Apply to the Yale Ciencia Academy!


The application for YCA is open! 
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2022 Program Dates

The Yale Ciencia Academy (YCA) is a 13-month program that runs annually from June to June. For the 2022-2023 YCA cohort, the program dates are as follows:

Application opens: February 4
Application deadline: Extended to Sunday, March 20, 11:59pm
Notification of acceptance by: April 15
Fellow confirmation deadline: April 22
Program starts: Week of June 13, 2023 (in person at Yale University if COVID-19 permits)
Program ends: June 2023 (in person at Yale University if COVID-19 permits)


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 2022 cohort, these meetings will be held June 13-17, 2022 and June 2023. Our hope is to hold this event in person at Yale University in New Haven, CT. This is subject to change given the current uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Participating during the scheduled time in at least 11/13 of the online activities. Sessions are most impactful and enjoyable when experienced live. 

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


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 Outcomes

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
  • 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
  • Bring new resources to your lab or institution through the participation of your research advisor in our optional YCA Advisor Training (see Program Components)

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.

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