The Santa Fe Institute—a private, not-for-profit research and education facility—has an opening for a full-time postdoc in artificial intelligence. This position is funded by an NSF grant to develop useful evaluation methods for AI systems that perform abstraction and analogy-making.


This one-year postdoc position involves (1) assisting the PI, Dr. Melanie Mitchell, and other project participants in developing a suite of evaluation problems in several idealized domains, for the purpose of assessing the generality and robustness of AI systems for abstraction and analogy; (2) Evaluating several existing AI systems using this suite; (3) Carrying out human benchmark studies on this suite, via the Amazon Mechanical Turk platform; (4) Writing up and submitting results for publication; and (5) developing a Web platform for public dissemination of the results. 

The start date for the position is flexible, but with a rough target of January 2022.   Depending on circumstances at the time, the postdoc may begin the position remotely rather than in person. 


Candidates are required to have a Ph.D. (by the start date) in an area related to AI or cognitive science and should have broad interests in these fields. The position is funded for one year (12 months).   There will be a possibility to continue for a second year depending on additional funding.

In addition to the activities listed above, the postdoctoral fellow will be encouraged to interact and collaborate with members of the larger SFI community and to develop his or her own research projects. The annual salary for the position will be $65,000 with full employee benefits including health insurance, paid time off, and modest relocation support. Additional resources are available to assist with travel and other research needs.


The Postdoctoral Program offers early-career scholars the opportunity to join a collaborative research community that nurtures creative, transdisciplinary thought in pursuit of key insights about the complex systems that matter most for science and society. The Institute rejects compartmentalized thought common in academia. Instead, SFI scientists transcend boundaries between fields, freely synthesizing ideas spanning many disciplines – from math, physics, and biology to the social sciences and the humanities – in pursuit of creative insights that advance our scientific frontiers.


SFI Postdoctoral Fellows participate in a provocative training program structured to develop leadership skills throughout their residencies and beyond.  The program focuses on sustained mentoring relationships with SFI residents and external faculty, skill development workshops, and occasional off-campus research and teaching experiences.


To apply, please send an email with an attached CV and a 1,3-page research statement (both in pdf format) describing your research interests and experience to with “AI postdoc” in the subject line. Please include the names and contact information of three references. You may also email questions to Dr. Mitchell at  U.S. citizenship is not a requirement, but you should be eligible for J-1 visa sponsorship or a U.S. permanent resident.


Applications will be considered as they are received, but applications must be received no later than October 15, 2021.


SFI is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive academic global community. Women and members of underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply. SFI is responsive to the needs of dual-career couples and is committed to building a culturally diverse research environment.