Post-Doctoral Fellows Program

Funding Opportunities for Ph.D. Graduates

Call for Applications September 2017 Download PDF

The Data Science Institute (DSI) at Columbia University invites applications for the 2018 inaugural class of the DSI Post-Doctoral Fellows Program. This program is to produce next-generation leaders in data science. Fellows will carry out independent and novel research in an environment that fosters multi-disciplinary, collaborative research. We seek fellows who will support DSI’s broad mission:

  1. Advance the state of the art in data science;
  2. Transform all fields, professions, and sectors through the application of data science;
  3. Ensure the responsible use of data for the benefit of society.

The Data Science Institute at Columbia University, a world-leading institution in research and education of data science, is positioned to promote “Data for Good”: using data to address societal challenges and bringing humanistic perspectives as—not after—new science and technology is invented. At Columbia, data science literally touches every corner of the university. The Data Science Institute at Columbia University, started in 2012, is a university-level institute representing over 250 faculty from 12 different schools across campus, along with a robust industrial affiliates program and strong ties with New York City’s economic development, including the dynamic and fast-growing start-up community. We are focused on world-class research and training data scientists who go on to be leaders in academia, industry, and government. 

Program Goals

For the DSI Post-Doctoral Fellows Program, we seek candidates who are recent Ph.D. graduates and have explicit interests in advancing and/or applying data science to other domains. Prior experience in data science is not required. We are especially looking for candidates with the courage and interest to learn a new field, be part of a select like-minded cohort of fellows, and along with Columbia University DSI members, help define the field of data science for the long-term future. We encourage applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and identities.

Appointment and Funding

Appointments for the first class of DSI Fellows start July 1, 2018, with guaranteed funding for two years. In addition to a competitive salary package, DSI Fellows will also be provided with a research expenditure budget of that can be used for conference travel, computing equipment, and/or other research-related costs.

Application Process

The candidate should identify two-five names of potential mentors who are current Columbia faculty members. A good place to look for mentors would be the list of DSI faculty affiliates but candidates are welcome to look beyond this list. If you are interested in applying data science to a specific domain, we encourage you identify mentors from both a foundational area (applied mathematics, computer science, electrical engineering, machine learning, optimization, statistics, etc.) and a domain area. Using your input, the DSI will ensure the best possible match of mentor(s) for you. 

To apply, please submit the following materials to Evaluation of applications by a review committee will start after December 1, 2017 and continue until the positions are filled. Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible and preferably before December 1, 2017.

  • A cover letter that explains your motivation for applying to this program and indicates your choice of mentors;
  • A curriculum vitae (including a list of publications);
  • A brief research statement that summarizes current research interests, past accomplishments, and future research goals. It should contain a short proposal for the research activities you plan to do as a DSI Fellow, including a schedule with milestones;
  • Up to three representative research papers;
  • Three letters of reference submitted directly by the recommenders to
  • [Optional] A letter from a potential mentor indicating an interest in your candidacy and your proposed research activities, submitted directly to

Offers will be made on a rolling basis, with final Fellowship decisions made by April 1, 2018

550 W. 120th St., Northwest Corner 1401, New York, NY 10027    212-854-5660
©2017 Columbia University