Basis Postdoctoral Fellow — Open

About Basis

Basis is a nonprofit applied AI research organization with two mutually reinforcing goals.

The first is to understand and build intelligence. This entails establishing the mathematical principles of reasoning, learning, decision-making, understanding, and explaining, and constructing software that embodies these principles.

The second is to advance society’s ability to solve intractable problems. This involves expanding the scale, complexity, and breadth of problems we can solve today and, more importantly, accelerating our ability to solve problems in the future.

To achieve these goals, we are building both a new technological foundation inspired by human reasoning, and a new type of collaborative organization that prioritizes human value

About the Fellowship

Postdoctoral Fellowships at Basis offer an immersive research environment for highly qualified researchers to deepen their expertise in computational theories of intelligence, including but not limited to reasoning, learning, and decision-making. Fellows will work closely with Basis Research Scientists and selected Principal Investigators (PIs) from partnering academic institutions.

How it works

  • Basis Postdoctoral Fellows are jointly mentored and funded by Basis and partner PIs at academic institutions. The fellowship is time-limited, spanning 1 to 2 years. Fellows are integral members of Basis, participating in group meetings, events, on-sites, and other activities, and making contributions to the core technology through their work.
  • This fellowship offers a unique research experience, integrating the advantages of both academic and industry environments. Fellows have the autonomy to develop and direct their own research, while benefiting from mentorship and collaboration from both groups.
  • There are two paths to the Fellowship: apply to join an existing project, or propose something new via our open call.
    • Existing projects: Fellows are jointly employed by an established partner PI. There may be one identified PI, or a choice from a curated shortlist.
    • Open call: If selected, Fellows will work with Basis to establish a new collaboration. Applicants submit a research proposal and are encouraged to include proposed PI mentors.

Who We’re Looking For

  • Researchers holding a PhD in technical areas such as statistics, programming languages, machine learning, computational neuroscience, cognitive science, physics, or mathematics.
  • Individuals with a demonstrated track record in scientific research, which can be evidenced through publications, technical reports, or impactful software projects.

Core Responsibilities

  • Conduct independent and collaborative research within the thematic areas of Basis, focusing on computational theories of intelligence.
  • Disseminate research findings through academic publications and presentations at leading conferences.
  • Actively engage in knowledge transfer within Basis and with external partners, converting research into actionable insights and algorithms.
  • Provide mentorship to junior team members and contribute to the scientific discourse at Basis through seminars, workshops, and collaborative projects.

Role Details

  • FT/PT: This is a full-time, time-bound fellowship lasting between 1 to 2 years.
  • Location: Limited to the New York City and Boston areas; this is an in-person position.
  • Salary: Competitive with leading postdoctoral fellowships.


How is this fellowship different from a Research Scientist position at Basis?


  • Duration: The fellowship is time-limited, usually spanning 1 to 2 years, unlike the Research Scientist roles which are permanent positions.
  • Academic Collaboration: Fellows will have co-mentorship from academic PIs.
  • Emphasis on Publication: Fellows are expected to publish their research, aligning more closely with traditional academic roles.


  • Contributions to Core Technology: Like Research Scientists, fellows are expected to contribute code to Basis core technology. Basis will support Postdoctoral scientists without extensive software engineering experience to develop these skills.
  • Research Funds: Fellows will have access to an annual allocation of research funds ($5,000) to be used for research expenses, skill development, conference attendance, and more.
  • Integration with the Basis community: Fellows will participate in Basis events, on-sites, and other activities, and may collaborate on other Basis projects.

What happens after the fellowship?

  • Postdoctoral Fellows may be offered a full-time Research Scientist position at Basis, contingent upon performance and organizational needs.

Do I need to propose a collaborator PI**? Can I apply without one?**

  • We ask that you suggest three or more potential PIs you would be interested in working with in your cover letter. These might be people you’ve been in contact with before, or not. If you do have a relationship or have discussed your project ideas with them before, let us know. The eventual project collaborator is not required to come from this list.

Should I apply to the open call position, or to an established team position?

  • Applicants may apply to both, if desired.
  • Established team calls do not require submission of a Research Plan, as they are positioned within an existing Basis research area and are already internally and/or externally funded.
  • Established team calls are likely to move faster, for the same reasons.

Application Components

Please submit the following:

  • A cover letter (no more than 2 pages) that includes:
    • A brief description of your PhD research and past accomplishments
    • A list of at least three potential PI mentors outside of Basis. If you have a relationship with them or have already discussed the proposed work with them, please let us know.
  • Your CV
  • A research proposal (no more than 3 pages, not including references) outlining plans for research to be performed.

Information for PIs

  • If you are interested in becoming a partner PI and co-advising a Fellow, please reach out for more details:
  • We ask that partner PIs:
    • Participate in scoping projects and establishing desiderata for candidates.
    • Advertise the joint position on their individual / and group website, and participate in reviewing and interviewing applicants.
    • Provide formal support and access to University resources to Fellows. The details of this support may be position-specific.

Role Details

  • FT/PT: This is a full-time, time-bound fellowship lasting between 1 to 2 years.
  • Location: Limited to the New York City and Boston areas; this is an in-person position.
  • Salary: Competitive with leading postdoctoral fellowships.
  • Application close date: December 31, 2023 (Anywhere on Earth)