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This week, the largest private biomedical institute in the United States announced the launch of the Freeman Hrabowski Scholars (FHS) program as a step toward extending its commitment to enhancing a more diverse workforce of early-career scientists at universities, colleges, and research organizations.

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The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) named the program in honor of Freeman A. Hrabowski, the outgoing president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

UMBC is home to the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, which has over 1400 alumni across the nation and 256 students enrolled at UMBC.

In 2013, the BEYA STEM Conference recognized Dr. Hrawbowski as Black Engineer of the Year in recognition of his outstanding dedication and commitment to increasing the number of minorities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers.

“We should all be encouraged by HHMI’s commitment to changing the face of science in America,” Hrabowski said in a statement. “This initiative shows what is possible when an institution is guided by its values and by evidence of what works. I am deeply honored to be connected with HHMI and with this new program.”

The Freeman Hrabowski Scholars Program will accept applications through September 28. For more information, please visit the program page here.

The Freeman Hrabowski Scholars program is a nearly $1.5 billion program to help build a scientific workforce that reflects a diverse country.
Applications are now open to outstanding basic biomedical researchers, including physician-scientists, who are committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in science.

Over the next 20 years, HHMI expects to hire and support up to 150 early-career faculty as Freeman Hrabowski Scholars – appointing 30 Scholars every other year for the next decade. Each Scholar will be appointed to a five-year term, renewable once with evaluation.

Each Freeman Hrabowski Scholar will receive up to $8.6 million over 10 years, including full salary, benefits, a research budget, and scientific equipment. In addition, Scholars will participate in professional development to advance their leadership and mentorship skills.

With these resources, Scholars will be positioned to advance their scientific research and their capacity to create an equitable and inclusive lab climate that values diversity. HHMI anticipates that Scholars will work toward becoming leaders in their field and believes this program can benefit everyone working in Scholars’ labs, providing the foundation for their future success in science.

“For academic science to thrive in an increasingly diverse world, we need to attract and support scientists from a wide variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds,” says HHMI President Erin O’Shea. “Early career faculty play a key role because they are the leaders of tomorrow. We’re excited to support talented early-career scientists dedicated to a model of excellence in science that combines innovative scientific research and intentional, inclusive development of postdocs, students, and other lab members.”

Scholars will maintain their appointments and labs at their home institutions while becoming employees of HHMI. Scholars will be included in HHMI’s community of scientists, educators, and students for scientific meetings, networking, and other opportunities.

“Our goal is to help promising researchers build the future of science,” says Leslie Vosshall, an HHMI vice president and the Institute’s chief scientific officer. “In keeping with HHMI’s ‘people, not projects’ ethos, we want Scholars to follow their own scientific curiosity, ask innovative research questions, and go where the science takes them.”

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