College of Arts & Sciences

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Grant for Science Education at SJU

Student Research
scholars 2011
From right: faculty mentor Dr. Catalina Arango, HHMI Research Scholars Jabria Geddy and Jessica Jean, faculty mentor Dr. Clint Springer

HHMI provides support for faculty-mentored research for students mentored by Biology or Physics faculty during the academic year and the summer.  Over 40 students were supported last year through funding for research supplies, summer research stipends, or both.  Limited funds are also provided for student travel to meetings. 

The impact of student summer research is assessed through the Survey of Undergraduate Research Experiences (SURE III), provided by Professor David Lopatto, Grinnell college, supported through HHMI.

HHMI Research Scholars Program

Saint Joseph's University has established a partnership with Lincoln University that provides three Lincoln students the opportunity to participate in the SJU Summer Scholars Program as HHMI Research Scholars.  Students receive a stipend and housing.  For more information, contact Dr. Christina King Smith.

Summer Research Ethics Programs

HHMI supports a summer research ethics seminar series, open to all Summer Scholars in the natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science.  These seminars are held twice during the summer over lunch, and have included case studies presented by faculty concerning scientific fraud, a presentation about the controversy and misinformation concerning childhood vaccinations and autism, and the history of HeLa cells and informed consent.  Small-group discussions with students and faculty are also conducted to consider realistic scenarios in which students might be involved as undergraduate researchers.  Brief surveys are administered to students before and after the ethics seminars to assess impacts of this programming on student outlooks on issues of scientific integrity.

Student Research Funds

Calls for student proposals for research funding are announced during the first week of each semester, and for summer funding, the last week of the spring semester.  In consultation with their faculty mentors, students will write a one-page application, providing a brief introduction to the area of research and a description of the research question(s).  The second page should provide a budget justification (estimates of costs are acceptable within reason). Up to $500 is available per student for academic year research and up to $1000 during the summer.  Funds are reviewed by the student research subcommittee and awarded competitively.

Students are expected to acknowledge support from HHMI in any presentations or publications.

Student Travel Funds

The HHMI Research Subcommittee has limited funds to support student travel to meetings.  Up to $500 is available to undergraduate students who are presenting their work at a conference.  Funds are available on a rolling basis, and awards will be made on a competitive basis.

To apply:

  • Applications will be accepted electronically.
  • Students (or their mentors) should complete the Student Conference Participation form available here and append an abstract of their presentation to the end of the document.
  • forward this electronically to the research mentor.
  • The mentor adds their name at the bottom and forwards to the Program Director, Christina King Smith (

(Receipt of the application from the faculty mentor indicates the mentor’s approval).

Upon returning, students must submit the required travel expense reimbursement form (also available through the link above) and all required receipts to Tiffany Clark, Biology Resource Coordinator, Rm 205 SC.  All other University policies regarding travel reimbursement apply.