Sage Junior Research Fellowships

Call for Applications, 2018-19

The SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind invites highly-motivated applicants for the SAGE Junior Fellows Program. This unique fellowship supports the intellectual development of early-career UCSB postdoctoral scholars across the University. Fellows will form a group bound by a common pursuit: to understand the mind and brain through a variety of complementary disciplines.


The program is designed to provide supplementary support to current UCSB postdoctoral scholars who are early in their academic career (within 5 years of their PhD). We seek scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including anthropology, chemistry, communication, computer science, economics, ecology, engineering, history, linguistics, literature, mathematics, molecular biology, neuroscience, psychology, philosophy & religious studies.

Junior Fellows will be selected based on excellence and originality in their scholarship and potential to advance knowledge in their field. Preference will be given to applicants with a demonstrated interest in cross-disciplinary pursuits, who think “outside the box,” and have an ability to communicate their work creatively to a broad audience.


Up to 5 Junior Fellows will be selected in the inaugural year of the program. Fellows will form a close community through luncheons, meetings with SAGE visiting scholars and speakers, and quarterly presentations of their scholarship. Fellows will each receive a $10,000 credit which can be used to: support novel or high-risk scholarly pursuits or collaborations; organize an interdisciplinary symposium/workshop on a topic of the mind/brain; develop a series of public events; or enable an undertaking of the Fellow’s choice. The fellowship is not designed to cover Fellows’ salary. Fellowships are awarded on a 1-year basis, with the possibility to extend to 2 years based on achievement demonstrated in Year 1.


  • C.V. (2-page limit)
  • Personal Statement (1-page limit)
  • Statement of Interest describing the current research of the applicant in non-technical terms understandable by Scholars from a range of disciplines (800-word limit)
  • Endorsement of the official supervisor (1-page limit)

Applications should be submitted as a single .pdf to John Hajda, Associate Director of the SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind at


  • Application due: September 1, 2018
  • Finalists notified: September 15, 2018
  • Fellows notified: September  25, 2018


On behalf of:

Michael Gazzaniga
Director, SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind

Bridget N. Queenan
Associate Director, UCSB Brain Initiative

Emily G. Jacobs and Matthieu Louis
Co-Directors, SAGE Junior Fellows Program

With generous support from Hearst Foundations

Alex Schlegel

Alex Schlegel was a Junior Fellow from 2015-16. Dr. Schlegel is interested in how the human brain supports the rich mental space underlying creative, flexible behaviors such as artistic, scientific, and mathematical thought.  He received Bachelors degrees in physics, mathematics, and chemistry from NC State University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture from Arizona State University.  His PhD work in cognitive neuroscience at Dartmouth College focused on large scale neural networks that enable the flexible construction and manipulation of mental imagery.  He also investigated neural plasticity in long term learning processes and the neural bases of volition and consciousness experience.  Alex's concurrent artistic work uses computational processes, electronics, and traditional materials to enable the direct experience of normally hidden patterns and processes in the environment. After his SAGE fellowship, Alex joined Vicarious where he is working toward giving machines high level cognitive abilities such as imagination.

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