The Michigan Data Science Fellows (DS Fellows) Program provides outstanding young researchers with intensive data science experience as they ready themselves for independent research and faculty positions.  In addition, they will develop collaborative relationships with other Fellows in the program and within the University of Michigan (U-M) data science community.

As data increasingly permeates every field of research, strong skills in data science methodology and applications are a prerequisite for responsible research and Big Data’s positive societal impact.  As the major component of U-M’s Data Science Initiative, MIDAS is dedicated to building a data science research community and external partnerships, advancing innovative and responsible data science, and establishing a data science education pipeline.  The DS Fellows Program accepts young researchers who have a strong track record of research in their respective fields and who plan to acquire additional skills in data science, broadly construed, with a focus on either methodology or applications (including societal impact).  While in the program, Fellows will be expected to work at the boundaries between data science methods and domain sciences in an intellectually vibrant environment, and build interdisciplinary relationship with other Fellows and over 280 MIDAS affiliate faculty. They are expected to be strong candidates for university faculty and other research positions when they leave the program. 

DS Fellows will also be expected to contribute to the U-M data science community.  They will be expected to interact with the U-M data science community through research presentations and other events.  Based on their career plans, they may choose to interact with data science graduate and undergraduate students through mentoring.  The Fellows will be allocated office space at MIDAS so that they can build their own network and enhance the interdisciplinary reach of MIDAS.

Fellows will receive a stipend of $70,000 per year plus benefits.   They will also receive an allocation of $10,000 per year for research and conference travel expenses.   Appointments will be for 24 months.

Eligibility: Applicants must be outstanding, intellectually curious researchers who will be ready to pursue independent research positions after two years in the program.  They should have a doctorate in a related area before the expected start date of their fellowship. They should not yet have a faculty position/offer. Collaboration experience and strong communication skills will be viewed favorably.  We recognize that strength comes through diversity and actively seek and welcome people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and identities.

Individuals already at U-M are also eligible to apply.  In their research statement they should indicate how their work during the fellowship will differ from their current work at U-M.  Their current research mentor(s) may not serve as sponsor(s) on the fellowship application.

Faculty Sponsors.  Each Fellow must identify on the application form two MIDAS affiliate faculty as sponsors.  Preferably, one sponsor is from a methodological discipline and one is from an application discipline.   One of the sponsors should be identified as the primary sponsor.  Some applicants may not know faculty in multiple disciplines at U-M, in which case the primary sponsor can help locate a suitable second sponsor. Working together with MIDAS, the sponsors are expected to provide career guidance to the Fellows, meet with them regularly to assess research progress, help the Fellows seek opportunities for career advancement, and support the Fellows program in other ways.

Application Information:

Applications MUST be submitted through our online application.  Application materials received via e-mail will not be considered.

Your application materials should include:

  1.  A CV.
  2.  A Research Statement that includes 1) the proposed data science research, including its importance and potential impact; 2) the applicant’s career plan and how this Fellowship will benefit the plan; and 3) qualifications that make the applicant particularly suitable for this program.  
  3. Names of two faculty sponsors at U-M.  Each sponsor should provide a Letter of Support.   See the “Faculty Sponsors” section above.
  4. Names and contact information for two or three additional references.

Bipolar Research Fellow.  In addition to the call above, which is open to all aspects of Data Science, we also seek applicants for one directed fellowship, funded by the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program, to develop and use Data Science methods to study the longitudinal course of the illness in people who are diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.  The Prechter Bipolar Research group works to discover the fundamental biological changes that cause Bipolar Disorder and develops new interventions to treat and prevent the illness.  Applicants for this directed fellowship do not need to identify faculty sponsors, but all other requirements in this document apply. 

Applications for the 2020 cohort are currently under review.

Notifications will start on April 15.

The expected start date is Sept. 1, 2020, negotiable for special cases.

The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.

For questions about this application, please contact