CALL FOR PROPOSALS: HHMI Inclusive Excellence Competition

Dear Colleagues:

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has announced a new competition for science education grants to colleges and universities. The goal of this initiative is to help institutions build their capacity to effectively engage all students in science throughout their undergraduate years, especially those students who come to college via nontraditional pathways.  Projects may include disciplines outside of the natural sciences, but the natural sciences should be central to the proposed activities.

Program Objective

The objective of this initiative is to increase institutional capacity for inclusion of students from all backgrounds in science. Institutions of higher education that aspire to lead in the 21st century must effectively engage all students, especially the increasing number of students who come to college through “nontraditional” pathways. Through this initiative, HHMI will support colleges and universities that commit to measurably increasing their infrastructure, resources, and expertise to involve undergraduate students in science, resulting in expanded access to excellence for all students and especially those who belong to the “new majority” in American higher education. Our long-term aim is for successful strategies pioneered by the grantee institutions to serve as models to be adapted and adopted by other institutions.

We seek to catalyze the creation of lasting institutional capacity that will benefit all students well beyond the lifetime of the HHMI grant. By establishing practices and policies that ensure that students from nontraditional pathways can be successful, all students will benefit. An HHMI grant awarded through this competition will help the grantee institution achieve the following outcomes:

  • The institution clearly demonstrates that it values efforts to expand access to and achievement in science by all students.
  • The institution applies effective evidence-based teaching and learning practices across its science curriculum and for all students.
  • All students, especially students from the “new majority,” have the opportunity to excel, complete the baccalaureate degree, and continue in science beyond the baccalaureate degree.
  • During the lifetime of the grant, the institution expands the project leadership team by increasing participation of faculty, including tenure-track and tenured faculty.
  • The institution provides faculty with opportunities to develop the skills needed to work effectively with nontraditional students and to contribute to the program.
  • The institution effectively uses program assessment that is systematic, ongoing, and informs improvements.

    Read more about the program’s goals here.

HHMI expects to make up to 60 awards of up to $1 million each over five years for this competition.

UCI may submit only one proposal in the category of “Building Capacity Within the Institution” (we do not qualify for the second category). Therefore, interested applicants are asked to upload a preliminary application to UCI’s new competition management system (  by July 17, 2015  with the following information:

  • Brief proposal (up to three pages)
  • Preliminary budget
  • Bio sketch (no more than two pages each) of the primary researcher(s)
  • Support letter from the Dean (or the equivalent in units without a Dean)

To apply through the UCI competition management system:

  • Select “Apply” on the right hand side of the page to fill out the application form, and upload required files
  • If you’re not already signed in, click “UCI WebLogin” and fill in your UCInetID username and password.
  • All details are automatically saved as you enter them. When you are ready to submit, click “Submit Application” at the bottom of the page. You will receive a confirmation email once your application has been submitted.

If necessary, an ad hoc committee will convene to review submitted preliminary proposals. The selected PI will be notified in time to develop their full proposal and meet the HHMI application deadline December 1, 2015, 11:00 a.m. (PDT).

HHMI program information is available at:  Questions about our internal campus review process and our online competition management system may be directed to Greg Ruth at or x4-0372.

John C. Hemminger
Vice Chancellor for Research


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