HOWARD HUGHES MEDICAL INSTITUTE
This is an unusually generous fellowship opportunity for students intending to earn a Ph.D. in one of the biomedical sciences. Not only is the stipend higher than almost any other award for graduate study, the duration (5 years) should allow most students to complete their entire program under the award without the need for constant renewal. Ordinarily students in the sciences do not need to pay for their graduate studies, since the department supports its first- and second-year students on training grants and after the first year or two, faculty research grants are called upon for subsequent support. This support is not without strings, however. If your support is in the form of a Teaching Assistantship, you will be expected to participate in the teaching responsibilities of your department, as laboratory instructor or leader of discussion sections. This is valuable experience, but time-consuming and not to everyone's liking. A Research Assistantship allows you full time for research once your course work is done, but you might need to select a project from among those your mentor approves, so that the conditions of his grant are fulfilled. And if you should become disenchanted with the institution, the department, or your mentor, it is a hard choice to change course if you depend on one or all for your continued education.
With a Howard Hughes Fellowship you are free from those constraints. The teaching you do is entirely of your own choosing, the project you undertake is yours to design (though it is sensible to seek advice from one or more mentors), and you can even take your award to a different institution, or conduct a project that involves more than one institution, if that is deemed in your best interest. Relatively few are awarded, so as you can imagine, they are quite competitive, but Holy Cross students are certainly qualified to win.
The application procedure is one that you undertake on your own. The deadline is in early November. Complete information is available at http://www.hhmi.org/grants/office/graduate/.
The Predoctoral Fellowship program is for prospective researchers with
exceptional promise. You must be intending to study for a Ph.D.
or a Sc.D. degree in one of the following disciplines:
Selection is based on superior scholarship and great promise for future achievement in biological and biomedical research. You are expected to study full-time for up to five successive years, culminating in receipt of the degree, but approved leaves of absence are permitted. Students pursuing M.D. degrees are eligible, but only if they are also pursuing the Ph.D. Such students may not already have received funding from an M.D./Ph.D. program. You may study at any U.S. or foreign institution offering the appropriate degree, except that if you are not a U.S. citizen or national, you must study at a U.S. institution.
The application includes the following statements and forms:
The three two-page essays are of key importance and must be prepared thoughtfully and with care. You may find suggestions in the leaflet "Proposal Writing: the Art of Persuasion." You may also seek advice from the Graduate Studies Advisor, Fenwick 224.
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