Postdoctoral Fellowships

Wu Tsai Postdoctoral Fellowships

Phase I: Faculty proposals for co-mentored postdoctoral fellows

Yale faculty are encouraged to come together to apply for funding for a Wu Tsai Postdoctoral Fellow who will advance internal research collaborations in areas of scientific interest to the WTI. In 2022, we will prioritize proposals that seek to integrate data across levels of analysis (e.g., species, scales, techniques, tasks, etc.) or to develop tools or computational approaches to facilitate such integration.

The call for faculty proposals will be announced in summer or fall of 2022.

Opportunity

The Wu Tsai Institute (WTI) brings together leading researchers across the biological, psychological, and computational sciences to address central questions about the mind and brain. People and collaborations are at the heart of WTI’s mission. To this end, WTI is committed to the mentoring and career development of a new generation of integrative scientists, including through the support of postdoctoral fellows who will advance interdisciplinary research and enrich Yale’s diversity and inclusion.

Each year, the WTI recruits approximately four new Wu Tsai Postdoctoral Fellows to Yale with funding up to three years. Fellows pursue collaborative research that drives scientific discoveries about the mind through an integrated study of the brain. Fellows are co-mentored by two or more Yale faculty working in different departments, research areas, levels of analysis, and/or techniques. Co-mentors have a track record of (or commitment to, if junior) mentoring and placement of trainees and evidence of establishing inclusive and supportive environments. This call is meant to foster and uncover new opportunities for collaboration between Yale labs.

The fellowship award process proceeds in two phases:

  1. An internal call for mentoring collaboration proposals from Yale faculty
  2. An external call for postdoctoral applicants to work with selected co-mentors

Phase 1 applications should be completed by two or more faculty members at Yale wishing to co-mentor a postdoc who would advance a collaborative project in an area of research interest to the WTI. Preference will be given to proposals where at least one faculty is a WTI member. Faculty who are mentors of current WTI postdoctoral fellows are not eligible to apply.

For 2022, we encourage collaborations that seek to integrate data across levels of analysis (e.g., species, scales, techniques, tasks, etc.) or to develop tools or computational approaches to facilitate such integration.

Eligibility

  • Any two or more Yale ladder faculty members, from any department, with an interest in joining forces to advance understanding of cognition, broadly construed, are welcomed to apply, provided that none of the investigators is currently mentoring a Wu Tsai Postdoctoral Fellow. Preference will be given to teams where at least one faculty is a WTI member.
  • Incoming ladder faculty, scheduled to start in 2022, are welcome to apply.
  • Each member of the faculty mentoring team should have a track record of successfully mentoring trainees, either as Principal Investigators or in a previous career stage. Junior PIs will not be penalized for lack of mentoring experience at the faculty level. All faculty should have a track record of supporting diversity and inclusion in their research environments.
  • Priority will be given to proposals that combine members of different departments or that straddle different disciplines, that combine different scientific perspectives or approaches, or that propose work across scales.
  • Please note, proposals involving a clinical disorder must be explicitly aimed at a basic understanding of cognition and not its etiology, diagnosis, or treatment.

Fellowship

Selected collaboration proposals will be eligible to recruit a Wu Tsai Postdoctoral Fellow. Fellows will be identified though a competitive search and interview process, managed by WTI for the faculty co-mentors, who will make the hiring decisions.

Fellows will receive a postdoctoral associate appointment at Yale, for a minimum of two years and a maximum of three years, given satisfactory progress upon annual review. For details on the fellowship, including stipend and other forms of support, see Phase Two details.

Instructions for Submission

All applications must include:

  • NIH or NSF-style Biosketch for each faculty member
  • Research collaboration proposal narrative - Describe area(s) of potential collaboration between the faculty, given their research interests and laboratory projects, including example questions that could be addressed. Describe how the collaboration could advance understanding of cognition. State whether the collaboration is new and explain why it cannot be supported by other funding sources. A detailed project description akin to a grant proposal is not expected. Should not exceed two pages (including figures if any, excluding references).
  • Joint plan for mentoring, training, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) - Describe the mentoring philosophy of each faculty member and how the faculty members would work together to co-mentor a fellow. Identify training and professional development opportunities available to the fellow through the collaboration. Describe how each of the faculty members support and advance DEI in their research environments and at Yale, and how they will support an inclusive search that maximizes potential for candidates from diverse backgrounds. Should not exceed two pages.
  • Mentoring track record - Report the number of previous and current trainees at all levels for each faculty member. Summarize placement history and present status of previous trainees. Describe experience with mentoring trainees from underrepresented backgrounds. Junior faculty will not be disadvantaged by a shorter history. Should not exceed two pages.

