Established by the late F. Warren and Chris Hellman in 1995, the purpose of the Hellman Fellows Fund is to support substantially the research of promising assistant professors who show capacity for great distinction in their research. Thanks to a generous and thoughtful gift from the Hellman family in 2018, a matching endowment was established for new donors to contribute toward increasing the number of awards available for eligible faculty.
The maximum award is $60,000. Proposals should be submitted by individual faculty members; proposals from administration on behalf of assistant professors will not normally be considered. A letter of support from the chair of the faculty member's department is not required.
The quality of the research proposed is the most important criterion for selection. Awards are made without regard to the apparent timeliness or popularity of the field of study and without reference to ethnicity or gender; preference may be given to research not supported substantially by other sources and to faculty who have not previously received an award from the Fund. Mr. Hellman had observed that junior faculty are often well-funded when first hired. Problems arise in 2-3 years when start-up funding is exhausted and before first grants are obtained. The Fund is designed to assist promising young faculty at this point in their careers. Therefore, to be eligible for an award, assistant professors are expected to have served at least two years at that rank.
Awards may be used for any research-related expense, such as research assistants, equipment, or travel. Up to 5% of the award money can also be used for child-care and elder-care (dependent) expenses. Beginning this year, a portion of the grant may be used to pay for up to one month of summer salary (up to 19 days). There is no overhead charged to this award. Recipients are expected to using the funds within one year, and are required to spend all funds before they are granted tenure.
In determining the allocation of awards, the Chancellor will seek the counsel of a panel of faculty comprised of tenured Hellman Fellows and a member of the Academic Senate Committee on Research, chaired by the Vice Provost for the Faculty. Applications should be brief, no more than 3 pages, and written with the understanding that they will be reviewed by a panel of faculty from the sciences and humanities that may not include specialists in the field of study. Applications should therefore include an introductory description which is accessible to someone who is not an expert in the given field.
Awards will be confirmed in May, and the effective date of the award is July 1st.
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Applications are due Friday, March 22, 2024