WASHINGTON—The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has promised to increase its spending by $500 million during the next decade as part of an agreement this month that ends its longstanding dispute with the Internal Revenue Service.

Researchers, science students, and teachers at U.S. schools and universities may eventually be among the beneficiaries of the settlement, which requires HHMI to spend an additional $50 million a year above the $200 million it now devotes to medical research. The agreement also relaxes some restrictions on the nonprofit institute, permitting it for the first time to finance educational grants and fellowships for independent researchers.

"It's an outstanding opportunity for us," said George Thorn, president of HHMI's board of trustees. "The $500 million can all be spent toward areas we're interested in funding. It's a push in the right direction in two ways: more money is available and we now have more flexibility in spending...

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