About the Programs

Established by Warren & Chris Hellman and their children in 1994, the purpose of the Hellman Fellows Program is to support the research of promising assistant professors who show capacity for great distinction in their chosen fields of endeavor.

The impetus for the Program came when Hellman family members, who were junior faculty themselves, observed young faculty were well-funded when first hired, but challenges would arise after start-up funding is exhausted and before their research qualifies for other external support. The Hellman Fellows Program was designed to assist promising young faculty at this point in their career.

The Hellman Fellows Program makes grants to research institutions to support junior faculty research on individual campuses. The program institution is responsible for selecting the awardees (see: list of institutions). The Hellman Fellows Awards are open to a broad reach of academic disciplines, including the arts, humanities, and social sciences, sciences and engineering. (The Hellman Fellows program typically does not fund medical, dental or veterinary medicine.) The Hellman Fellows Program has made over 850 awards during the life of the program.

The Hellman Fellows Program works with each institution to ensure a proper application and review process is set in place. The expectation is that the Fellowships will contribute substantially to the conduct of the research by each recipient. A maximum of $50,000 can be made to an individual fellow. The range of awards made is from $3,000 to $50,000. There is flexibility in the use of the awards (travel, equipment, research assistant, etc.) and no written reporting is required. Fellows meet with the trustees of the Hellman Fellows Program at an annual lunch to recap how awards are spent.
Preference in allocation of Fellowships is given to assistant professors who are not recipients of other young investigator award grants. Each institution allocates awards in proportion to the number of academic senate faculty in the following two groups: (1) Engineering, Biological Science, and Physical Science; and (2) Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts.

A Hellman Fellowship is a one-time award. Awards are spent over a twelve-month period (extensions on time are made on a case-by-case basis at each institution). Fellowships cannot be used to replace state-funded faculty salaries and/or state-funded resources used by the administration to recruit or to retain faculty.

For information on the application process or deadlines, contact the Office of Academic Affairs on each individual campus