Wu Tsai Postdoctoral Fellows are supported in their pursuit of interdisciplinary research that drives discoveries about the mind through integrated study of the brain. This program of the Wu Tsai Institute attracts early-career scientists from a broad range of disciplines who are interested in gaining and applying expertise to advance ambitious and innovative neuroscience research as they prepare for independent careers.
Fellowships for Different Needs
The program features two fellowship tracks representing different scientific backgrounds, project scopes, and mentoring objectives. The application and selection process for both tracks is the same.
- The Computational Track is for applicants interested in pursuing self-guided computational research projects with professional mentorship.
- The Experimental Track is for applicants interested in conducting mentored empirical research projects under a lab apprenticeship model.
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 John Lafferty, Director of the Institute’s Center for Neurocomputation and Machine Intelligence. 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.
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 below) cannot be listed as mentors for new applicants. Candidates are encouraged to reach out to any of the over 150 faculty members in 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. View our faculty members.
Benefits + Eligibility
- 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
- Begin appointment on or before September 1, 2024
- Agree to the Institute's 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
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.
Describe your interest in the WTI mission and the fellowship program. If applying to the Experimental Track, name the Wu Tsai Faculty Member(s) with whom you propose to work and append email evidence (PDF) of their declared openness to working with you.
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).
Please describe how your unique background, identity or experience has prepared you for this opportunity and will contribute to advancing DEI at WTI, Yale, and in science (1 page).
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 also be received via Interfolio by the submission deadline; incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
Please provide a current CV, including papers that are published, in press, or deposited in preprint server (e.g., bioRxiv or arXiv).
See below for example projects of interest from our current fellows and faculty advisors. Advisors to current Wu Tsai Postdoctoral Fellows are not eligible to serve as advisors to new applicants.
Understanding the neural mechanisms of higher-order cognition through cross-species studies. Faculty Advisors: Amy Arnsten, John Murray
The functional genomics of human cognition: from molecular and cellular processes though large-scale brain networks. Faculty Advisors: Nenad Sestan, Avram Holmes
Toward the neural bases of cooperative social interactions. Faculty Advisors: Amy Arnsten, John Murray
Our Fellows are engaged interdisciplinary scientists, excited to bridge disciplines in the study of cognition and to foster inclusive environments for research.Giovanna Guerrero-Medina, PhD, Assistant Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion