Shanahan Foundation Fellowship

The Shanahan Foundation Fellowship at the Interface of Data and Neuroscience

Announcing the Shanahan Foundation Fellowship at the Interface of Data and Neuroscience co-hosted by the Allen Institute and the University of Washington (through its eScience Institute and the Computational Neuroscience Center) and directed by Christof Koch, Ph.D., Chief Scientist for the MindScope Program at the Allen Institute. The fellowships are funded by the Shanahan Family Foundation and the Allen Institute.

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.

The Fellowship Experience

At the beginning of the three-year fellowship, fellows will identify a mentor at the Allen Institute, where the fellows will be based. Fellows will also select a co-mentor at the University of Washington who will provide additional guidance on a project designed by the fellow, focused on quantitative analysis of neuroscience data available through the Allen Institute’s vast data banks – ranging from molecular, genomic, transcriptional, physiological, morphological, anatomical and functional whole-brain level in the brains of mice, non-human primates and humans or through analysis of data generated by ongoing laboratory work.

Fellows will participate in the career development program at the University of Washington’s eScience Institute and the UW Institute of Neuroengineering (UWIN). The eScience Institute offers regular workshops on topics such as cloud computing, python and reproducibility. New fellows will attend the annual Summer Workshop on the Dynamic Brain where they will begin learning how to apply data science skills to neuroscience data and questions. Throughout the three years of the fellowship, fellows will be supported in developing a network in the neuroscience field and sharing their progress with peers at conferences. Up to three fellows will be selected to begin in Fall 2022.

Fellows will be Allen Institute employees (Scientist I or Scientist II) with salary commensurate to years of experience. Each fellow will have $10,000 per year to fund travel to conferences, computer hardware, books or other research expenses. Some relocation expenses can also be reimbursed.

The choice of the final advisor/co-advisor will be accomplished during the first year of this fellowship.  

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants must be scientists with a Ph.D. (or equivalent) in a quantitative field such as computer science, electrical engineering, physics, mathematics or biology with a background in statistical, computational, machine learning or other data science methods,or who will have completed their Ph.D. by the start of the fellowship program. Ph.D. should have been awarded in the last 3 years.  

One goal of the fellowship is to build a network of collaborators, as such, priority will be given to applicants who are not currently postdoctoral fellows or scientists at the University of Washington or the Allen Institute respectively.

We believe high-quality science can only be produced when it includes different perspectives. We are building an environment of diversity and inclusion and encourage people from all backgrounds to apply for this fellowship.

Required Application Materials

  • A curriculum vitae from the applicant

  • Two (2) Letters of support from other colleagues or mentors

  • A one page personal statement from the applicant describing their history, activities and interests as an individual (especially those outside of science) which may give the committee a greater sense of you as a person and your ability to simultaneously interact with and challenge traditional scientific fields.

  • A two to three page research statement from the applicant describing their prior research, interests in applying data science to the field of neuroscience, potential research interests (including tools they are familiar with) and how this fellowship aligns with their career goals.

For consideration for the Fall 2022 cohort, please submit an application by February 1st. Applications may continue to be considered on a rolling basis until positions are filled.

Questions? Please reach out to