Fund Details
Harvard Data Science Initiative Postdoctoral Fellows Program (2020)
Academic Year


The Harvard University Data Science Initiative is seeking applications for its Harvard Data Science Initiative Postdoctoral Fellows Program for the 2020-2021 academic year. The normal duration of the Fellowship is two years. Fellows will receive a generous salary as well as an annual allocation for research and travel expenses. 

We are looking for researchers whose interests are in data science, broadly construed, and including researchers with a methodological and applications focus, including primarily methodological researchers and those who advance both. Fellows will be provided with the opportunity to pursue their research agenda in an intellectually vibrant environment with ample mentorship. We are looking for independent researchers who will seek out collaborations with other fellows and with Harvard faculty.

The Harvard Data Science Initiative Postdoctoral Fellows Program is supported by the Harvard Data Science Initiative. The Harvard Data Science Initiative involves faculty from across the University.

Funding Priorities

The Harvard Data Science Initiative Postdoctoral Fellows Program will support outstanding researchers whose interests relate to the following themes:

1)  Methodological foundations, including for example, causal inference, data systems design, deep learning, experimental design, modeling of structured data, random matrix theory, non-parametric Bayesian methods, scalable inference, statistical computation, and visualization.

2)  Development of data science approaches tailored to analytical challenges in substantive fields that span the full intellectual breadth of Harvard’s faculties.  To give some purely illustrative examples, these fields include health sciences (e.g. life and population sciences), earth systems (e.g. climate change research); society (e.g. data that can affect the experience of individuals, or policy and ethical questions); and the economy (e.g. automation, Internet of Things, digital economy). This list is by no means exhaustive.

Successful applicants will be expected to lead their own research agenda, but also work collaboratively with others including with members of the Harvard faculty, and to contribute to building the data science intellectual community. The Fellows program will offer numerous opportunities to engage with the broader data science community, including through seminar series, informal lunches, mentoring opportunities, opportunities for fellow-led programming, and other networking events. Fellows should expect to spend most of their time in residence at Harvard.

Available Funding

Stipend: $83,232 is available in salary support per year for an initial two year appointment.  Appointments may be extended for a third year, budget and performance allowing.  

Travel: An additional $10,000 will be allocated for research and travel expenses each year.

Application Information:

Required application documents include:

1.  A CV; 

2.  A cover letter that identifies up to five (and at least two) Harvard faculty members with whom the applicant would like to work.

3.  A statement of research interests of up to three pages that succinctly describes the applicant’s research interests. The statement should explain the importance and potential impact of this research. If the research is anticipated to require significant space and/or equipment, the candidate should explore arrangements with relevant faculty prior to submitting an application. 

4.  Up to three representative papers.

5.  Names and contact information for at least two and up to five references (the application is complete only when all letters of reference have been submitted). Referees will be provided with a link to the submission portal. 

All materials should be submitted as PDF documents. We will strive to make decisions by early February.

Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must be outstanding, intellectually curious researchers at an early stage of their scholarly career. Applicants are required to have a doctorate in a related area by the expected start date of their fellowship. Applicants should have demonstrated a capacity for independent work, and will be expected to engage with researchers and faculty and participate in activities convened by the Data Science Initiative. We recognize that strength comes through diversity and actively seek and welcome people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and identities.

Additional Information, Related Websites, and Proxy Instructions:

All materials should be submitted as PDF documents.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

For more information above the Harvard Data Science Initiative, please visit data

For questions about this application, please contact

Contact Information:

For questions about this application, please contact Kevin Doyle at

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            Begin Accepting Applications Date:
            Deadline Date (EST Time Zone):
            12/02/2019 11:59 PM