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Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Careers - Academic Training

Salk Fellows Program

Talmo Pereira

“I learned that sometimes you’re ready before you think are. I needed to be able to talk about my work and have a long-term vision for a research program around which I could build a whole lab. Now our research is really taking off—I never dreamed we’d have so many collaborations with other Salk groups and find so many new, cross-disciplinary ways to apply SLEAP. We’re using the technique to study the way people interact with museum exhibits, how plants can be used to combat climate change, and to better understand neurodegenerative diseases, just to name a few examples. It seems like the possibilities are endless. ”

Talmo Pereira,
Salk Fellow

The Salk Fellows Program aims to bring recent exceptional PhD graduates from broad disciplines to the Institute to trigger innovation and perpetuate the collaborative spirit upon which Salk was founded. Interdisciplinary interactions amongst the Fellows and faculty will substantially change the approach to science and create future intellectual leaders in the biological sciences.

Current opening:
Salk Fellow in the NOMIS Center for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis

Selection Criteria

Salk Fellows are unique in that they are appointed directly from a PhD or MD program. The Fellows will be selected from a variety of disciplines ranging from biology to physics, mathematics to engineering, statistics to computational biology and will have expertise in a wide range of novel technologies. Successful candidates will propose research that is not simply an extension of their graduate work but builds on their previous expertise in unique and interesting ways. The work should be exciting and have the potential to produce novel and high-impact science independently and through interdisciplinary collaboration.

At Salk, diversity, equity and inclusion is a commitment to both scientific discovery and humanity. Studies show that diverse teams outperform homogenous ones in terms of problem-solving ability, complex decision-making, and introducing novel ideas—all critical for high-impact science. As such, we encourage scholars underrepresented in biomedical research to apply.


Openings will be posted at and in scientific publications. Application instructions will be included with each posting. Fellows will be chosen by a faculty committee with broad scientific expertise. Select candidates will be invited to give a seminar, chalk talk and interview with Salk’s faculty and committee members. Generally, application materials include:

  • A research summary
  • CV
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Diversity statement

Appointment Terms

Salk Fellows will independently lead a group of postdoctoral fellows, research technicians and undergraduate students. The Fellows are typically appointed for a period of five years.
Start dates are flexible.

Fellow Benefits

  • Institutional Resources: Fellows are given the space, financial resources and support needed to be independent group leaders and researchers. Fellows will be encouraged and provided with resources to apply for external funding opportunities.
  • Mentoring and Career Development: In addition to a faculty mentor, each fellow is assigned a mentoring committee that will meet annually to discuss the Salk Fellow’s goals, progress, lab management and future research and career plans.
  • Community Engagement: Fellows have access to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Education Outreach, and Engagement & Wellbeing activities, including but not limited to lecture series, trainings and workshops, community outreach events, socials, and opportunities to host underrepresented student interns in their lab.

Faculty Contacts

For inquiries please contact

Current and Former Salk Fellows

More information about the Salk’s Fellows Program ».