Hughes to Add Up To 30 Investigators

For the first time in 5 years, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute is holding a general competition for a new round of up to 30 HHMI investigators. The winners of the $200 million competition will add to the 340 scientists who are part of the giant biomedical research charity's flagship investigator program at some 70 U.S. institutions (including 15 appointed last year through a special competition for plant scientists).

The new competition is open to researchers at more than 200 institutions in basic biomedical research and related areas, from evolutionary biology to patient-oriented research. Investigators will receive 5-year, renewable appointments. The deadline for applications is 13 June; for the first time, semifinalists will give a lecture at HHMI as part of the selection process.

HHMI's finances are showing signs of recovery from the recession. The institution's 2007 endowment of $18.7 billion plunged 25% in 2 years, but bounced up to $16 billion last year.