Apply to the Yale Ciencia Academy!

The newly selected cohort of 16 fellows for the YCA Program stand in front of the entrance to the Yale School of Medicine


Application period for YCA 2024 in NOW open!.

Decisions will be emailed by the end of April, 2024.


If you would like more information about the program and to receive the application next year, please fill out this form

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2024 Program Dates

The Yale Ciencia Academy (YCA) is a 13-month program that runs annually from July to July. For the 2024-2025 YCA cohort, the program dates are as follows:

Application opens: January 8, 2024
Application deadline: February 29, 2024 @ 11:59pm
Notification of acceptance week of: End of April, 2024
Program starts: July 10-12, 2024 (in person meeting at Yale University)
Program ends: July 2025 (in person meeting at Yale University)


Program Calendar and Participation Requirements 

Please review our tentative calendar and our participation requirements below. Final dates and times will be announced before YCA Fellow selection. 

As part of the program application, participants should commit to the following:

  • Attending both annual YCA meetings. For the 2024 cohort, these meetings will be held July 10-12, 2024 and June-July 2025. Our hope is to hold both events in person at Yale University in New Haven, CT.
  • Participating during the scheduled time in at least 7/10 of the online activities. Sessions are most impactful and enjoyable when experienced live.
  • To receive a YCA badge and certificate of completion, you must complete 15/17 activities (2 in-person meetings, 10 live online sessions and 5 video trainings)

Participants who complete these activities will receive a certificate of completion and a training badge for LinkedIn (see Benefits section below).

During one of the workshops of the Yale Ciencia In-Person Meeting, six fellows work together at the "Fish Bowl" library classroom.


16 Fellows will be selected to participate through a competitive and independent review process. Only candidates who fit the criteria below will be considered:

  • Enrolled in a PhD, DPH, DSc or PsyD training program in a biological, biomedical, or behavioral health field
  • US citizens or permanent residents as defined by the NIH guidelines
  • Self-identifying as being from a background underrepresented in science, as defined by the NIH
  • Having completed at least two years of their thesis research and having completed their qualifying, prelim, or candidacy examinations
  • Being 1.5 to 2 years away from graduating. This program is designed for students who will ideally be looking for a postdoctoral position at the end or immediately after the program. 
  • Agree to the program participation commitments above


Students need to submit the following on or before the application deadline:

  • An online application (download a sample here), including brief answers to questions related to:
    • Your interest in pursuing a postdoc and the challenges you would like to address through the program
    • An example of a time you solicited critical feedback
    • An example of a time you encountered a roadblock in your work as a scientist and how you handled it 
    • Areas of strength and opportunities for growth in your professional development
    • The importance of diversity and equity in your development as a scientist
    • A brief explanation of your interest in public engagement with science
  • A two-page resume or curriculum vitae that highlights education, research experiences, leadership, professional development activities or awards, and science communication and outreach activities
  • A recommendation form completed by a mentor (e.g. PhD supervisor, graduate program advisor, thesis committee member) See sample here.
  • A form signed by the student’s research supervisor stating their support for the student’s participation in the program

Benefits and OutcomesIce breaker games between 4 Yale Ciencia Academy fellows on the first day of the In-Person meeting

As a YCA fellow, you will be able to:

  • Meet accomplished scientists, leaders, and peers from diverse backgrounds
  • Receive training from leading experts to improve your planning, mentoring, and communication skills 
  • Develop an Individual Development Plan (IDP) for the transition after your PhD
  • Create a well-crafted personal narrative that can be used for introductory emails and networking
  • Complete and get feedback on a polished 20-minute talk about your work
  • Receive guidance to make your public engagement more meaningful and strategic
  • Travel all-expenses-paid to Yale for two In-Person Meetings
  • Participate in trainings and receive mentorship that adapts to your career path
  • Gain recognition as a YCA fellow through a press release, the YCA website, and social media channels
  • Earn a certificate of completion, commemorative pin, and LinkedIn badge at the end of the program year
  • Become part of our YCA alumni network (>200 peers) and access sample fellowships and professional opportunity announcements

Evaluation and Selection Process

Selection of YCA fellows will be made by a panel of independent experts. YCA applications will be evaluated with an eye for the following qualities:

  • Adaptability – Ability to respond to unexpected setbacks and demonstrate agility and perseverance in confronting roadblocks in research or career development
  • Coachability – Being receptive to feedback and displaying a growth mindset
  • Self-Awareness – Willingness to understand and address one’s identity, values, skills, strengths and weaknesses, both internal and as they present to others
  • Demonstration of Need – YCA seeks applicants who have a clear idea of how they will benefit from the program components, including being part of a cohort of peers from underrepresented backgrounds, and who do not have access to similar resources at their respective institutions
  • Postdoc Readiness – Applicants should demonstrate that they intend to pursue a postdoctoral appointment and that they are academically and scientifically competitive for this step within the next 1 or 2 years
  • Public Engagement – Prospective fellows should demonstrate a strong interest or commitment in making scientific environments more inclusive and accessible through public engagement.

Application period for YCA 2024 is NOW open!.

Decisions will be emailed by the end of April, 2024.