Marcus Fellowship in Speech Science and Engineering

Award Description

The Marcus Fellowship in Speech Science and Engineering is a two-year predoctoral research fellowship designed to prepare graduate-level engineers and linguists for entry into a doctoral degree, leading either to an academic career in speech science and engineering, or to a clinical career in speech-language pathology and communication disorders.

The main focus of the training program is early vocal development in the first years of life in children at risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as part of a broader interdisciplinary research program mapping out the development and derailment of spoken communication in early childhood.

Fellows will receive training in all areas of speech science relevant to their goals, including speech production and speech perception. They will also receive training in relevant areas of signal processing, including sampling theory, spectral analysis, and stochastic processes, as well as speech analysis, synthesis, and recognition.

Practical training will involve computer programming (Matlab, C, Labview), software engineering, hardware design, and construction of laboratory equipment where needed. Additional training will also be provided in experimental design, data acquisition, data analysis, statistics, preparation of publications, grant writing, human subject research, and bioethics. Fellows will have the opportunity to observe clinical assessments of patients with ASD and related developmental disabilities in the clinic.

Each fellow will design and implement a research project of their own under the direct mentorship of the program director and will be expected to present their results at one or more national or international conferences.

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

Program Director: Gordon Ramsay

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

Award Amount: $34,000 per year (with full healthcare coverage)

Term of Award: 2 years

Submission Deadline: January 4, 2019


College graduates who will have received a bachelor's degree by July 2019 are eligible to apply.

The Marcus Fellowship provides an opportunity to engage in translational research within a clinical setting. Candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds with an interest in electronic engineering, computer science, mathematics, speech science, linguistics, communication disorders or infant development are encouraged to apply. Previous experience with computer programming or experience with infants and toddlers or children with autism are not required, but are certainly valued by the selection committee.

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

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 five 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 ASD 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 partnerships enable a multidisciplinary and translational approach to ASD 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 ASD and to develop new tools to improve early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of ASD.

Application Requirements

A complete application requires the following:
  1. A resume or CV, highlighting relevant experience
  2. A two-page personal statement containing biographic material, relevant experience, and career goals (single- or double-spaced)
  3. Two letters of recommendation that speak directly to your potential
  4. Transcripts for each post-secondary institution you have attended, present school included
All materials must be submitted by January 4, 2019.

Application Instructions
All applications must be submitted electronically. The online application portal will open in October 2018. 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 transcripts must be issued by the registrar’s office, but unofficial copies issued to you are acceptable. If you wish to upload an electronic transcript issued by your registrar's office, please be 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
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 will 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 Marcus Fellowship Committee at or (404) 785-4911.