In early 2009, the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), with the support of the National Science Foundation (NSF), launched the Computing Innovation Fellows Project, a short-term initiative providing recent Ph.D.s with one- to two-year postdoctoral positions at academic institutions and industrial organizations with fundamental computing research and education programs. Three years later, we have developed a new website to establish a permanent record for the program.
The motivation for the CIFellows Project in 2009 to forestall the permanent loss of research talent likely to occur as a consequence of the financial crisis, and to enable new Ph.D.s to develop additional experience, making them effective researchers and/or teachers in the long term. Because economic conditions did not improve rapidly, the program was continued with additional funding from NSF during two subsequent years. Overall, 127 CIFellows were funded — 60 in 2009, 47 in 2010, and 20 in 2011.
Today, the majority of the 2009 and 2010 CIFellows have departed the program with permanent opportunities in the form of tenure-track faculty appointments or research positions in industry or government. Of the 20 CIFellows who started in fall 2011, 18 are embarking upon a second year in the program this fall — and we are hopeful many of them will also land permanent positions in the course of the coming year.
The new website summarizes the motivations and goals for the program, key aspects of its implementation, and preliminary results to date. It features short bios of all 127 CIFellows, noting their research areas, Ph.D-granting colleges/universities, host organizations, and in many cases, current (permanent) employment. Sample success stories are featured. The CCC will keep this site updated with the latest accomplishments of the CIFellows.
Please take a few minutes to explore the website to learn more about the program and the bright, young talent who have been funded through it – they truly represent the future of our field!