The Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS) is seeking applications for its Michigan Data Science Fellows (DS Fellows) Program. This two-year program provides outstanding early-career researchers with intensive data science experience as they ready themselves for independent research and faculty positions.  

MIDAS is dedicated to building a data science research community and external partnerships, advancing innovative and responsible data science, and translating research outcomes to positive societal impact. The DS Fellows Program accepts early-career 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). Fellows will be expected to work at the boundaries between data science methods and domain sciences in an intellectually vibrant environment, and build interdisciplinary relationships with other Fellows and over 430 MIDAS affiliate faculty. They are expected to be strong candidates for university faculty and other research positions when they leave the program.

Late-breaking opportunity:

Post-doctoral Fellow opening in the Nallasamy Lab

The opportunity is a postdoctoral fellowship focusing on the automated assessment of surgical video using machine learning techniques. The postdoctoral fellow will develop machine learning algorithms to objectively assess surgical performance. Intraoperative video of cataract surgery will be used as a model, with the intention of expanding the application of the techniques developed to all forms of video-recorded surgical procedures throughout medicine.

Apply here | Application deadline April 25th

Research Themes

The applicant’s research should align with one or more of the following themes.

  • Enhancing Scientific and Societal Impact: Integrating methodologies and tools to enable responsible data science and AI research and enhance its scientific impact; applying data science and AI methodologies and tools to inform policy and promote social good.
  • Measuring and Improving Society: developing and using data science and AI methods to enable new opportunities to better understand society through new data interfaces such as sensors and digital traces (including social media and other digital transactions).
  • Transforming Health Interventions: enabling the transformation of health interventions through the use of cutting edge data science and AI methods, such as sequential decision-making and integrative modeling of complex systems to enable insights from multiple types of data.

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 have never had a tenure-track faculty position. 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. This is our commitment to doing our part in building a diverse data science and AI research workforce, bringing together diverse perspectives and research approaches, and maximizing the scientific and social impact of data science and AI research.

Individuals already at U-M are eligible to apply. If they have been at U-M for more than 6 months at the time of the application deadline, their proposed project AND faculty mentors need to be different from their current ones.

Faculty Mentors

Each Fellow must have one U-M faculty member as the primary mentor (see the list of participating faculty below). A second mentor with complementary expertise is encouraged, but not required. If needed, the primary mentor can help identify a suitable second mentor. Working together with MIDAS, the mentors will provide career guidance to the Fellows, meet with them regularly to assess research progress, help the Fellows seek opportunities for career advancement, and participate in activities that strengthen the Fellows community and the U-M data science community. The faculty members in the list below have committed to participating in the Fellows Program and contributing 50% of the funding. Faculty who are not listed below may still co-submit applications with potential candidates as long as they agree to meet our expectations for the faculty mentors.

Expectations

  1. Salary: Comparable to norms in each research field, funded jointly by MIDAS and faculty mentors.
  2. Office space: Fellows are expected to conduct their work on U-M’s Ann Arbor Campus. They will be expected to spend at least 50% of time at MIDAS so that they can be part of the data science postdoc network and enhance the interdisciplinary reach of MIDAS.
  3. Professional service: The Fellows will be expected to spend 10% of their effort on MIDAS programs that strengthen MIDAS’s core pillars. Based on their career plans, they can choose to be involved in activities such as developing tools for research, training and mentoring, and data science projects for positive societal impact. They will also be expected to interact with the U-M data science community through research presentations and other events. 

Application Process

A list of available faculty mentors will be posted on MIDAS website by Feb. 15, 2022. Applicants may reach out to faculty members on the list to seek interest. The mentor(s) will need to be prepared to commit to 50% funding. The candidate and the mentor(s) will then submit the application to MIDAS. 

Applications will be accepted between February 15 and April 8.

Submit Application

The Application Package: The application package should include:

  1.  The candidate’s CV.
  2.  A Research Statement, up to 4 pages, that includes:
    1. The proposed data science research, including its importance and potential impact; 
    2. Qualifications that make the applicant particularly suitable for this program; 
    3. The applicant’s career plan, how this Fellowship will benefit the plan, including a justification of why the applicant can be competitive as a faculty candidate within the short timeframe of this program.  
  1. A reproducibility statement (1 page): This could be, but is not limited to, a rigorous method to reduce human errors in the study design or a thorough way to share data and code. A number of examples can be found on MIDAS website. It is important to articulate how their approach to reproducibility can be shared and adopted by other data scientists. Reproducibility may also be the focus of their research, such as the improvement of the robustness of data science methodology, or developing tools for reproducible research. 
  2. Each mentor should provide a Letter of Support, which includes the confirmation that the mentor is committed to providing 50% of the funding if the applicant is accepted to the program. The letter can be included in the application package, or emailed separately to midas-research@umich.edu by the April 8 deadline.
  3. Names and contact information of two or three additional references. Please also ask these individuals to email their reference letters to midas-research@umich.edu by 11:59 pm EST, April 8, 2022.

Timeline

Priority deadline:
11:59pm EST April 8, 2022.

Submit Application

Applications received after this date will be considered only if spaces are still available.

Notifications will start on May 20, 2022.

The expected start date is Sept. 1, 2022, 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 midas-research@umich.edu