Faculty Recruitment Program

Funding Opportunities for New Faculty Hires

Call for Applications 2018–2019 Download PDF

Every field has data. We use data to discover new knowledge, to interpret the world, to make decisions, and even to predict the future. The recent convergence of big data, cloud computing, and novel machine learning algorithms and statistical methods is causing an explosive interest in data science and its applicability to all fields. This convergence has already enabled the automation of some tasks that better human performance. The novel capabilities we derive from data science will drive our cars, treat disease, and keep us safe. At the same time, such capabilities risk leading to biased, inappropriate, or unintended action. The design of data science solutions requires both excellence in the fundamentals of the field and expertise to develop applications which meet human challenges without creating even greater risk.

The Data Science Institute at Columbia University is a world-leading institution in research and education in the theory and practice of the emerging field of data science. The Data Science Institute’s mission is:

  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

It is in this context that the Data Science Institute at Columbia University promotes “Data for Good”: using data to address societal challenges and bringing humanistic perspectives as—not after—new science and technology is invented.

Program Goal

The Data Science Institute is pleased to announce the 2018–19 DSI Faculty Recruitment Program in support of faculty hires across Columbia University in the area of data science. The goal of this program is to help Columbia University recruit and hire top scholars in their respective disciplines, and specifically those who are advancing and/or applying data science. We are as interested in candidates who bring data science expertise to their discipline as in those who bring their disciplinary expertise to data science. By jointly recruiting top candidates to Columbia, the DSI wishes to foster deeper collaborations with all parts of the university. 

Program Target

Last year we successfully hired junior faculty in Law, Nursing, and SIPA, via our Faculty Recruitment Program. In addition, I was directly involved in talking with many faculty candidates—sometimes multiple times, at different stages of the hiring process—from many other departments and schools across the university. I was more than happy to talk to candidates about data science at Columbia and the potential for collaboration with the DSI.

Based on last year’s experience, this year we are open to engage in the recruiting and hiring of faculty candidates at all levels (junior, mid-career, senior), for all faculty tracks (tenure-track, teaching, research) and from all fields of study. Both the hiring unit and the candidates should have an explicit interest in advancing or applying data science. The Data Science Institute would be especially excited about candidates who will help fulfill the Institute’s mission.

Funding and Expectations

The Data Science Institute’s financial commitment is limited to $30K toward start-up costs per candidate. The exact amount depends on available resources and Institute priorities. A successfully recruited candidate will be expected to be an active participant in the Data Science Institute.


Whether or not you need DSI funds toward faculty recruiting, I am personally willing to meet with your faculty candidates if they express an interest in data science and the Data Science Institute.

Learning from last year’s interactions with all of you and your candidates, I’ve simplified the process:

Interview: If you would like me to help interview a candidate during an on-campus visit, send me an email (wing@columbia.edu) and my assistant will set up a time for me to connect with the candidate. Please include the candidate’s application package (c.v., letters, research and teaching statements, etc.). Last year, I did Skype calls in case I was unable to meet during the candidate’s campus visit. I will gladly meet with candidates on a rolling basis throughout the academic year depending on your recruitment timeline; early notice is strongly encouraged. I can also arrange for the candidate to speak with other DSI faculty members.

Offer: After the department or school decides to make an offer, and you would like DSI funds to help with start-up costs, the dean/department chair and I will negotiate the terms of the amount and expectations of engagement with the DSI on a case-by-case basis.

All department chairs are expected to get approval from their respective dean to receive DSI funds.

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