Call for Data Science Fellows

Warning message

Submissions for this form are closed.

BIDS Data Science Fellows Program—Spring 2018

The Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS) invites applications for our Data Science Fellows Program.

This call for applications has closed. Letters of Intent due were due on April 2, 2018.

Successful applicants will join our current cohort of fellows, building a community of postdoctoral scholars, graduate student researchers, and research staff with excellent credentials in their fields as well as a strong interest in advancing data science and data-intensive research across the campus and beyond.
All projects that leverage, innovate, and advance both data-intensive research practices and methodologies are welcome, and interdisciplinary collaborations are particularly encouraged at BIDS.  Dealing with “big data” is not a requirement to become a Fellow. We take a broad view of data science and welcome candidates from any research focus—from digital humanities and psychology to statistics and computer science—who are interested in pushing the frontiers of data-intensive research in their own field and in cross-disciplinary collaborations. If you find your data-related problems to be unique and challenging, we welcome you to apply to work with us.  
Each Data Science Fellow will become part of and contribute to a growing ecosystem that brings together faculty, postdoctoral researchers, students, staff, and alumni to form a strong network that assists researchers in advancing data-analytic methods and inquiry, expanding and building new software and analytics tools, sharing best practices, and more. Information on our current working groups and projects can be found at  Current BIDS Fellows are working on diverse interdisciplinary projects, in the life, social, physical and computing sciences, and the humanities (see 

Award Timeline

  • APPLICATION REVIEW:  Early April 2018 
  • SCREENING INTERVIEWS: Early May  Mid-June 2018 
  • AWARDS ANNOUNCED:  Mid May June/July 2018
  • AWARD DATE:  August 1, 2018 - July 31, 2020

Eligibility and Funding

Applicants from all areas of research will be considered.  Applicants should be highly qualified individuals, suited to working in a team environment, and interested in developing productive research collaborations that grow the BIDS community of researchers across campus and beyond.  We are especially interested in applications that explore research topics that may expand our current research portfolio and also broaden the range of research disciplines and methodologies represented in our community.

We seek Data Science Fellow applicants in two categories:

  • Postdoctoral joint appointment: Postdoctoral scholars and research staff at UC Berkeley, UCSF or Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) are eligible to apply for appointments based on a joint funding model between BIDS and the applicant’s home department or research center/institute. Each joint campus Data Science Fellow position will be funded by BIDS at 50% of current salary (and benefits). Depending on the funding source, the 50% funding provided may be eligible to be administered in a flexible fashion averaged over the entire two-year period (i.e., one year of salary provided by BIDS and one year by the home department/center/institute or a 50/50-split arrangement over the course of the two years). 
  • Graduate Student Researcher appointment: Advanced graduate students currently enrolled at UC Berkeley and UCSF are eligible to apply to become a BIDS Data Science Fellow as a graduate student researcher (GSR). We will consider shared-expense graduate students and fully-funded graduate students.

BIDS will select a mix of candidates from these categories in a flexible fashion based on merit and available funds. Initial appointment terms are expected to last up to two years with the possibility of renewal assuming the Fellows are able to raise additional grant resources to support their activities in the medium and long term. Data Science Fellows will receive staff support in developing extramural grant and funding proposals.

Expectations of our Data Science Fellows

BIDS Data Science Fellowships are uniquely designed to facilitate integrated, collaborative, multidisciplinary research.  Fellows are co-hired at BIDS and in their home department, and they are expected to devote approximately 50% of their effort to BIDS activities (primarily located at BIDS) for the duration of the 2-year Fellowship. 

We are looking for applicants who would be excited about participating with the BIDS community in a variety of ways:

  • Collaborate in interdisciplinary data science research and training: 
    • Join an existing research project at BIDS, bring an existing research project of your own, or propose a new research project in collaboration with BIDS researchers.
    • Serve as connectors and drivers of collaborative activities. 
    • Initiate and participate in active research collaboration(s) with BIDS researchers and its affiliates and partner organizations.
    • Identify activities that they could organize to foster teaching and research (e.g., boot camps or other training opportunities, seminars).
    • Mentor or lead undergraduate teams in their research area.
  • Facilitate data science efforts across campus and beyond:
    • Meet regularly and engage with BIDS researchers and facilitate introductions and connections with faculty, staff, and students, etc., to provide insights into their home department’s research activities and enterprise.  
    • Facilitate cross-disciplinary and collaborative research projects that would directly benefit from being housed at BIDS, or from BIDS capabilities and resources.
    • Find ways to make their personal goals and research outcomes greater than would be possible without this opportunity, for instance, by incorporating elements from subject-matter data-generating areas that they have not previously considered or by incorporating analysis methodologies that are new to them.
    • Find ways to make BIDS outcomes greater than would be possible without their contributions, for instance, by being an active and contributing member of the community and by leading efforts to advance their peers’ capabilities.
    • Make their own open-source research projects and outputs more accessible to the greater data science community.
  • Engage with the BIDS community: 
    • Participate in regularly scheduled BIDS activities.
    • Suggest and help coordinate new events and activities of interest to our community.
    • Participate in at least one of the BIDS Working Groups.
    • Submit content regularly for the BIDS website and the BIDS blog, Data Science Insights, about research contributions, publications, milestones and accomplishments.
    • Present talks on their research, current updates and recent discoveries.
    • Participate in providing consulting office hours.


BIDS Data Science Fellows will also be able to take advantage of UC Berkeley’s alumni and industry networks to help facilitate connections to relevant industry communities in their specific areas of interest.

Pending final coordination and review with the home department, newly appointed Fellows should expect to start their BIDS Fellowship in August 2018. 

Application Process

Those interested in becoming a BIDS Data Science Fellow are asked to submit a single-page letter of intent and a CV. Links to publicly-available code and work samples are strongly encouraged. Based on this solicitation, we will then invite a selected group of applicants to prepare a more detailed application.

This call for applications has closed. Letters of Intent due were due on April 2, 2018.

Page updated May 21, 2018.