The Hellman Fellows Fund has approved a gift of $625,000 to UC Santa Cruz to establish the UCSC Hellman Fellows Program, which will provide support for research by promising assistant professors who show capacity for great distinction in their research.

"Since we started this program seventeen years ago, I have had the opportunity to have lunch with hundreds of Hellman Fellows. To listen to what they accomplish and the potential of where their careers will take them is always a gratifying experience. Creating the Hellman Fellows Program is one of the best things my family has ever done with our giving," said Warren Hellman.

The awards are open to support assistant professors in all fields of study who have served two to three years at the assistant professor rank. Funding will be split roughly equally between assistant professors in two groups: engineering, physical sciences, and life sciences; and arts, humanities, and social sciences. The maximum award is $50,000, although most awards are expected to be in the $10,000 to $25,000 range.

"Junior faculty are often well-funded when first hired, but challenges arise in two to three years when start-up funding is exhausted and before first grants are obtained. We are grateful to the Hellman Fellows Fund for creating a program to assist promising young faculty at this point in their careers," said Herbie Lee, interim vice provost for academic affairs.

Awards may be used for any research-related expenses, including salaries for students or research assistants, equipment, or travel. Established in 1994 by Warren and Chris Hellman of San Francisco, the Hellman Fellows Program now supports junior faculty at 13 institutions, including nine UC campuses.

More information about the UCSC Hellman Fellows Program is available on the program's web site.