Undergraduate Research Fellowships

Sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through an Undergraduate Science Education Program grant to the University of Maryland


Objectives

The Maryland-HHMI Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program supports independent research by talented undergraduate students under the direct supervision of a faculty investigator/mentor. Undergraduate Research Fellows have the opportunity to

  • experience the investigative process
  • demonstrate their aptitude for research
  • develop a close collaboration with a faculty mentor
  • strengthen their conviction in their career choice

Fellowships provide

  • stipends of $1,500/semester and $3,000/summer (up to $6,000/year)
  • up to $1,500/year for research supplies
  • eligibilty to apply for Capstone Research Presentation awards, which support travel to professional meetings to present research findings
  • ability to renew fellowship for up to 3 years

Qualifications

  • Grade Point Average of >=3.0 (cumulative and in the sciences)
  • Completion of 30 credits
  • Completion of BIOL 106/105 and CHEM 131/132/231/232 or equivalent (**students majoring in disciplines other than Biological Sciences may substitute appropriate introductory level science courses)
  • Faculty sponsorship

The Undergraduate Fellowship program encourages the submission of applications from members of groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences.

Students supported as Maryland-HHMI Undergraduate Research Fellows are not permitted to receive stipends from other sources while they are being paid as Maryland-HHMI fellows. It is permissible to hold a second fellowship (e.g. Senior Summer Scholars or NIH training grant) or be paid as a research assistant in the mentor's lab provided that these are sequential rather than concurrent. Students receiving academic scholarships that provide funds solely for educational expenses (e.g. Banneker/Key or Presidential scholarships) are eligible to receive Maryland-HHMI Fellowships. If you are uncertain as to whether you qualify for HHMI support, please contact Dr. Kaci Thompson, the Associate Program Director. 

Application deadlines

  • March 1
  • November 1 

Application evaluation criteria

Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis, based on the submission of a formal grant proposal. Proposals are evaluated by a panel of faculty members, which makes funding recommendations to the HHMI Program Director. Primary criteriafor the evaluation of proposals are

  • Feasibility of the study
  • Clarity of the proposal
  • Academic preparation of the student
  • Impact of the proposed research on the applicant's career development
The most recent grant provides funding earmarked specifically for interdisciplinary and international research projects. Students competing for interdisciplinary project funding must be co-mentored by faculty members in two different departments. Students can receive supplemental funding if their planned research encompasses a substantive international research component.
For more information about the program, see our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Expectations

Maryland-HHMI Undergraduate Research Fellows are strongly encouraged, though not required, to participate in a departmental Honors program. Look here for more information about departmental Honors programs in the chemical and biological sciences.

At the conclusion of the Maryland-HHMI fellowship period, students are required to submit a written report of the project to the HHMI Program Director. For students in departmental Honors programs, the Honors thesis may be submitted in lieu of a separate written report. All publications resulting from work supported by an Maryland-HHMI Undergraduate Research Fellowship must include an acknowledgment approved by the HHMI.

Mentors

Mentors must be a member of the faculty at the University of Maryland, CollegePark (UM). The student's research should be carried out primarily at UM and be under the direct supervision of the faculty member. If the mentor has a laboratory or research site located somewhere other than the UM campus, the student may conduct his/her research at that site. Mentors are expected to assist with the formulation of a project and the submission of a proposal, interact frequently with the student, supervise the student's research, assist with the preparation of a final written report to the HHMI Program Director, and, where applicable, provide advisement to the student during the writing and defense of an Honors thesis.