Simons-Berkeley Research Fellowship | Call for applications

The Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing is a major international venue for collaborative research in theoretical computer science and related fields. The Institute is housed in Calvin Lab, a dedicated building on the UC Berkeley campus, and provides a vibrant and welcoming environment for visiting researchers. In each academic semester the activities of the Institute are largely focused on specific research programs, each of which attracts around fifty long-term participants ranging from senior scientists to graduate students. The Institute, created in 2012 through a ten-year grant from the Simons Foundation, opened its doors in Fall 2013 and has hosted four research programs in each of its first three years of operation.

In its fourth year, 2016-17, the Institute will host four further research programs on the following topics: in Fall 2016, "Algorithms and Uncertainty" and "Logical Structures in Computation," and in Spring 2017, "Foundations of Machine Learning" and "Pseudorandomness."  Descriptions of these programs and other information about the Institute can be found at simons.berkeley.edu.

The Institute invites applications for Simons-Berkeley Research Fellowships for the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters. Simons-Berkeley Research Fellowships are intended for exceptional young scientists (within at most six years of the award of their PhD at the start of academic year 2016-17). Applicants who already hold junior faculty or postdoctoral positions are welcome to apply. In particular, applicants who hold, or expect to hold, postdoctoral appointments at other institutions are encouraged to apply to spend one semester as a Simons-Berkeley Fellow subject to the approval of the postdoctoral institution. The Institute expects to award about 30 Fellowships in 2016-17; the majority of these are for one semester, but several appointments for a full academic year are expected to be made. In each semester of residence each Fellow will normally participate in at least one of the ongoing programs at the Institute.

In addition, the Institute co-hosts joint fellowships in which a Fellow spends a period (typically one semester) as a Simons-Berkeley Fellow and is also appointed to a postdoctoral position at a partner institution. Partner institutions include: the I-CORE Israeli Centers of Research Excellence; the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken, Germany; and IIIS, Tsinghua University, China. Applicants interested in such a joint fellowship should apply to the partner institution directly at the indicated link.

Salaries and benefits are competitive and assistance with visas and housing will be provided.

The Institute particularly encourages applications from women and minority candidates.

Application Instructions

Each applicant for Fall 2016 or Spring 2017, or both, should prepare the following documents in a single PDF file:

  • Cover letter, briefly describing your interest in the Institute and its programs
  • Curriculum vitae, including a full list of publications
  • Research statement 

In addition, applicants must submit the names and email addresses of three recommenders.

All of this information should be submitted via the application form, available at: simons.berkeley.edu/fellowship-application-form. When an applicant submits this form, each recommender will receive an automatically generated request for a letter. Applicants may wish to check with their recommenders before the deadline that they have submitted their letters; it is ultimately the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the letters are submitted.

The deadline for receipt of complete application materials (except letters) was December 15, 2015; we are no longer accepting applications for 2016-17. The deadline for receipt of recommendation letters is December 31, 2015. For questions, please contact our Interim Visitor Services Coordinator Pamela Sherman at +1-510-664-7953 or via email at pamela_sherman [at] berkeley [dot] edu.