Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
U.S. Department of Energy
Postdoctoral Fellowships in Computational Molecular Biology
APPLICATION DEADLINE: JANUARY 19, 1998
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy
believe that a nexus with exceptional scientific potential is
between the powerful theoretical and practical tools of molecular
biology and the revolutionary power of modern computational
techniques. However, too few scientists possess the
skills in both molecular biology and computation that are needed to
further such advances.
The purpose of these fellowships is to catalyze career transitions
into computational molecular biology from physics, mathematics,
computer science, chemistry, and related fields. Ideal candidates
have strong educational backgrounds in such fields and wish to
these backgrounds to bear upon computational molecular research
questions. In exceptional cases, we will also consider applications
from more traditional biological orientations in transition to
computational molecular biology. Applicants already firmly rooted
computational molecular biology, or who are proposing to continue
pursuit of research undertaken for their Ph.D.s, may be more
appropriate candidates for other postdoctoral opportunities.
This postdoctoral program is designed to give computationally
sophisticated young scientists an intensive postdoctoral
in an appropriate molecular biology laboratory. We particularly
to encourage applications from those holding doctorates in
mathematics, physics, computer science, chemistry, or other
fields who would like to develop the capacity to apply their
computational sophistication to the complex problems that
face molecular biology.
The focus of this program is upon computational molecular biology
related to data and information from studies of human and other
genomes. Computational molecular biology is taken broadly to
the application of mathematics (continuous and discrete),
probability, and computer science to fundamental problems of
biology. The goal is to foster interactions between the
and biological sciences and to provide rigorous training for
scientists in this new interdisciplinary area. Of special interest
important problems in structural biology and genome analysis,
including analysis of protein and nucleic acid sequence, protein
nucleic acid structure, genome structure and maps, cross-species
genome analysis, multi-genic traits, and structure-function
relationships where the structures are from genomes, genes, or gene
Applications will be reviewed by:
Philip P. Green, University of Washington
Barry Honig, Columbia University
Leroy E. Hood, University of Washington
Michael Levitt, Stanford University
Michael S. Waterman, University of Southern California
Awards will support up to two years of research work in an
molecular biology department or laboratory in the U.S. or Canada
selected by the applicant. The principal selection criteria will be
the potential of the applicant and the proposed postdoctoral
and training plan for furthering rigorous computational approaches
analysis of important molecular biological problems, both
and empirical. The capabilities of the proposed laboratory and
scientist in computational molecular research, and support for the
postdoctoral research by the senior scientist (department chair or
laboratory director) will be an important element considered in
selection. In addition, where possible, applicants are encouraged
seek a secondary faculty sponsor from the mathematical/computer
sciences sector of the same campus. Only one proposal per
will be considered, and a senior scientist should endorse only one
applicant for this competition.
There are no formal application forms needed for this program.
Further details and application procedures are as follows:
Number, Starting Date and Grant Period:
Up to 10 fellowships will be granted during 1998, each with a total
budget of $100,000 (including indirect and overhead costs, which
together will be limited to 15% of direct costs). These funds are
be spread over a grant period of two years ($50,000 per year).
Selections for this third round will be announced in May, 1998.
Funding may begin any time after September 1, 1998.
-$42,000 per year to Fellow, inclusive of benefits.
-$ 1,500 per year in research expenses to be allocated at
discretion of the Fellow.
-Institutional overhead of up to 15% of direct costs.
Fellow - Applicants must be citizens or legal permanent residents
the United States. Ph.D. earned within the past 5 years or expected
June, 1998, in mathematics, physics, computer science, chemistry or
other relevant fields. (Initiation of postdoc requires completion
Ph.D.) Applications to extend an existing postdoc cannot be
Institution - Non-profit private or public institution of higher
education or research, located in the United States or Canada.
Applicant must make formal arrangements with a senior scientist
laboratory director) at the institution where the postdoctoral
fellowship would be held before applying for the award.
Materials Needed for Application:
From Applicant (8 copies, fully collated):
Cover Page, including:
- Applicant's name, address, telephone, fax and e-mail -
current department and institution
- Title of proposed postdoctoral research project and institution
which it would be conducted (including mail and email addresses
telephone and fax numbers)
- Planned starting date of postdoctoral fellowship
- Applicant's Ph.D. granting institution and year of receipt (or
- Brief educational history indicating the year and institution
graduate study and of any postdoctoral research
- Laboratory, department and institution in which
fellowship would be held
- Name, address and telephone of senior scientist
- Names, addresses, telephone numbers, etc., of references
Abstract of proposed research (not to exceed 300 words)
Proposed research/training plan describing scientific importance of
subject, with considerable specificity as to analytic methods and
to be employed, and reason for choice of proposed sponsoring
and institution (with a firm maximum of 1,500 words, including
If desired, copies of up to two reprints may be attached to each
collated copy of proposal.
Statement of applicant's reasons for interest in computational
molecular biology, current career goals, and potential role of
postdoctoral fellowship in attaining such goals (ca. 250 words).
A summary of the major findings of the applicant's dissertation
research (250 words).
Curriculum vitae including educational background, topic of
dissertation, positions held to date, scientific awards and grants
received citing source, duration and amount (direct costs),full
titles, and references of all publications.
Formal institutional endorsement of proposal may be included, but
not required unless and until a formal award offer has been made.
A stamped, self-addressed postcard (if applicant desires) to
that application materials have been received (allow at least 3
for processing; no telephone calls, please).
All applications should be final and complete; no substitutions or
From Sponsoring Senior Scientist (8 copies, fully collated):
Letter of agreement to host and supervise the research of
applicant, including any necessary institutional clearances, e.g.
animal experimentation, human subjects, recombinant DNA, etc.
must include qualitative comments concerning scientific merit of
proposed research and training plan.
Brief description (500 words) of current research, sources of
relevance of applicant's proposed research, and personnel with whom
applicant would work.
Curriculum vitae including educational background, current and
positions, scientific awards and grants received citing source,
duration and amount (direct costs), full titles and references of
publications related to computational molecular biology.
From References (8 copies):
The applicant must request reference letters from three scientists
(excluding sponsoring scientist) in relevant disciplines who are
knowledgeable about applicant's capabilities and previous research,
and to whom he/she has sent a copy of the research/training plan
proposed for the postdoctoral fellowship. If possible, one of these
three should have personal knowledge of the applicant's doctoral
research, and all must comment on the applicant's summary of the
findings of his/her recent research.
Reference letters should include comments on overall ranking of
applicant, e.g. top 1% of Ph.D.s, top 10%, etc. It is the
responsibility to assure that reference letters (8 copies) are
Deadline and Announcements:
The deadline for receipt of all application materials from
sponsoring scientist, and related reference letters is January 19,
1998 (firm). Announcements will be made by May, 1998.
Send Application To:
Dr. Michael S. Teitelbaum
Sloan/DOE Joint Postdoctoral Fellowships
in Computational Molecular Biology
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
630 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2550
New York, NY 10111-0242