We are thrilled to announce applications are being accepted for the Fall 2022 cohort of Shanahan Foundation Fellows, a unique postdoctoral experience funded by the Shanahan Family Foundation and Allen Institute, and co-hosted by the Allen Institute and UW. The program is directed by Christof Koch, Ph.D., Chief Scientist for the MindScope Program at the Allen Institute.

The brain is one of the most complex challenges in science today. And now, with advances in our methods to study the brain  — Neuropixel probes that can record from 1000 neurons at once, growing consensus on data standards across laboratories— the field is flooded with data that needs interpretation. The skills of data scientists are essential to help springboard the field to the next stage of discoveries.

Towards that end, the Shanahan Foundation Fellowship was created to bring fresh perspectives into the field, encouraging data scientists to come  work together with leading neuroscientists at the Allen Institute and UW.

The Allen Institute is unique in its ability to produce vast data sets on the brain (see our existing data banks).  It has invested in the infrastructure and pipeline needed to produce standardized, reproducible data that is ripe for analysis. Together with our collaborators at the UW Computational Neuroscience Center and eScience Institute, we provide data scientists with the ideal opportunity and resources to mine for novel insights and discoveries in the field of neuroscience.

This three-year data science fellowship program has the following five aims:

  • Integrate Data Scientists into Neuroscience Research – The Fellowship will serve to promote the application of statistical, computational, machine learning or other data science methods to neuroscience by recruiting scientists with a Ph.D. (or equivalent) in a quantitative field such as computer science, electrical engineering, physics, mathematics or biology.

  • Challenge Traditional Approaches to Neuroscience – Fellows are encouraged to develop novel research programs which push the boundaries of both data and neuroscience. Fellows will have independence in selection and focus of research direction with the Allen Institute and University of Washington throughout their fellowship term.

  • Provide Multidisciplinary, Multi-organizational Co-Mentorship – Each fellow will be matched with two mentors (one from the Allen Institute and one from University of Washington).

  • Network and Community Building – The Allen Institute and UW will facilitate the growth of fellows’ scientific and professional networks with ongoing opportunities to meet and interact with peers and established scientists.

  • Career Development – First-year fellows will take the Allen Institute’s Summer Workshop on the Dynamic Brain course and serve as teaching assistants for the course in their second year. It is expected that fellows will present their research at relevant professional gatherings, such as the annual Neural Computation and Engineering Connection event, Cosyne, NeurIPS (formerly NIPS), and the Society for Neuroscience conference.

More information on the experience and the application is available at the Allen Institute.