Call for Nominations
Future Leaders Summit 2024

The Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS) invites nominations to the annual Future Leaders Summit. The event offers outstanding graduate students, postdocs, and early-career faculty from around the US the opportunity to engage in research discussions with peers and with research leaders, and receive career mentoring, as they grow to become leaders in data science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) research.

Dates: April 8-10, 2024
Location: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Theme: "Responsible Data Science and AI"

Data science and AI are having a significant impact on society in uncountable ways, leading to huge benefits in many cases. Yet, increasingly complex analytical pipelines working with poorly understood heterogeneous data sets can give rise to harms in many ways. Furthermore, there could be deleterious systemic effects such as the magnification of disinformation or surveillance capitalism. There has been tremendous recent interest in understanding and managing these concerns. The Summit will explore in-depth topics in this broad area, including, but not limited to:

  • Equity and fairness, particularly in automated decision making
  • Explainability of analytical results
  • Reproducibility and replication of scientific results
  • Systemic issues, particularly those impacting marginalized populations 
  • Responsible AI in science and engineering. Established in 2022, MIDAS is home to the Eric and Wendy Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellowship. With this, we are dedicated to promoting responsible data science and AI for natural sciences and engineering.

Summit Activites

  • Attending the annual Ethical AI symposium, and presenting a poster on your research – April 8.
  • Research discussion sessions with fellow FLS attendees and faculty mentors – April 9 – 10.
  • Career mentoring sessions: preparing for job interviews; career opportunities in academia, industry, and other organizations; negotiating job offers; setting up for success as a junior faculty member – April 9 – 10.
  • Networking sessions with FLS attendees – April 9 – 10.
  • Research connection sessions with University of Michigan faculty members and postdocs – April 9 – 10.

Who should be nominated

  • Doctoral candidates, postdoctoral fellows, and first-year faculty whose research falls within this year’s theme;
    • Doctoral candidates and postdoctoral fellows should be ready to apply for jobs (either academic or non-academic, postdoctoral positions included) in 2024 or 2025. 
  • Exceptional students in a Master’s Program will be considered, if they are from a university that does not offer PhD programs in a data science or AI related field.

Who should be the nominators

Nominations may come from faculty mentors, department chairs, institute directors, deans / associate deans and other university leaders. All nominations, though, should include the signature of their respective department chair, director, or unit leadership.

Diversity and inclusion

We strongly encourage the nomination of individuals from underrepresented groups. Consistently, more than half of the attendees at previous Summits have been women and underrepresented minorities; MIDAS is committed to developing a diverse group of scholars in research, considering diversity in all respects, including race, gender, national origin, socioeconomic background, and other identities.

The nomination process

  • Nominations may be uploaded through this online form.
  • The nomination package should be one .pdf file and combine the following:
    • The CV of the nominee.
    • A one-page statement from the nominee that describes their current research project (s), long-term research interest and what they want to gain from attending this Summit.
    • A letter of support from the nominator delineating the strengths and experiences of the nominee and why this Summit will benefit them.
      • Note: A letter of support must include the signature of one academic department chair, institute director, dean / associate dean, or similar university leadership.

Limits and cost

  • Each nominator may submit up to two nominations; there is no limit on the number of nominators from each university.
  • Only one nominee from each university may be accepted to attend the Summit at no cost (MIDAS will cover the cost of travel, lodging and food).
  • If spaces allow, we may accept a second nominee from a university but will not be able to cover costs.


Nominations: by 11:59 pm, Feb. 16, 2024
Notification of decisions: by Feb, 26, 2024

For questions, please contact

Career Mentors

Brittany Aguilar, Science Associate, Schmidt Futures

Arya Farahi, Assistant Professor, Dept of Statistics and Data Science, University of Texas, Austin

R. Stuart Geiger, Assistant Professor, Dept of Communication and the Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute, Affiliate Faculty, Institute for Practical Ethics, Computer Science & Engineering, and Computational Social Science, University of California, San Diego

Michael Tjalve

Michael TjalveChief AI Architect, Tech for Social Impact at Microsoft Philanthropies; Assistant Professor, Linguistics, University of Washington

Elizabeth Yakel

Elizabeth Yakel, C Olivia Frost Collegiate Professor of Information, School of Information; Faculty Associate, Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

Sponsors of the 2024 Future Leaders Summit

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