UW Graduate School

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) International Student Research Fellowships

PLEASE NOTE: as of August 2016, the HHMI International Student Research Fellowships program has been suspended.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute pre-doctoral fellowship program supports outstanding international Predoctoral students studying in the U.S. who are ineligible for fellowships or training grants through U.S. federal agencies.

Students invited to participate in this program are eligible for a fellowship to support years three, four, and five of a Ph.D. program in the biomedical or related sciences. Eligible fields of study include biology, chemistry, physics, math, computer science, engineering, and plant biology–as well as interdisciplinary research.

For more information about award terms, visit the HHMI website.


  • Candidate must demonstrate exceptional talent for research
  • Candidate must be in the second (or third) year of graduate study
  • Candidate must have entered a laboratory in which he or she will conduct their dissertation research, and
  • Candidate must not be a U.S. citizen, noncitizen national, or permanent resident of the U.S.

Students cannot apply directly; nominations must come from the academic department to the Graduate School Office of Fellowships and Awards. Students should contact their academic departments about the nomination process used.

Nomination Process

Eligible departments may nominate no more than two students to the Graduate School’s Office of Fellowships and Awards. It is up to each individual department to determine their nominees based on the criteria 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.

No late materials will be accepted; nominations will not be considered unless they are complete and submitted by the deadline.

Nomination Materials

Nomination materials should be submitted only by the department chair, GPC or GPA. One file per nominee in PDF format is preferred (if that is not possible, submission as separate documents is acceptable). Nominations must 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 Ph.D. program
  5. Source of nominee’s existing external funding, either from the home country, or an external award. List funding from the UW if competitively awarded (normally RA and TA positions would not fall into this category)
  6. Letters of recommendation/nomination from the nominee’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 recommender will have a chance to write a longer, more detailed letter for the actual application. This letter will be used to select nominees and to craft the university’s nomination letter to HHMI.
    • 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.
    • The letter should 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.
  7. Statement by the nominee (not to exceed one page) briefly explaining the research they are working on, its significance, and his or her current career goals
  8. Copy of the nominee’s curriculum vitae
  9. Copy of the nominee’s unofficial graduate transcripts (PDF from MyUW)


Marilyn Gray in the Office of Fellowships and Awards can assist you: gradappt@uw.edu or 206-543-7152.