Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunity in skill learning, expertise, intelligence, and games

The Santa Fe Institute —a private, not-for-profit research and education facility—has an opening for a full-time postdoc in cognitive science and skill learning. This position is funded by a JSMF grant on Complex Time. The project focuses on the temporal acquisition and loss of skill as a key empirical measure of the complex dynamics of intelligent systems. We are particularly interested in the way that model systems like Go and Chess, and puzzles including the Rubik's Cube and Tetris, can provide key insights into the gain and loss of cognitive ability and expert levels of performance.

The postdoc position involves collaboration with the PIs, Drs. David Krakauer (SFI), John Krakauer (Johns Hopkins and SFI), and Adrian Haith (Johns Hopkins). Candidates are required to have a Ph.D. (by the start date) in mathematics, statistical physics, quantitative biology, or systems engineering. A facility with data analysis and statistics in addition to core theoretical abilities is desirable. A candidate wishing to pursue a career in the analysis of intelligent systems with a strong quantitative background but with little expertise in the cognitive sciences is eligible.

The start date for the position is flexible, but with a rough target of January 2021. Depending on circumstances at the time, the postdoc may begin the position remotely rather than in-person. 

All SFI postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to interact and collaborate with members of the larger SFI community and to develop their own research projects. The annual salary for the position will be $60,000 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. Depending on performance and funding, this position is expected to last two to three years.

To apply, please send an email containing your CV and a 1-page research statement to with "Skill postdoc" in the subject line. Please include names and contact information of three references. You may also email questions to Amy P. Chen

No telephone calls, please. Applications will be considered as they are received, but applications must be received no later than November 1, 2020. 

U.S. citizenship is not a requirement, but you should be eligible for J-1 visa sponsorship or a U.S. permanent resident.


The Santa Fe Institute is committed to inclusive excellence and welcomes and celebrates diversity in all its forms. We welcome applications from members of groups who have been underrepresented or marginalized in science, technology, and higher education.


Application deadline November 1, 2020