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  • Description

    Data Science Institute Postdoctoral Scholars Program

    The next DSI Postdoctoral Scholar search will open in fall 2024.

    The Data Science Institute (DSI) at the University of Chicago invites applications for Postdoctoral Scholars who wish to advance cutting-edge data science approaches, methods, and applications in research. The Data Science Institute (DSI) executes the University of Chicago’s bold, innovative vision of Data Science as a new discipline by advancing foundational and interdisciplinary research, partnerships with industry, government, and social impact organizations, and holistic approach to data science education.

    The DSI is part of a vibrant and growing data science community which includes departments across campus as well as the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (TTIC). These on-campus partnerships enable and encourage unique interdisciplinary research partnerships, reducing early-stage friction to hasten meaningful relationships and high-impact research.

    This unique program provides postdocs with the opportunity to pursue original research on significant questions in data science. Drawing on the University of Chicago’s top-ranked programs, world-renowned faculty, and a vibrant and quickly expanding data science ecosystem, this program will allow postdoctoral scholars to engage in field-defining data science and artificial intelligence research. Our positions carry a competitive salary, generous research funding allowances, and benefits. It is equally important that our postdocs work and grow in an environment that is supportive and focused on community and career development; as such, this program includes lectures focused on communication and workplace culture, and aims to develop a diverse cohort of well-rounded scholars pursuing careers across data science disciplines.

    Postdocs may (but do not need to) choose to express interest in working on one of the DSI’s three research initiatives, AI+Science, Data & Democracy, and Internet Equity.

    Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

    We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages diverse perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange. The University’s Statements on Diversity are at

    The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University’s Notice of Nondiscrimination.

    Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-834-3988 or email with their request


    For questions about this application, please contact:

    The ZhengTong Fellowship Fund, which supports the Data Science Institute Postdoctoral Scholars program, was established with generous support from ZhengTong Group.

  • Application


    • The next Postdoctoral Scholar search will open in fall 2024.


    If you have any questions about your eligibility, please feel free to send an email to

    • Completion of all requirements for a Ph.D. required at the time of appointment.
    • Applicants may only submit one application.
    • We welcome applications from researchers who are using data science to advance the state of the art in their respective field (e.g., humanities, social sciences, natural and physical sciences).
    • Postdoctoral scholars will be expected to be active participants in the DSI at UChicago, and may be requested to take on leadership roles in one or more of the DSI initiatives (e.g. supporting the AI+Science Summer School program or engaging colleagues for speaker series events).

    Application Materials:

    • Curriculum vitae;
    • Summary of the candidate’s current research (250 words);
    • Research statement that outlines research goals and significance, research plan, and motivation for seeking a postdoctoral appointment at UChicago (maximum of 3 pages);
      • If you have indicated interest in one of the research initiatives, please include information about how your research and vision matches with the stated goals and foci of the selected initiative.
    • 1-2 representative publications or manuscripts;
    • Names and contact information for at least two and up to five references (the application is complete only when two letters of reference have been submitted, so please contact referees early in the application process). Referees will be provided with a link to the submission portal;
    • Names of potential UChicago faculty mentors (maximum 3);
    • (Optional) Indicate interest in any of the DSI Research Initiatives (AI+Science, Data & Democracy, and Internet Equity);
    • (Optional) Applicants may include a letter of collaboration from a UChicago faculty mentor who has agreed to mentor the applicant if the scholar is accepted into the program. Please use the following template for the letter:
      • “If Dr. [insert full name of applicant] is accepted as a Data Science Institute Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Chicago, it is my intent to act as a mentor on a project of mutual interest.”

    Evaluation Criteria:

    Proposals will be reviewed by the DSI Postdoctoral Committee using the following factors:

    • Research Potential and Alignment: Applicant displays overall potential for research excellence, demonstrated by research statement, academic progress, publications to date, endorsements from faculty recommenders, long-term career goals, and relevance of research plan to DSI’s research initiatives and projects.
    • Data Science Background: Experience or coursework in computer science, statistics, data science, AI, or a related field.
    • Impact: Applicant’s research evinces approaches, methods or theories that advance research innovation in interdisciplinary or foundational approaches in data science, or real world challenges.


    For questions about this application, please contact

  • Program Structure & Benefits

    What you’ll do:  

    • Independent Research: Scholars will have the freedom to pursue their own research interests with a majority of their time spent working on scholar-driven research projects and no teaching responsibilities.
    • Joint Research with Mentor: Scholars will help lead and execute collaborative work on cutting-edge research projects with mentors in their academic field and area of interest.
    • Professional Development: Scholars will gain training and experience with: required mentoring and outreach through our Summer Lab and Clinic programs (required three quarters annually); communicating your research to a broad audience; engaging with the media and external stakeholders; and applying for and securing funding.
    • Program Benefits
      • Mentorship

        Mentors will provide ongoing research and career guidance through regular meetings, as well as opportunities to promote the scholar’s accomplishments in public forums. Scholars have the option to receive mentorship from a single faculty member or joint mentorship from a data science researcher and a domain expert.

      • Unique Datasets

        Scholars will have privileged, unique access to large-scale datasets from a variety of sectors.

      • Cohort Program

        The program will host activities where scholars can connect with members of their cohort, share knowledge, and gain insight through guest lectures, industry speakers, and other activities. Scholars will have autonomy and resources to select, host, and invite speakers, with support from DSI administrative staff.

      • Outreach and Impact

        Scholars will have considerable opportunities to establish new relationships and translate their research into real-world impact by leveraging our network of academic, civic, government, and industry connections.

      • Academia/Industry Ready

        Experience gained during the program will help scholars prepare for diverse career paths from tenure-track academic positions to leadership opportunities within innovative companies.

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