The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, has announced an initiative aimed at developing biomedical research talent worldwide.
Funded with commitments totaling $37.4 million, the International Research Scholars Program will award $650,000 over five years to up to fifty outstanding early-career scientists. The program is open to scientists from non-G7 countries who have trained in the United States or the United Kingdom for at least a year and who have run their own labs for fewer than seven years. The initiative builds on HHMI's International Early Career Scientists program, which awarded fellowships to twenty-eight scientists from twelve countries in 2012.
"We are expanding this program's reach by broadening access to scientists in more countries," said HHMI vice president and chief scientific officer Erin O'Shea. O'Shea noted that the funding partnership recognizes that institutional support is critical in helping early-career scientists establish an independent research program and will only award grants to applicants whose institutions can clearly support the proposed research projects.
"Scientific innovation is the engine that underpins the discovery and development of new vaccines, drugs, diagnostics and other interventions needed to address global health inequities," said Chris Wilson, senior advisor and former director of discovery and translational sciences at the Gates Foundation. "International research scientists bring unique perspectives and novel approaches that can accelerate this process. Through this collaborative endeavor, the Gates Foundation, HHMI, the Wellcome Trust, and the Gulbenkian Foundation aim to identify and support the research undertaken by such scientists and to bring them into a community that fosters the careers of these promising individuals."