S. Scott Collis Fellowship in Data Science

The S. Scott Collis Fellowship in Data Science seeks applicants with a demonstrated background and interest in the interdisciplinary domain of data science to include mathematics, computer science, artificial intelligence, statistics, computer engineering, and related areas. Collis Data Science Fellows work at the junction of cutting-edge data science techniques and Sandia’s national security mission and application space.  Examples of relevant data science techniques range from machine learning and deep learning to advanced statistical methods to optimization techniques to methods designed for specialized hardware and beyond.   Examples of the scientific and engineering applications relevant to Sandia’s diverse missions include nuclear deterrence and nonproliferation, numerical modeling and scientific simulation, energy systems and power grid, cyber security, operations research, geospatial analysis, neuromorphic computing, and many other national security domains.

Portrait of S. Scott Collis

The S. Scott Collis Fellowship in Data Science is a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship that provides opportunities for highly motivated researchers to address challenging problems in national security applications. Scott Collis was the director of Sandia’s Center for Computing Research from 2017 to 2022.  Due in large part to his recognition of and advocacy for data science as a pivotal research area for impacting problems of national importance, the Sandia Data Science Postdoctoral Fellowship was created in 2021 to attract the best and brightest postdoctoral researchers in data science. The fellowship was renamed the S. Scott Collis Fellowship in Data Science in honor of Scott, who passed away in 2022 after battling cancer.  Scott’s vision will continue to be carried out through the innovative research of selected fellows working at the intersection of academic excellence and impactful applications.

As a Collis Fellow, you will pursue a combination of both self-directed research in your topic area and integration with existing Sandia R&D projects, under the guidance of Sandia staff mentors, and you will be expected to publish the results of your work in leading journals and present your work at top-tier conferences. Selected Fellows will receive a two-year appointment with the potential option for a third year, which includes a highly competitive salary, moving expenses, and a generous professional travel allowance.

Sandia National Laboratories is dedicated to nurturing a culture compatible with a broad group of people and perspectives. Consistent with this dedication, we seek applicants from diverse backgrounds, and we foster an inclusive research community.

To be considered for this fellowship, applicants must have completed, or are pursuing, a Ph.D. in a data science related area, such as mathematics, computer science, statistics, or engineering, conferred within the past three years, or anticipated completion of Ph.D. requirements by commencement of appointment. Furthermore, applicants must have appropriate research experience in one or more areas of data science as evidenced by a strong record of research publications and presentations. In addition to these research qualifications, applicants should have no previous postdoctoral appointments at a national laboratory and must be eligible to acquire a DOE security clearance which requires US Citizenship.

Application process

Applicants should submit a one- or two-page summary, excluding references, of a data science research problem and proposed approach. We are interested in understanding the types of problems, data, and techniques that candidates hope to pursue during a potential fellowship.  Insights into how the proposed work may relate to national security problems are welcomed, but not required.  If selected for the fellowship, the candidate will work with a Sandia staff mentor to align the proposed work to Sandia’s mission needs and expand the summary into a formal proposal for the funding that will support the next two years of their research at half-time.   The other half of the selected fellow’s time will come from an existing Sandia R&D project, giving the fellow the opportunity to collaborate on a research team.

To apply to the S. Scott Collis Fellowship in Data Science, please complete the following steps:

  • Read the complete Fellowship job description, including required and desired applicant qualifications.
  • Submit a single PDF file containing your cover letter, CV, and a 1-2 page research proposal when applying to Job ID 691103
  • Have three letters of recommendation sent to datasciencefellow@sandia.gov with “Collis DS Fellowship” as the subject line.

Applicants who are selected for on-site interviews should be available to travel during the first two weeks of December 2023.

Complete applications received through November 1, 2023 will receive full consideration.

The S. Scott Collis Fellowship in Data Science is supported by Sandia’s Computing and Information Science Research Foundation (CIS RF). The CIS RF advances research and development in computing, mathematics, and information sciences to position Sandia at the frontiers and intersection of science, engineering, and national security. Collis Fellows work on interdisciplinary teams that span the CIS research areas and have access to cutting-edge computational resources.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law.

Sandia invites you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law, EEO is the Law Poster Supplement, and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Sandia is a drug-free workplace. As a national laboratory funded by a U.S. government agency, we are subject to federal laws regarding illegal drug use. Illegal use of a controlled substance, including marijuana even in places where it does not violate state law, may impact your ability to obtain and/or maintain a Department of Energy security clearance, and may result in the withdrawal of an employment offer or termination of employment.