CDAC Postdoctoral Scholars Program

Center for Data and Computing Postdoctoral Scholars Program

Candidates: Applicants must hold a PhD by the start date of the program and be authorized to work in the US.
Earliest Start Date: October 1, 2019
Application Deadline: Open until filled.
Location: University of Chicago
Appointments: Up to three years, renewed annually

The Center for Data and Computing (CDAC) is an intellectual hub and incubator for data science research at the University of Chicago. Co-located with the University of Chicago Computer Science Department, we catalyze discoveries by exploring new data and computing methods, foundations, and platforms in the context of real-world applications.

The Center for Data and Computing Postdoctoral Scholars program prepares the next generation of leading scientific minds by deepening their knowledge of cutting-edge data science, computing, and domain research.

This unique program provides data and computing native researchers with the opportunity to pursue original work on significant questions in data science, while also developing insight and experience with other fields through collaborative work on interdisciplinary research projects.

Postdoctoral scholars will be mentored by UChicago faculty members and will be part of the vibrant and quickly expanding data science ecosystem at the University of Chicago. Our positions carry a competitive salary, benefits, and travel package. Full-time postdoctoral appointments will be awarded to promising scholars who have completed their doctorate within the past year (Renewed annually for up to three years).  


Program Benefits:

  • Joint Mentorship: Joint mentoring will enable scholars to receive multiple perspectives on their research and career guidance. Mentors will provide ongoing evaluation and advice during regular meetings, as well as, opportunities to promote the scholar’s accomplishments.
  • Interdisciplinary Training & Collaboration: To extend and deepen scientific, technical, and communication abilities, scholars will gain broad exposure to diverse research fields through 50% collaborative work on cutting-edge research projects.
  • Independent Research: Scholars will have the freedom to pursue their own research interests with 50% work on independent projects and no teaching responsibilities.
  • Unique Data: Access to large-scale datasets for a variety of sectors such as marketing, medicine, science, and economics.
  • Innovative Environment: The program is located in the newly renovated John Crerar Library building. Home to CDAC, the Department of Computer Science, and a dynamic community of researchers at UChicago and beyond.
  • Weekly Cohort Seminar Series: The program will host weekly meetings where scholars can connect with members of their cohort, share knowledge, and gain insight into careers in computer and data science through guest lectures, industry speakers, and other activities. Scholars will have freedom in selecting, inviting, and hosting speakers, with support from CDAC administrative staff.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: We seek to hire, support, and mentor people from all genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds in an environment where all voices are heard, respected, and considered.
  • Academia/Industry Ready: Experience gained during the program may help you prepare for  diverse career paths from tenure-track academic positions to leadership opportunities within innovative companies.  

Examples of Potential Focus Areas:

Scholars will have the freedom to pursue their own research interests, as well as working on collaborative projects in cutting-edge research areas such as:

  • Foundations of the Data Economy: Define an economic framework for understanding the emerging data economy and its underlying technologies, which will allow better pricing, protection, and use of data.
  • AI + Science: Transformative approaches to simulation and experimental science, AI Software, and software infrastructure for managing data, models, workflow, and for delivering AI capabilities to scientists and engineers.
  • Missing Foundations of Data Science: Investigate fundamental concepts and theories that will provide a solid intellectual underpinning for the emerging field of data science.
  • Materials Discovery: Design next generation materials, guided by machine learning, to revolutionize industries from healthcare to energy to manufacturing.


Successful Applicants Will:

  • Hold a PhD by the start date of the scholarship and have received their PhD within the past year.
  • Be authorized  to work in the United States.
  • Have exceptional computational skills; ideally have a PhD in computer science from a top ranked academic institution.

Nominations & Review Process:

  • Applicants will be reviewed by a hiring committee composed of CDAC representatives, who will make recommendations to the CDAC Director.

Applications Should Include:

  • Curriculum vitae (including publications);
  • A brief description of candidate’s current research;
  • A research statement that outlines research goals, potential projects of interest, and motivation for seeking a postdoctoral appointment at CDAC;
  • Names of 3 faculty/scholars/researchers who can provide letters of recommendation;
  • Names of potential UChicago faculty mentors (optional).

Please send all application materials and direct all questions to Julia Lane, Executive Director, Center for Data and Computing (