Research Grants for Gemstone Teams
Sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through an Undergraduate Science Education Program grant to the University of Maryland.
The University Honors Gemstone program allows teams of students from different majors to collaborate on a multi-year research project of their own design, culminating in an Honors thesis. Our 2010-2014 HHMI Undergraduate Science Education grant provides funding to support project costs for Gemstone teams engaged in an investigation in the biological sciences.
HHMI-Gemstone grants provide
- Up to $4,000 for research materials and supplies.
- Ability to apply for Capstone Research Presentation awards, which support travel to professional meetings to present research findings (up to $1,000 per team).
- Sophomore and junior teams are eligible to apply for funding.
- Projects must focus on basic biology or a related field. Please note that studies that are purely clinical in nature are generally not funded, and the proposed work need not have explicit biomedical implications.
- Teams that have previously received funding through the HHMI program are not eligible for additional funding.
- Submit the online application form.
Send the proposal as an email attachment to HHMI@umd.edu. The proposal should be a single file in MS Word (.doc or .docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf)or Portable Document (.pdf) format. The name of the file should include the team's name. Proposals should consist of the following items in this order:
- Proposal abstract (200 words or less) describing the proposed research in terms easily understood by a non-specialist.
- Proposal narrative (no more than 3 pages single spaced, excluding references) describing the rationale for the proposed research, the methods to be used, and how results will be analyzed and interpreted.
- Budget consisting of an itemized list of materials and supplies and a brief explanation of why these things are necessary for the completion of the proposed research. This section should also describe other sources of funding for the project that have been obtained or are pending.
- University transcripts of all team members (unofficial student copy is sufficient; may be cut and pasted from Testudo).
- Resumes from all team members (no more than 2 pages in length for each).
- A letter of support from the team's mentor should be sent separately to HHMI@umd.edu. The letter should describe the team's progress to date and evaluate their ability to successfully complete the proposed work.
Application evaluation criteria
Funding is awarded on a competitive basis, based on submission of a formal grant proposal. Proposals are evaluated by a panel of faculty, including but not limited to mentors of previously funded Gemstone teams, which makes funding recommednations to the HHMI Program Director. Primary criteria for the evaluation of proposals are
- Feasibility of the proposed study
- Clarity of the proposal
- Academic preparation of the team members, including experience and coursework relevant to carrying out the proposed work
- Ability of the propsed work to make a significant contribution to the field of basic biological research (including fields related to biology).
Applications are evaluated once per year, in the spring. The application deadline is April 5. New awards are announced on May 1.
Each team is required to submit its Gemstone thesis as written documentation of its accomplishments during the funding period. All publications and presentations resulting from work supported by an HHMI-Gemstone Research Grant must include an acknowledgment approved by the HHMI.
For additional information, please contact:
Dr. Kaci Thompson, Associate Director
HHMI Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program
1313 Symons Hall
College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742