Simons Fellowship in Design Engineering

Award Description

The Simons Fellowship in Design Engineering will select fellows to be immersed in a two-year training program aimed at the integration of design engineering with neuroscience research.

Successful applicants will be expected to develop innovative hardware solutions to advance scientific understanding of social neuroscience and autism. These solutions offer an opportunity to explore human factors engineering, product prototyping, and the design of novel tools for neuroscience research. The fellowship is an opportunity for creative engineering and problem-solving, in which basic design challenges are defined but the routes to solutions are open-ended. The selected fellows will be mentored by the program directors and involved in a highly active research community of software, systems, and quality engineers who work closely with clinicians and scientists to better understand the causes and consequences of autism. The fellows will learn about neuroscience and autism while applying design and engineering skills to answer clinical research questions .

Sponsor Institution: Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Emory University School of Medicine

Program Directors: Ami Klin, Warren Jones, Gordon Ramsay, Sarah Shultz

For more information on the Faculty at the Marcus Autism Center, visit our website.

Award Amount: $32,000 per year (with full healthcare coverage)

Term of Award: 2 years

Submission Deadline: January 6, 2017

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible are college graduates who will have a bachelor's degree by July 2017. Candidates are expected to have a background in design and a facility for creative problem solving.

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 graduate studies or careers in design.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please refer to the FAQ page for questions regarding this fellowship and application.

Research at the Marcus Autism Center

Marcus Autism Center is one of three National Institutes of Health (NIH)-recognized Autism Centers of Excellence in the country. Marcus Autism Center is the largest center for clinical care of children with autism and their families in the US, seeing more than 5,000 patients per year. The center also works in partnership with Yerkes National Primate Research Center, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Georgia Institute of Technology. These varied institutions enable a multidisciplinary and translational approach to autism research, spanning projects in behavioral neuroscience, neuroimaging, molecular and population genetics, and treatment.

The directors of the fellowship program lead the social neuroscience, spoken communication, and neuroimaging research cores within Marcus Autism Center. These research cores use eye-tracking technology, neuroimaging, computational modeling, and behavioral neuroscience methods to better understand the causes and developmental mechanisms underlying autism and to develop new tools to improve early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of autism.

Application Requirements

For more specific questions, interested applicants should contact
So that you may begin working on your application, the required materials are listed below:

  1. A resume, highlighting relevant experience
  2. A two page personal statement containing biographic material, relevant experience, and career goals (single or double spaced)
  3. Transcripts, for each post-secondary institution you have attended, present school included
  4. Two letters of recommendation which speak directly to the candidate's potential
  5. A portfolio of design work
All materials must be submitted by January 6, 2017.

Application Instructions
All applications must be submitted electronically. The online application portal will open in October, 2016. You may access it here.
To complete your online application, you will need a resume/cv, a statement of purpose, and one or more scanned transcript(s). You can upload .pdf, .doc, .docx, .txt, .rtf, .jpg, and .tif files.

Your resume should highlight relevant experience. The resume or CV is uploaded as part of the online application process.

Your transcripts must be issued by the registrar’s office, but unofficial copies issued to you are fine.
If you want to upload an electronic transcript issued by your registrar's office, make sure we can open that document without passwords or other security information.
Please do not mail paper transcripts with your application. If you are admitted to the fellowship program and accept, then you will need to submit official copies (sealed or sent to us directly from a university registrar).
Transcripts must be in English, or be accompanied by notarized translations.

Letters of Recommendation
We require two letters of recommendation which speak directly to your potential.
Contact your recommenders well ahead of time, to make sure they are aware of and can meet your application deadline. Your application is not complete until the letters have been submitted.
You request the letters as part of the online application process, and recommenders can submit them online. You can send requests for letters of recommendations before you submit the final application.

For additional questions, please contact the Simons Fellowship Committee at or (404) 785-9554.