The Howard Hughes Medical Institute believes that integrity, responsibility, and accountability are essential to the search for truth that lies at the heart of the scientific enterprise. The policies governing research by Hughes investigators and scientists at the Janelia Farm Research Campus establish high standards for scientific and ethical conduct. They are also intended to ensure that our research furthers the public good and set forth guidelines for making research materials, tools, and publications widely accessible within the scientific community and beyond.
The Conduct of Science
Guidelines for Scientific Research
These guidelines describe general standards for conduct in research and scholarship. They are intended to establish a common understanding of expectations and responsibilities relating to research in HHMI's laboratories, thereby promoting the quality and integrity of the work and interactions in the laboratories and helping to prevent scientific misconduct.
As an organization dedicated to biomedical research in the public interest, HHMI expects that its scientists will conduct research and engage in related academic activities according to the highest scientific and ethical standards. HHMI’s commitment to these standards embraces the belief that integrity, responsibility, and accountability are part of the fabric of science. Scientific research is, ultimately, a cooperative endeavor based on the central principle of truth.
Sharing Research Tools, Data, Software and Other Materials
Sharing of Publication-Related Materials, Data and Software
Publishing a scientific paper is a quid pro quo in which authors receive credit and establish priority in exchange for disclosure of their scientific findings. A responsibility of authorship is to make available materials, databases, and software integral to the publication so that others may validate or falsify the results and extend them in new directions. Indeed, the mission of HHMI is to move biomedical science forward, and broad dissemination of research tools and reagents created by its investigators very much supports that mission.
HHMI recognizes the importance of making research tools, also called research resources, available to the scientific community. For this reason, HHMI supports the National Institutes of Health guidelines on research resources, and will adhere to the following policy with respect to unique research resources arising in HHMI laboratories (“HHMI research tools”). This policy applies to HHMI laboratories at host institutions (“host-based laboratories”) and to laboratories at HHMI's Janelia Farm Research Campus (“Janelia”).
Public Access Publishing
This policy establishes HHMI's expectations relating to public
accessibility of publications resulting from research in HHMI
laboratories. This policy applies to all HHMI laboratory heads (i.e.,
investigators and, at Janelia Farm Research Campus, group leaders and
The sharing of biological and other research materials among laboratories is
an essential aspect of scientific citizenship. In that spirit, HHMI expects
its laboratory heads, and all members of the academic research community, to
make such materials freely available for research use by other scientists,
and to handle related requests expeditiously.
HHMI recognizes the importance of scientific collaborations between its laboratories and other scientists, and strongly encourages such collaborations as an essential part of scientific research.
Research Collaboration Questionnaire
Download the Form (WORD 24kb, revised 08.27.2012)
Research Collaboration Agreement
Download the Form (WORD 68kb, revised 06.29.2012)
Funding from Companies
Company Funding Arrangements—Host-Based Sites
HHMI’s host institutions may accept funding from companies to support research in the laboratories of HHMI investigators and early career scientists under the circumstances described in this policy.
Corporate Gift Letter Acceptable to HHMI
Download the Form (Word 44kb, revised 06.29.2012)
Corporate Gift Letter Acceptable to HHMI when Recipient is a Licensee
Download the Form (Word 44kb, revised 10.01.2008)
Confidential Disclosure Agreements
A confidential disclosure agreement (CDA) is an agreement in which one or
both parties agree to maintain certain information in confidence and use it
only for specified purposes. CDAs may also be called non-disclosure
agreements, secrecy agreements, or confidentiality agreements.
Download the Form (Word 37kb, revised 06.01.2007)
Download the Form (Word 37kb, revised 06.01.2007)
Consulting for Companies–General Policy (SC-500)
This policy provides general rules applicable to any service by HHMI laboratory heads as consultants to companies.
Company Talks, Conferences, and Seminars (SC-510)
This policy applies to consulting that involves giving a talk to company employees or participating in a one- or two-day conference or seminar convened by a company.
Consulting for and Equity Ownership in Start-Up and other Private Companies (SC-520)
This policy describes the special rules applicable to consulting for, and equity ownership in, start-up and other private companies.
Service as a Member of a Company's Board of Directors (SC-530)
This policy applies to service by HHMI laboratory heads as members of a company's board of directors.
Consulting in connection with Litigation (SC-540)
This policy applies to consulting by HHMI laboratory heads in connection with litigation, such as service as an expert witness.
Service to Non-Profit Organizations and Government Agencies (SC-550)
This policy describes special rules for consulting arrangements between HHMI laboratory heads and nonprofit entities or government organizations.
Intellectual Property and Licensing
As a medical research organization, HHMI conducts scientific research in the public interest. HHMI has
adopted this intellectual property policy to help ensure that inventions,
discoveries, and other fruits of HHMI's research are made available for the
benefit of the public, and that the associated financial costs and rewards
are fairly allocated.
Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement
Download the Form (PDF 101kb, revised 06.29.2012)
Licensing by Host Institutions to Companies
This policy applies to the licensing to companies of intellectual
property developed in HHMI laboratories at host institutions. Under
HHMI's collaborative arrangements with its host institutions, the host
institution is responsible for efforts to commercialize intellectual property
developed in HHMI laboratories at the site.
Early Career Scientists
This policy describes the application of HHMI's research policies and related guidance to those appointed by HHMI as early career scientists.
Human Subjects Research
Human Subjects Research
This policy applies to all HHMI investigators and early career scientists, and all HHMI employees in their laboratories, who are engaged in or are contemplating becoming engaged in human subjects research.
Other Policies for HHMI Investigators
The policies in this group apply to HHMI investigators only. The scientists at the Janelia Farm Research Campus are not subject to these policies.
HHMI's expectation is that investigators will remain at the host institution at which they were initially appointed. However, any HHMI investigator who has completed a full initial term of employment with HHMI and been reviewed and reappointed for a full renewal term is eligible to request a transfer of an HHMI appointment.
Investigator Laboratories at Institutions Other than the Host Institution
HHMI believes that an investigator's scientific program is
generally aided by concentration of the investigator's research
activities in a single location, where these activities can be better managed
and more effective. Similarly, concentration in a single location benefits an Investigator's
non-research activities, including mentoring students and postdoctoral fellows
and fulfilling responsibilities to the host institution. Accordingly, HHMI
generally prefers that Investigators conduct their research program at a single
Other Policies for Janelia Laboratories
Janelia Policy on Acceptance of Grants and Awards
Researchers who are visiting Janelia Farm Research Campus and who do have an affiliation with another research institution may have grant funding through their other institution, outside of the restrictions of this policy.