Donald J. Cohen Fellowship in Developmental Social Neuroscience

Award Description

The Donald J. Cohen Fellowship in Developmental Social Neuroscience provides recent college graduates with the opportunity to spend two years engaged in state-of-the-art clinical and basic research with children and families affected by autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Cohen Fellows are directly mentored by the program directors and are involved in a highly active and productive community of clinical research scientists who study ASD. Previous Cohen Fellows have led a wide range of research projects and have gone on to PhD, MD, and MD/PhD programs in both clinical, developmental, and basic science specialties.

Cohen Fellows guide a research project from the point of data collection through analysis and publication of results. Over the course of two years, fellows gain in-depth research and clinical experience through work with infants, toddlers, and school-age children spanning the full autism spectrum. Fellows also complete an intensive summer training seminar covering clinical research in ASD (one week), ASD grand rounds meetings (twice a month), social neuroscience lab meetings (weekly), training tutorials in relevant statistical softwares, and ongoing didactic practica.

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, Sarah Shultz

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

Eligibility Requirements

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

The Cohen Fellowship provides an opportunity to engage in translational research within a clinical setting. Candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds with a keen interest in translational research, ASD, and child development are encouraged to apply. Research experience and experience with infants and toddlers or children with ASD are 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, 2018.

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 Cohen Fellowship Committee at or (404) 785-9554.