Working at Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Glassdoor

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Overview

Chevy Chase, MD
1001 to 5000 employees
Nonprofit Organization
Grantmaking Foundations
$2 to $5 billion (USD) per year
For the past 60 years, HHMI’s people and programs have been a catalyst for achieving breakthroughs in basic research and enhancing scientific knowledge for the betterment of human health. Our people are transforming the ways research is conducted and science is taught ... Read more

Mission: At the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, we believe in the power of individuals to advance science through research and science education, making discoveries that benefit humanity.

Company Updates

  • HHMI will appoint approximately 20 new Investigators through a national competition. The competition is open to basic researchers and physician scientists who catalyze discovery research in basic and biomedical sciences, plant biology, evolutionary biology, biophysics, chemical biology, biomedical engineering, and computational biology. Learn more:

    HHMI Investigator Program Opens National Competition

    HHMI will appoint approximately 20 new Investigators through a national open competition. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) is seeking to appoint approximately 20 new Investigators through a national open competition. This effort will expand HHMI's community of nearly 300 Investigators, who perform basic biological research across the nation.

  • "Instead of trying to fix the stu­dent, we’re trying to change the envi­ronments in which the students train." David Asai, HHMI #STEM

    Making STEM Education More Welcoming to Underrepresented Minorities

    Patricia Castruita was chatting with her mentee when she experienced one of those role-reversing moments in which teacher becomes student. After recently earning a bachelor's degree in biology, Castruita had landed a research position at the University of California, San Francisco.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute – Why Work With Us?

Join a leading biomedical research philanthropy.
Meaningful mission, smart colleagues, great benefits 

We encourage collaborative and results-driven working styles and offer an adaptable environment where employees can function at their highest level. As HHMI scientists continue to discover important breakthroughs, you can be sure that your contributions while working at HHMI are making a difference around the world.

HHMI is widely recognized as the world’s foremost medical research organization and a leading light in science education. We have achieved this leadership role by aligning our mission with our vision, capitalizing on change, and encouraging risk taking, and fostering innovation. At the root of our work is the belief that significant advances in science are made possible when exceptionally talented researchers are given the time and freedom to pursue their interests and challenging, long-range questions.

At HHMI, you are not just an employee—you are part of a creative and talented team with colleagues whose expertise ranges from biomedical research to investment management, from information technology to law. Together, we are working toward a common goal—advancing biomedical research and promoting science education.

Whether you work at a laboratory located at one of our partner universities, medical schools, or research institutions; field offices; Janelia Research Campus; or Chevy Chase, MD, headquarters, you will be surrounded by an extraordinary group of people who challenge each other every day to do their best work. 

Our employees work at HHMI to be part of one of the most respected organizations of its kind in the world and to contribute to HHMI’s mission of excellence in biomedical research and science education.

In addition to an excellent work environment, highly competitive pay and benefits, our people value HHMI for its mission, innovation, creativity, financial resources, professional development opportunities, and work/life balance—all of which help provide a rewarding and fulfilling work experience.

  1. Talent. We hire the best. We’ve earned a worldwide reputation for innovation and creativity because of our people. 
  2. Innovation. What’s next? That’s a question our people ask themselves every day. The drive toward “next” is an essential part of the scientific endeavor and of HHMI’s culture—which values bold thinking, risk-taking, and innovation.
  3. Collaboration. Active collaboration is a key part of our culture. We provide resources, time, and freedom for our employees to do their jobs. Each day our people work together on projects where they can make a difference.
  4. Resources. To engage the best and most talented people, we offer a vibrant and supportive workplace that fosters professional growth and development.
  5. Like-minded. We are diverse professionals united by a shared passion. We value commitment, creativity, honesty, integrity, intelligence, and teamwork.

Janelia Research Campus is HHMI’s pioneering research center in Ashburn, Virginia, where scientists pursue fundamental neuroscience and imaging in a uniquely innovative, collaborative atmosphere. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute founded Janelia in 2006 to complement the long-standing HHMI investigator program. Our goal was to address the constraints of academic research by providing an alternative research environment to drive science forward. Janelia currently has an emphasis on two research areas: developing new imaging methods and discovering the basic principles underlying computation by neuronal circuits.

Today, Janelia includes 50 labs, nine project teams, and additional scientific support staff. In addition to lab heads, our scientists include over 380 researchers, more than 100 postdocs, and roughly 20 graduate students. Janelians come from 26 countries. In addition, every year approximately 155 visiting scientists spend time working at Janelia and close to 1000 attend our scientific conferences and workshops. At Janelia, we embrace diversity, with biologists, chemists, physicists, computational scientists, theorists, and engineers all working in close collaboration.

Designed to inspire original thinking, the Janelia campus includes 700 acres of woods and meadow on the banks of the Potomac River, in Ashburn, Virginia, near Washington D.C. Janelians work in a modern, curving, glass-and-concrete building that unobtrusively nestles into the landscape. On-campus housing, a pub, a fitness center, child care, and otheramenities make Janelia a convenient, comfortable environment for researchers and a welcoming place for their families.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Reviews

  • Featured Review

    Helpful (1)

    "HHMI is a great place to work"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Lab Manager in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Research Lab Manager in Boston, MA
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Howard Hughes Medical Institute full-time (More than a year)


    HHMI takes care of its own. They offer the most competitive retirement plan with a 10% fully vested contribution to their 403b plan, excellent PTO and STO offerings, and a very healthy culture of excellence in science.


    Being a non-profit, there are opportunities to make more money with other institutions.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute Photos

Howard Hughes Medical Institute photo of: HHMI Headquarters Exterior
Howard Hughes Medical Institute photo of: We have plenty of options to sit outside on a sunny day
Howard Hughes Medical Institute photo of: Central Space
Howard Hughes Medical Institute photo of: Free onsite gym
Howard Hughes Medical Institute photo of: Team meeting in the atrium
Howard Hughes Medical Institute photo of: HHMI is dedicated to ongoing learning
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Howard Hughes Medical Institute Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




  1. Featured Interview


    Business Services Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Howard Hughes Medical Institute in October 2019.


    This was one of the most thorough screenings I have ever had. I have been a hiring manager for many open reqs, and I myself have had my share of interviews. The recruiter who contacted me knew his stuff, he seems to know as much about the position as the hiring manager, which tells me that they do their due diligence on handing job requisitions over to the recruiters.
    I was not even all that excited about the position before I spoke with the recruiter. He would make an excellent sales rep because after the phone screen he had me sold.
    After the phone screen I met with the hiring manager, then I had a set of four additional interviews with the peers of the position, as well as the Chief of the department. Again, I could not have been more impressed! Of course the basic behavioral situational style questions were asked, but they also did a great job listening to my story, and making me feel very comfortable.
    The process was smooth, and left me with a great deal of excitement over becoming part of such a wonderful organization.
    When I finally received the job offer I wasted no time accepting.

    Interview Questions

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute Awards & Accolades

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