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Data Science and Applied AI Postdoctoral Scholars Program

Candidates: Applicants must hold a PhD in computer science, statistics, or a related field by the start date of the program
Deadline: April 30th, 2020 (11:59PM CT)

Read the call: UChicago Data Science Postdoc Call – AY2020-21

The Center for Data and Computing and the Center for Applied AI at the University of Chicago seek applications for Postdoctoral Scholars who wish to deepen their knowledge of cutting-edge data science and computing research while developing additional expertise in a specific, applied problem domain. Through an innovative partnership, postdoctoral scholars will have access to resources at two data science and artificial intelligence research centers:

  • The Center for Data and Computing (CDAC) is the intellectual hub and incubator for data science research at the University of Chicago. Co-located with the University of Chicago Computer Science Department, we catalyze discoveries by exploring new data and computing methods, foundations, and platforms in the context of real-world applications.
  • The Center for Applied AI at the Chicago Booth School of Business is committed to creating revolutionary advances in applications of AI through groundbreaking, interdisciplinary research. We bring together researchers, professionals, and industry leaders to propel AI’s evolution into new frontiers by creating tools that respond directly to real-world problems across a diverse array of fields.

This unique program provides postdocs with the opportunity to pursue original research on significant questions in data science, while also developing specialized domain expertise in one or more complementary areas such as behavioral science, healthcare, and public policy. Drawing on the University of Chicago’s top-ranked programs, world-renowned faculty, as well as 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 stipends, and benefits.

As part of our mission to catalyze a dynamic, multidisciplinary data science community, we actively recruit, support, and mentor scholars from all genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Diversity of thought, experience, and background are essential for the generation of new ideas, and we aim to build an inclusive environment where all voices are heard, respected, and considered.

Successful Applicants Will:

  • Hold a PhD in computer science, statistics or a related field by the start date of the scholarship.

Applications Should Include:

  • Curriculum vitae;
  • A one-paragraph summary of the candidate’s current research;
  • Research statement that outlines research goals, potential projects of interest, and motivation for seeking a postdoctoral appointment at UChicago (maximum of 3 pages);
  • 1-2 representative publications;
  • Three letters of reference;
  • Names of potential UChicago faculty mentors;
  • (Optional) Applicants are encouraged to 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 and Applied AI Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Chicago, it is my intent to act as a mentor on a project of mutual interest.”

The CDAC team will also be available to help identify potential faculty mentors if you move forward in the application process. As examples of faculty who may be available as mentors, please see the list of projects and mentors on the “projects and mentors page“.

For questions about this application, please contact


  • Program Benefits
  • Joint Mentorship

    Scholars will receive joint mentorship from both a data science researcher and a domain expert. This mentorship will provide postdoctoral scholars with multiple perspectives on their research and career guidance. Mentors will provide ongoing evaluation and advice through regular meetings, as well as opportunities to promote the scholar’s accomplishments in public forums.

  • Interdisciplinary Training & Collaboration

    To extend and deepen scientific, technical, and communication skills, scholars will gain broad exposure to diverse research fields with up to 50% collaborative work on cutting-edge research projects.

  • Independent Research

    Scholars will have the freedom to pursue their own research interests with up to 50% work on independent projects and no teaching responsibilities.

  • Unique Datasets

    Scholars will have privileged, unique access to large-scale datasets from a variety of sectors including urban studies, marketing, medicine, science, computing and communications, and economics.

  • Cohort Program

    The program will host weekly seminars 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 budget to select, host, and invite speakers, with support from CDAC 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.