Donald J. Cohen Fellowship in Developmental Neuroscience

Award Description

The Donald J. Cohen Fellowships in Developmental Social Neuroscience will select highly qualified college graduates to participate in cutting-edge clinical research on social cognition in infants at risk for autism at the Marcus Autism Center. The Marcus Autism Center is a leading institution for clinical care and clinical research of autism and related social disabilities, and sits at the center of a close collaboration between Emory University School of Medicine and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA).   The Marcus Autism Center also works in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Behavioral Neuroscience Division of the Yerkes National Primate Center, and the 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.

Successful applicants will be involved in a 2-year program of training involving clinical and research experiences through studies ranging from a very large prospective study of infants, following children from birth until 36 months of age, to work with toddlers and school-age children spanning the full autism spectrum.

The training curriculum includes participation in an intensive summer training seminar covering clinical research in autism, a weekly seminar on autism (1 semester), monthly autism grand rounds meetings (year-long), weekly social neuroscience lab meetings (year-long), and ongoing didactic practica at both the Marcus Autism Center and Emory University School of Medicine. The primary training experience will be in daily activities related to eye-tracking research, including operation of experimental equipment, contact with infants and school-age children and their families, and responsibility for completing experimental protocols. With research mentorship, selected applicants will be expected to guide pre-determined projects of research from the point of data collection through analysis and publication of results. The Fellowships 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.

Donald J. Cohen (1940-2001) was a nationally and internationally renowned Child Psychiatrist who positively impacted the lives of children and families all over the world.  More information about his life and work can be found here.

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

Program Directors: Ami Klin, Warren Jones, Gordon Ramsay.

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

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

Term of Award: 2 years

Submission Deadline: January 7, 2013

U.S. Citizenship: Not Required

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible are college graduates who will have received a bachelor's degree by June 2013. Candidates with previous experience with infants and toddlers, experimental psychology, or young children with autism will be favorably reviewed.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Application Information

For more specific questions, interested applicants should contact

A complete application includes 1 paper copy of each of the following items:
1. A completed application Form
2. A resume
3. Official transcripts, undergraduate and graduate (if applicable)
4. A 2 page personal statement containing biographic material, relevant experience, and career goals - can be single or double spaced
5. Two sealed and signed letters of recommendation which speak directly to the candidate's potential

Mailing Your Application

Please address your application to:

Cohen Fellowship Committee

Attn: Christina Wessels
Marcus Autism Center

1920 Briarcliff Road

Atlanta, GA 30329-4010

(404) 785-9552