In countries with limited economic resources, the impact of even a small grant multiplies in many ways, Conley explains. The money can be used to provide training opportunities for students, equipment that other scientists can share, electronic journal subscriptions, opportunities for collaboration, and travel to scientific meetings, in addition to salary support for the researcher and his or her laboratory staff. A portion of each HHMI grant is earmarked for equipment, supplies, and other support for the international scholar's home institution.
Two previous rounds of grants in 1995 and 2000 to scientists from the Baltics, Eastern and Central Europe, Russia, and Ukraine have enabled talented researchers to remain in--or return to--their home countries to do their research. An example is Tamas Freund, a Hungarian scientist. "The first HHMI grant played a major role in making a decision to stay in Hungary in spite of prestigious job offers from the West," he says. "The second 5-year grant allowed me to build up a relatively large, well equipped, internationally competitive lab, which provides training and ideal working conditions for many graduate students, postdocs, and undergraduate student researchers."
In HHMI's first infectious diseases and parasitology research competition in 2000, 45 scientists in 20 countries received grants to study the basic biological mechanisms underlying diseases that disproportionately affect the world's poorest people. Approximately half of the grant recipients were from developing countries. Annual meetings of the international research scholars have led to productive collaborations between researchers in less and more devel
Contact: Jennifer Donovan
Howard Hughes Medical Institute