be awarded to students engaged in their doctoral dissertation research, and is specifically for international students in biomedical or related fields who are currently in their 2nd or 3rd years of PhD work.  Eligible fields of study include biology, chemistry, physics, math, computer science, engineering, and plant biology – as well as interdisciplinary research.  The Graduate School at the UW has been identified as the coordinating body for the UW, and I am writing today to let you know the process, deadlines, etc. for nominating your students for this opportunity.

Full information on the opportunity is here: .  Please look it over thoroughly.

Eligible students are those who:

• have demonstrated exceptional talent and innovation in research,
• are in the second (or third) year of graduate study (as of autumn 2015),
• have entered a laboratory in which they will conduct their dissertation research, and
• are not U.S. citizens, noncitizen nationals, or permanent residents of the U.S.

This is a very competitive fellowship; if you choose to send nominations please select your top international students.  The student’s advisor must be willing and available to work closely with a UW nominated student in preparing the application.  [Nominated students will be contacted by HHMI and given access to the full application, which is due in February 2016.]

Awardees may receive up to three years of support; support will not be provided beyond year five of a student’s doctoral program.  When selecting your nominees, keep in mind that if a student already has fellowship funding for his/her PhD studies they will have to decline the HHMI fellowship or resign the fellowship they were already awarded.

Students may not apply for this fellowship on their own but must be nominated through their department in the process described below.  We are limited in the total number of students we can nominate (ten); as a result, we are instituting the following process to determine which students to nominate.

Eligible departments may nominate no more than two students to the Graduate School.  It is up to each individual department how they determine their nominees, but the two individuals should be those who best meet the specific criteria noted above.  The Graduate School will not consider students who do not meet the criteria of being in their second or third year of graduate study (as of autumn quarter 2015).

Nomination materials should include the following:

1.       Nominee’s name (first, middle, last)
2.       Nominee’s email
3.       Nominee’s Department/Program
4.       Nominee’s year in the PhD program.
5.       Nominee’s thesis mentor (s)
6.       Source of nominee’s existing external funding, either from the home country, or an external award.  Also list funding from the UW if competitively awarded (normally RA or TA positions would not fall into this category).
  1. Letter of recommendation/nomination from the student’s advisor and/or chair of the department—no more than 2 pages.  Keep in mind that this letter will not be submitted as part of the final application and the advisor will have a chance to write a longer, more detailed letter for the actual application.  This letter will be used in choosing the nominees and in crafting the University’s nomination letter to HHMI.
a)      The letter should outline the student’s “demonstrated exceptional talent for research,” and any other notable achievements to be considered in the nomination process, including publications, and
b)      Briefly describe why the applicant was nominated for the HHMI International Student Research Fellowship program over other students, specifically addressing the applicant’s potential to be a scientific leader and innovator.
8.       Statement by the student (not to exceed one page) briefly explaining the research they are working on, its significance, and their current career goals.
  1. Copy of the student’s CV
  2. Copy of the student’s unofficial graduate transcripts

All materials should be submitted online by either the chair, GPC or GPA no later than Thursday, October 30, 2015 at 12 noon (PDT).  Absolutely no late nominations will be accepted.  Please start uploading your materials well in advance of the deadline.

Materials should be submitted to the following Catalyst website:
.  (if you are unfamiliar with Catalyst drop-boxes, we’d highly recommend that you peruse this site well in advance of the deadline)

As we fully expect to receive more than 10 total nominations, the Dean of the Graduate School will convene a selection committee that will meet during the month of November to determine the nominees to forward on to HHMI.  The final 10 nominees will then be forwarded on to HHMI by the November 17, 2015 deadline.  Those nominees will then be required to submit an online application through HHMI that will entail a separate set of materials.   Nominated students will have plenty of time to complete this process – the deadline won’t be until February 11, 2016.  The Fellowship office will be available to assist students with their applications.

This is an excellent fellowship that provides multi-year support; we encourage each of you to let your international students know about the opportunity and to submit nominations.  If you have any questions regarding this opportunity or the nomination process, do not hesitate to contact us.  We look forward to seeing your nominees.