Selection Process

Collaboration proposals will be evaluated and recommended for award by an internal WTI committee, comprised of current faculty members mentoring WTI postdoctoral fellows, and based on the following criteria:

  • Impact: We are interested in supporting ambitious and innovative research areas that will advance understanding of cognition.
  • Novelty: Priority will be given to new faculty collaborations over established ones, ideally across departments or even schools.
  • Interdisciplinarity: Proposal narrative should bring together different fields, techniques, scales, and/or perspectives.
  • Environment: Mentoring plan should be thoughtful, meaningfully attentive to DEI, and grounded in a successful track record (junior faculty can include their experience mentoring others as a postdocs or graduate students).

Contact

Please contact wti@yale.edu with any questions.

Wu Tsai Postdoctoral Fellowships

Phase II: Call for Applicants

Opportunity

The Wu Tsai Institute (WTI) is a new neuroscience institute at Yale that seeks to understand human cognition and explore human potential by establishing an inclusive and interdisciplinary community spanning the biological, psychological, and computational sciences. People, collaborations, and diverse perspectives are at the heart of WTI’s mission. The Wu Tsai Postdoctoral Fellowship program is a central initiative to attract and foster the career success of a new generation of integrative scientists.

The Wu Tsai Postdoctoral Fellowship program seeks applications from soon-to-be or recent doctorates interested in joining our vibrant scientific community. We are particularly interested in applications from scientists with a genuine commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in science and who represent a diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and identities, including those from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the sciences, as defined by the NIH.

Fellows will work in different priority research areas identified annually through a competitive search and are also welcomed to apply to a general open call if they have other research interests consistent with the WTI mission. To promote interdisciplinary training and grow professional networks, Fellows will be co-mentored by two or more Yale faculty members working in different departments, research areas, levels of analysis, and/or techniques. Co-mentors have been selected in part based on their track record of mentoring and evidence of establishing inclusive and supportive research environments.

For details on the identification of faculty co-mentors and topics, see Phase One of this program.

Award and Expectations

Selected Fellows will receive:

  • Postdoctoral Associate appointment at Yale. Funding for a maximum of three years, given satisfactory progress upon annual review.
  • A competitive stipend ($60,000), with a cost-of-living increase in subsequent years, as well as health benefits.
  • A relocation stipend to help cover moving expenses.
  • Discretionary funds for professional development (e.g., conference, computer, travel, etc.)
  • Access to cohort-based professional development and community-building activities, including monthly cohort meetings, the ability to invite and host speakers, social activities, grant writing and skill-building workshops, and career preparation activities.
  • Access to cutting-edge space, equipment, facilities, and services in the upcoming new home of WTI at 100 College Street in New Haven, CT.

Fellows are expected to:

  • Agree to the WTI code of conduct and an advising compact with their Co-mentors.
  • Attend a postdoc orientation, run through the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, and additional WTI welcome events.
  • Participate in WTI activities and devote up to 10% of their time toward professional development, service and community-building
  • Submit a timely annual progress report.

Eligibility

  • PhD degree or equivalent awarded by the beginning of the Fellowship or within the last 3 years.
  • The fellowship is open to non-U.S. citizens.
  • Candidates should have a published track record of discoveries, demonstrate a level of scientific independence appropriate for a beginning postdoc, and be eager to collaborate and participate in activities and research across scientific disciplines.
  • Because this fellowship is meant 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.

Instructions for Submission

The application period is currently closed.

Applications must be submitted though Interfolio. See here for instructions for how to open an Interfolio account.

Applications must include:

  • Cover letter – Please identify the priority research area to which you are applying (see above). Describe your interest in the interdisciplinary mission of the WTI and why you are interested in joining our community and becoming part of this program (1 page).
  • Research statement – Summarize prior research experiences and contributions and describe your postdoctoral research interests. We are particularly interested in how you envision advancing understanding of human cognition, though this can be achieved through study of model systems and computational/theoretical approaches (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 (2 pages).
  • 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 by the submission deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
  • Curriculum vitae – Please provide a current CV, including papers that are published, in press, or deposited in preprint server (e.g., bioRxiv or arXiv).

Selection Process

Applications will be selected by an internal WTI committee, comprised of proposed Co-mentors, WTI leaders, DEI experts, and postdocs, based on the following criteria:

  • Scientific excellence: Evidence of academic achievement, promise of continuing achievement as independent researcher, and likelihood of successful placement in next career stage (e.g., tenure-track faculty position).
  • Fostering diversity, equity and inclusion: Self-identifying as being a member of a group that is underrepresented in science, as defined by the NIH, and/or demonstrating a commitment to advancing DEI through scientific approach and practices and/or institutional and community service.
  • Interdisciplinary orientation: Evidence of working across scientific boundaries and/or compelling justification for why an interdisciplinary approach will help the Fellow advance their scientific and/or professional goals, eagerness to learn new skills (e.g., experimental techniques for a theoretician, computational modeling for an experimentalist).
  • Community-mindedness: Eager to lead or help organize activities and contribute to life of WTI.

Contact

Please contact wti@yale.edu with any questions.