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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

Salk is interested in bringing recent 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. Scholars underrepresented in biomedical research are encouraged to apply.

Selection Criteria

Salk Fellows will often come 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.

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. At Salk, improving DEI is a commitment to both scientific discovery and humanity. 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 and may include scientists from surrounding institutions. Select candidates will be invited to give a seminar and interview with Salk’s faculty and committee members.

Appointment Terms

Salk Fellows will independently lead a group of postdoctoral fellows, research technicians and undergraduate students. The Fellows will be appointed for an initial period of three years followed by a two-year extension subject to a positive performance review. The maximum total appointment period for Salk Fellows is 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 to apply for limited external funding since successful grant writing is a critical skill for an independent group leader and it increases the Fellow’s competitiveness for faculty positions.
  • Mentoring and Career Development: A Salk faculty member will meet with the Fellow for one-on-one discussions. In addition, to support the Fellow’s success, the Fellow will have a mentoring committee that will meet annually to discuss the Salk Fellow’s goals, progress, lab management and future research and career plans.
  • Community Support: Fellows have access to a wide range of Diversity Equity & Inclusion, Education Outreach, and Engagement & Wellbeing activities, including but not limited to lecture series, trainings & workshops, community programming with K-12 schools, work socials to encourage belonging, 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 ».