Irvine, Calif., March 26, 2013 – The Hellman Fellows Fund has approved a gift of $1.25 million to establish the UC Irvine Hellman Fellows Program, which will support the research of promising assistant professors who exhibit the capacity for great distinction.

Starting July 1, the fund will provide $250,000 a year for five years, creating individual fellowships to help junior faculty pursue their research passions. Those eligible will receive emails inviting them to apply by the April 30 deadline, and an advisory panel – chaired by Herbert P. Killackey, vice provost for academic personnel – will review the first round of fellowship applications.

“UC Irvine appreciates the Hellman Fellows Fund’s generous support and recognition of the enormous potential of our young researchers,” said Chancellor Michael Drake. “Financial assistance such as this is especially meaningful early in a faculty member’s career, when grants can be scarce. Private support is essential to the continuation of our research mission, particularly in the current environment of federal research funding uncertainty.”

Hellman Fellowships are available to assistant professors in a wide variety of academic disciplines – which is unusual in that many similar programs are limited to specific fields.

“The Hellman Fellows Program is designed to enable innovation and exploration by our universities’ most promising future academic leaders,” said Susan Hirsch, an officer of the Hellman Fellows Fund. “Time and again, we hear that the funding comes at a critical juncture for junior faculty to position their research careers for long-term success.”

Warren and Chris Hellman started the program in 1994 with UC San Diego and UC Berkeley. It now supports faculty members at 14 institutions, including all 10 University of California campuses. Eighty-five percent of the awards have been made within the UC system; more than 975 UC faculty members are Hellman Fellows.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,400 staff. Orange County’s second-largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.3 billion. For more UCI news, visit

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