There’s arguably nothing more important than investing in the next generation. While it’s easy to get lost in the exciting research going on today, we must remember that all those brilliant PIs were once recently graduated scientists looking for their start in the world. Their breakthroughs are possible in part because of those who helped them along the way. The future of computer science research, and our world by extension, will depend on what happens to PhD students graduating now. METEOR (MEnTorEd Opportunities in Research) is a postdoctoral fellowship program developed by MIT CSAIL (Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab) and funded by industry benefactors to broaden participation in the field of computer science. Targeted toward those from underrepresented backgrounds regarding gender, race, socio economic status, 1st generation college graduates, etc., this program is focused on the cultivation of scientific excellence going forward. Founded by industry sponsors Accenture, Google and JP Morgan, the program is currently run by Professor Fredo Durand and Professor Ronitt Rubinfeld.
The program’s main goals are to: (1) recruit brilliant recent PhD graduates and (2) empower them to do exceptional research at CSAIL in a nurturing and stimulating environment. In this way, the METEOR Fellowship program will better prepare the next generation for careers in academia or industry.
METEOR is open to recent PhD graduates in computer science (CS) and artificial intelligence (AI). All applicants who meet the eligibility requirements will be considered, regardless of race, gender identity or ethnicity. Women and underrepresented minorities, particularly African American, Hispanic, or Native American candidates are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents (green card holders) or DACA recipient.
Each post-doc selected will be awarded a 2-year funded appointment (renewable for a 3rd year if there is interest) and receive research training, mentoring, and guidance from faculty researchers at MIT CSAIL. They will collaborate with a research mentor and their company sponsor to pursue research specific to their field. During their Fellowship, METEOR recipients will have ample opportunities to engage with industry sponsors through various events at CSAIL, including a METEOR-specific dinner with other METEOR post-docs, faculty, and sponsors. Beyond that, all METEOR post-docs will give a talk for sponsors on their research project or domain.
Sponsor companies will benefit from their participation in the METEOR Fellowship through increased engagement with CSAIL and the talent the lab attracts. During the academic year, each sponsor is invited to come to CSAIL to host a ‘lunch and learn’ with METEOR post-docs, giving them the chance to discuss career paths, challenges/rewards of working in industry, etc. They are also invited to participate in the METEOR fellowship dinner, talks by METEOR participants, and other CSAIL events.
Funding to support a post-doc in this program is a gift of $200,000 per year with a commitment of 2 years and the possibility of extension for a 3rd year. For more details, please reach out to your CSAIL Alliances CRC representative.
To Recipient: Funding for 2 years, research mentorship with top CSAIL faculty, industry engagement, opportunity to pursue meaningful work in their field of interest
To Sponsor: Unique access to MIT CSAIL, METEOR Fellowship Dinner, talks by METEOR Participants, ability to host ‘Lunch and Learn’ events to discuss career paths and industry, insights into current research via METEOR Fellows and Faculty
To Community: Increased diversity in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, development of a STEM talent pipeline, Potential world-changing innovation
Current METEOR program participants
Elizabeth Bondi | Harvard University
- CSAIL PIs: David Sontag & Marzyeh Ghassemi (started August 2022)
- Research Area: Multi-agent systems & data science for conservation and public health
Vasha Dutell | UC Berkeley
- CSAIL PI: Ruth Rosenholtz (started November 2021)
- Research Area: Vision in humans and machines under- standing the spatiotemporal encoding in human vision by examining natural image statistics and ecologically valid visual tasks for humans.
Amy Fox | University of California San Diego
- CSAIL PI: Arvind Satayanarayan (starting October 2022)
- Research Area: Human-Information Interaction
Mackenzie Leake | Stanford University
- CSAIL PI: Stefanie Mueller (started January 2022)
- Research Area: Her research sits at the intersection of human-computer interaction and computer graphics and focuses on designing computational tools for various creative domains, such as sewing and video editing.
Luana Ruiz | University of Pennsylvania
- CSAIL PI: Stefanie Jegelka (starting January 2023)
- Research Area: Large-scale graph information processing and graph neural network architectures
Kwesi Rutledge | University of Michigan
- CSAIL PIs: Nick Roy and Chuchu Fan (starting September 2022)
- Research Area: Correct-By-Construction Control
METEOR is sponsored by Accenture, Google and JP Morgan.