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Call For Stanford Data Science Scholars

Issued:  June 11, 2018
LOI due:  July 9, 2018 at 5:00 PM

The Stanford Data Science Initiative (SDSI) is excited to invite applications for our inaugural cohort of Data Science Scholars!

The Data Science Scholars are a group of Stanford PhD students and postdocs from all parts of Stanford who are using and developing data science methods in their research and want to exchange ideas with other scholars and data science experts on campus. A collaborative space will be provided where scholars and experts can meet and work together and the Data Science Scholars program provides 50% support (25% RAship and tuition for PhD students, 50% salary and benefits for Postdoc). The goal of the program is to create a community of data science researchers who can share methods and applications and create a stimulating, innovative, and supportive environment.

At least eight candidates will be selected from departments and research groups throughout campus representing interests in the physical sciences, social sciences, humanities, education, human health, nature and sustainability, economics, ethics, public policy, statistics, and computer sciences. We aim to bring together a diverse cohort of experts that learn from each other while advancing data science solutions to their own unique domain challenges.

Eligibility, funding, and benefits

In order to be considered for this opportunity applicants must be current postdoctoral scholars or PhD students in any of Stanford University’s departments or research organizations.  Selected awardees will be provided with 50% of their salary, benefits and/or fees over a two year period beginning in the Fall 2018 Quarter.  

These funds will not supplement current compensation, but rather will replace 50% of an awardee’s current compensation allowing for half of the scholars time to be spent with the Stanford Data Science Initiative. A candidate’s advisor must sign off on this arrangement before finalizing. We will also consider applicants who will be at Stanford for less than two years.

Our selection committee will seek to find candidates that are actively using data science techniques to address challenging questions AND who are passionate about sharing their knowledge with others.  We recognize that there is a wide range of technical experience that may be employed in applying data science methods to different disciplines, and technical experience will only be one of several criteria that will be considered along with creativity, outreach, and leadership.

The SDSI leadership team will work tirelessly to provide benefits to Data Science Scholars.  In addition to funding support, we will provide common working space, mentorship opportunities, and an energetic atmosphere that encourages innovative thinking.  Selected applicants will have an excellent opportunity to develop close relationships and research developments with a strong cohort of experts from a variety of domains and method fields enabling new insights from subject areas far outside of their own experience. This first cohort will also have the unique opportunity to help shape the future of the program.

Expectations of Stanford Data Science Scholars

Stanford Data Science Scholars are 50% funded by the Data Science Initiative to spend half of their time with the program and half of their time in their home department.  They will contribute to the Initiatives activities and intellectual pursuits while also serving as bridge builders between the campus wide data science experts and researchers from their given domains.  

While Data Science Scholars will be expected to spend 50% of their time with the program, much of this time will include the intellectual freedom to follow their own research interests with the sole priority that the scholar take advantage of their colleagues and surroundings and use the opportunity to expand their research in a direction that would not be possible alone. 

We also expect each Data Science Scholar to spend a limited amount of time to develop and participate in activities that help to build a diverse community of data science researchers at Stanford and advance the practice of data science for all.  

Application Process

In order to apply, please use the form linked to below to submit your CV and a single page Letter of Intent that describes your interest in becoming a Stanford Data Science Scholar and how you might use the opportunity.  We strongly encourage you to provide links to any publicly accessible code and visualizations that you have developed and/or articles or websites that describe efforts that you have led.  


LOI and CV due on 7/9/2018 at 5:00 pm

After an initial review, a select group of applicants will be invited to a 2nd round where we ask for letters of recommendation from the candidate’s advisors. Lastly, finalists will be invited for brief in person (or over video) interviews.

The selected Stanford Data Science Scholars will be announced in August and expected to begin at the start of the Fall 2018 quarter.

Further Information

Please contact Kevin Koy, Managing Director, at with any questions.