Post-Undergraduate Fellowship

The Yale Fellowship in Translational Developmental Neuroscience will select highly qualified college graduates to participate in cutting-edge clinical research on social cognition in children with autism at the Yale Child Study Center. The Yale Child Study Center is a leading institution for clinical research on autism and related social disabilities, with a multidisciplinary approach to autism research spanning projects in behavioral neuroscience, neuroimaging, molecular and population genetics, and treatment. Successful applicants will be involved in a 2-year program of training involving clinical and research experiences. 

The training curriculum includes participation in an intensive summer training period in the field of autism clinical research, a weekly seminar on autism (1 semester), bi-weekly science meetings (year-long), weekly Child Neuroscience Laboratory meetings (year-long), and other didactic experiences at the Yale Child Study Center. The fellow will also be trained in an empirically-validated behavioral intervention for children with autism, Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT). The fellow will then be a primary PRT therapist for preschool-aged children with autism spectrum disorders, under the supervision and mentorship of a licensed psychologist. 

Additional training experiences will be in daily activities related to functional neuroimaging research in high-risk infants and children with autism, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), and eye tracking. With research mentorship, selected applicants will be expected to guide a pre-determined project of research from the point of data collection through analysis and publication of results. The Fellowship will also provide additional funding (beyond the award amount) for participation in one international conference related to autism research per year. Successful applicants will be directly mentored by the program directors, and involved in a highly active and productive community of clinical research scientists.

Application Information

For more specific questions, interested applicants should contact Pamela Ventola. Electronic submissions are preferable when possible. A complete application includes 1 copy of each of the following items:
  • A resume 
  • Official transcripts, undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) 
  • A 2 page personal statement containing biographic material, relevant experience, and career goals - can be single or double spaced 
  • Two sealed and signed letters of recommendation which speak directly to the candidate's potential


Sponsor Institution: Yale Child Study Center, Yale University

Program Directors: Pamela Ventola

Additional Faculty: George Anderson, Kathleen Koenig, Michael Crowley, Roger Jou, and Julie Wolf, Denis Sukhodolsky

Award Amount: $30,000 the 1st year, and $32,000 the 2nd year (plus full healthcare coverage)

Term of Award: 2 years

Submission Deadline: February 1, 2017

U.S.  Citizenship: Not Required

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible are college graduates who will have a bachelor's degree by June 2017. While candidates are expected to have experience with computer programming and an interest in medical research goals, applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds are encouraged.

Please note that this fellowship is not offered concurrently with graduate studies. However we do hope that for fellows leaving the program, the fellowship will serve as an important stepping-stone towards future medical or graduate studies.


All application materials must be received by February 1, 2017.

A complete application includes one copy of each of the following items:

  1. A resume
  2. Official transcripts
  3. A 2 page personal statement containing biographic material, relevant experience, and career goals - can be single or double spaced 
    Please include your full name on every page of the items listed above.
  4. Two sealed and signed letters of recommendation which speak directly to the candidate's potential 
While we prefer to receive all application materials in one envelope, official transcripts and letters of recommendation may be mailed directly from your school. All other materials must be mailed together. Materials must be received by February 1, 2016.
Once your full application package is received (whether you send it all together or separately) you should receive an email notification. If you are sure that you have sent in your materials and have not heard back within a week of a reasonable date of receipt, follow up with an email
Once all the applications are received, they are thoroughly reviewed and selected applicants will be invited for an interview. The Fellowship will not be awarded without an interview.
Applicants will be contacted for interviews in March.
There is no one set of qualifications that makes someone a good fit for this position. We are looking for candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds. That being said, candidates should be comfortable with a variety of programming languages. Candidates should also have an interest in working with clinical populations.
The start date is July 2017.
The length of the fellowship is 2 years
Yes. Monday - Friday, 8:30-5:00, and some Saturdays.
There is no direct opportunity to obtain a degree during the fellowship, but one of the core goals of the fellowship is to prepare Fellows for graduate studies and for related future careers.
Fellows receive health care coverage through the Yale Health Plan. Dental is not included.
Yes, Fellows are strongly encouraged and expected to submit their research for posters and publications. Fellows are also funded (in addition to the stipend) to attend one conference per year.
Fellows will attend weekly lab and curriculum meetings with our immediate research group and weekly science meetings with the entire autism research group at the Yale Child Study Center. Weekly lab meetings offer the opportunity to discuss ongoing research within our group. During curriculum meetings the lab discusses relevant background literature. Science meetings will provide the opportunity to hear about ongoing research and to present their own work/project at the Yale Child Study Center.
Fellows' primary training experience will be in designing and implementing computational strategies to analyze eye-tracking and related data. During their two years, fellows will be involved in a series of experimental research projects. These projects will be driven by current questions in social neuroscience and autism research. Fellows will also have opportunities for direct clinical interaction with patients and their families.
Our applicants are widely educated and experienced. We do not require years of experience or a Master's Degree, as we only require a Bachelor's. However, applicants with a few years of experience or with Master's Degrees are encouraged to apply and will be given equal consideration.

Submitting Your Application

Please send electronic submissions to: 

Please address your application to:  
Pamela Ventola, Ph.D. 
230 South Frontage Rd.
New Haven, CT 06520
(203) 785-3565