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Wu Tsai Postdoctoral Fellowships

Employer
Yale University
Location
New Haven, Connecticut
Salary
Starting salary well beyond NIH levels (varies by track) + benefits
Closing date
Oct 22, 2023

Job Details

The Wu Tsai Institute (WTI) Postdoctoral Fellowship Program attracts scientists from a broad range of disciplines interested in ambitious and innovative research as they prepare for careers across academia, industry, and beyond. Wu Tsai Postdoctoral Fellows pursue collaborative research that drives discoveries about the mind through an integrated study of the brain. Fellows are selected based on their scientific record, interest in inter-disciplinary research, and their understanding and contributions to advancing diversity and equity in science.  

Selected Fellows will receive:

  • Postdoctoral associate appointment at Yale for up to three years 
  • Generous salary, beyond NIH starting levels, that is reflective of the norms in computational and experimental fields, with annual increases
  • Funding to assist with relocation costs
  • Discretionary funds for professional development 
  • Protected time and programmatic opportunities for professional development, networking, and training with a supportive cohort of peers
  • Access to cutting-edge space, equipment, facilities, and services at the Institute

The program features two postdoctoral fellowship tracks (Computational and Experimental) for scientists from different scientific disciplines and with different mentoring needs. While each track differs slightly in terms of mentoring and salary, the application and selection process are the same. You will be able to indicate your interest in this track on the application submission form.

Computational Track

This track welcomes applications from scientists who are interested in understanding human cognition and exploring human potential through analysis, modeling, and theorizing about neuroscience data and concepts through self-determined research in collaboration with scientists across Yale. Applicants should have an expertise in computer science, data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, engineering, applied math, applied physics, or related fields.  

Applicants for the Computational track do not need to pre-identify a faculty advisor. Instead, once accepted, Fellows will seek out and establish one or more project collaborations under the counsel of Prof. John Lafferty, Director of the Institute’s Center for Neurocomputation and Machine Intelligence. Prof. Lafferty serves as a professional mentor, advising Fellows and facilitating connections to collaborative possibilities with faculty and labs across Yale, as well as professional development opportunities.

Experimental Approaches Track

This track welcomes applications from scientists from any field who are interested in furthering the understanding of human cognition and exploring human potential through the design, execution, and analysis of highly interdisciplinary empirical research projects. Many successful applications propose a co-mentoring team of two faculty from different disciplines, one of which may overlap with the applicant’s PhD field. We also welcome applications to work with a single faculty mentor, but only when the Fellow is transitioning into the mentor’s discipline from a substantially different PhD field (incremental transitions will be screened).

Applicants to the Experimental Track must identify and contact one or two Wu Tsai Faculty Members in advance and secure their potential willingness to serve as (co-)mentor should the fellowship be awarded. Applicants must submit evidence of faculty member interest as part of the application (e.g., a copy of an email to the applicant). The mentors of current Wu Tsai Postdoctoral Fellows (see list here) cannot be listed as mentors for new applicants. Candidates are encouraged to reach out to any of the over 150 faculty affiliated with the Wu Tsai Institute. However, because faculty receive many such inquiries, the most successful outreach is sincere and specific, clearly indicating that the applicant has conducted their own advance research into potential areas of mutual interest that are related to the mission of the Institute.

All applications must include:

  • Cover letter - Describe your interest in the WTI mission and the fellowship program. If applying to the Experimental Track, name the Wu Tsai Faculty with whom you would work and append email evidence (PDF) of the faculty member(s) declaring an interest in working with you.
  • Research statement - Summarize prior research experiences and contributions and describe your postdoctoral research interests as they relate to understanding human cognition. Please explain how the envisioned research is interdisciplinary and how it will benefit from your unique expertise (2 pages, inclusive of figures but not references).
  • DEI statement - Please describe how your unique background, identity or experience will contribute to diversity, equity, or inclusion at WTI, Yale, and in science (1 page).
  • Curriculum vitae - Please provide a current CV, including papers that are published, in press, or deposited in preprint server (e.g., bioRxiv or arXiv). 
  • Two letters of recommendation - One letter must be from your thesis advisor(s). The letters should address the quality, originality, and independence of your research and potential. Letters must be received via Interfolio by the submission deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. 

The deadline for applications is November 15. Find more information and application instructions here: https://wti.yale.edu/initiatives/postdoctoral  

Eligibility and Evaluation:

  • PhD degree or equivalent must be awarded by the beginning of the fellowship and within the last 3 years.
  • The fellowship is open to U.S. and non-U.S. citizens.
  • Because this fellowship is intended to build the number of researchers working in these areas at Yale, current members of the Yale community (including postdocs and PhD students) are not eligible to apply.
  • Fellows are selected by a committee of faculty and Institute leaders and are chosen based on their interdisciplinary scientific goals and track record of scientific achievements, commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and ability to make meaningful contributions to the community. 
  • Scientists who represent a diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and identities, including those historically underrepresented in the sciences, as defined by the NIH, are especially encouraged to apply.

WTI Postdoctoral Fellows are expected to:

  • Begin appointment on or before September 1, 2024
  • Agree to the WTI code of conduct
  • Participate in WTI activities and devote effort toward professional development, service, and community-building (up to 10% of effort)
  • Submit an annual progress report
  • Follow all guidelines and requirements for postdocs at Yale

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