Academics: Research Programs


HHMI Student Research Grant Program Competition

Application Deadline:

Letter of Intent - September 1, 2015 by 11:59 p.m. EST

Faculty Support Letter & Proposal -  September 15, 2015 by 11:59 p.m. EST

Award Period

October 1, 2015 – May 8, 2016 or May 23 - July 29, 2016


Students in good standing and in their (rising) junior or senior year at Spelman are eligible to apply.  Graduated students cannot apply for summer support.

Program Description:

SMART Scholars and RAP Trainees along with other motivated STEM majors, are encouraged to develop and submit original research grants for funding through a competitive process.  This is a novel approach to promote students who show the initiative to advance their innovative ideas.  Any student interested in applying will have to:

  • Attend a grant writing workshop offered by the HHMI Program at the start of the school year;
  • Submit a “letter of intent” briefly outlining their research at that time;
  • Submit a letter of support from a faculty research mentor willing to work with the student; and
  • Submit a proposal following published guidelines

Funding can cover either an academic year or 10 weeks during the summer.   

One student PI or two co-PIs can submit a grant with a maximum budget of $8,000 (with a minimum of two proposals being awarded each year.)  A faculty research mentor can serve as a “consultant” on the proposed project but the research must be student-generated and not merely a reiteration of a current faculty project.  Students can request funds for: stipends, consultant fees, research supplies, travel, and publication costs. 

Grants will be reviewed by the HHMI Internal Advisory Board, with awards being granted no later than October 1 of a given year.  Outcomes of this program include: (a) providing incentives for students to model and meet, early in their careers, the requirements for succeeding in the competition for funds by clearly defining a problem, a project, and a realistic budget; (b) furthering student professional progress by providing funds for research publications, presentations, and professional networking; and (c) increasing student competitiveness for graduate school.

Important Links:

  1. Grant Guidelines 
  2. Online Information Form
  3. Budget Form