Gilliam 2020 Competition

USC may submit 2 adviser-student pairs working in biomedical and life science disciplines including plant biology, evolutionary biology, biophysics, chemical biology, biomedical engineering, and computational biology.

The application requires quite a bit of work, but Meredith Drake Reitan in the USC Graduate School is happy to work with advisor-student pairs on the nomination. Please let her know by September 20 if you are interested via

I am pleased to invite you to nominate colleagues from your university for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s 2020 Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study. These three-year fellowships will be awarded to adviser-student pairs, with each pair comprising an eligible graduate student engaged in her/his PhD dissertation research and the thesis adviser. In 2020 we anticipate making 40-45 awards. The program announcement that provides details about the program, including eligibility criteria, can be downloaded from

You may nominate a total of 2 adviser-student pairs from University of Southern California.
Prospective fellows must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or other immigrants to the U.S., from racial, ethnic, or other groups recognized in the U.S. as underrepresented in the sciences or Alumni of the HHMI EXROP, be at the appropriate program stage of their PhD training and in an eligible discipline.

We expect the nominator to work with others to identify nominees and gather information to respond to the prompts listed below. Please forward the program information to all appropriate departments and programs.
The nomination initiates the application process and all the materials and information provided will shape the judgments of the reviewers. The nomination will include responses to three questions about how the adviser-student pair fits the eligibility criteria and requirements specific to this fellowship. The questions must be completed by a knowledgeable senior institutional representative who can speak and commit on the institution’s behalf.

1. How and why was the specific adviser-student pair internally selected?
2. What is the evidence that the adviser’s department is committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in science?
3. What is the evidence that the graduate program and/or department values career and professional development in the sciences?
4. How has/will HHMI’s Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study help to improve the quality of the graduate program and create an inclusive environment?

In addition, the nominator will be asked to complete a table on doctoral enrollment/degree attainment and support the data with a statement about the institution’s context-specific commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in the sciences. The nominator must also provide a letter of support that describes that adviser’s interest, demonstrated ability, and commitment to develop the talents of students, especially those from underrepresented groups.

The competition system will open for nominee submissions in early September. The nominator identified in this letter will be provided with login information and instructions via email on how to access the system at that time. The deadline for submission of your nominations is 2:00 p.m. ET, October 18, 2019.

This year, the Pathway system requires that the nominated thesis adviser confirm his/her participation before the nomination form can be submitted. After the nominator inputs the adviser name, the system will generate an email prompting the adviser to confirm participation.
After HHMI has received and reviewed the information for each adviser-student pair, we will contact eligible nominees directly with instructions for submitting an online application. It is the responsibility of the nominated pair to submit a complete application to HHMI by the January 3, 2020, deadline. Institutions and applicants will be notified of the outcome of the competition via email in June 2020.
Questions may be directed to For technical questions related to the electronic nominee submission, a toll-free number and online help service will be available when the designated individual logs into the electronic nomination system.

Thank you.

David J. Asai
Senior Director, Science Education
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Published on September 10th, 2019

Last updated on September 10th, 2019