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Dana Foundation Fellow in Neuroscience and Society

The Dana Foundation seeks a Dana Fellow in Neuroscience and Society for a two-year fellowship experience. Reporting to the President of the Dana Foundation, the Dana Fellow will have the exciting opportunity to assist in the planning, coordination, and execution and follow-up reporting of meetings and new grant programs.

The Dana Foundation is a private philanthropic organization dedicated to advancing understanding about the brain. It was established in 1950 in New York City by Charles A. Dana, a legislator, industrialist, and philanthropist who became its first chairman. In partnership with his wife, Eleanor Naylor Dana, they fostered development of funding programs primarily focused on cancer research, higher education, and the arts. The Foundation’s grants helped support the Sidney Farber Cancer Center, which was renamed the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in honor of the partnership. In 1992, under the leadership of Foundation Board Chair and President David Mahoney, Dana turned its focus to research and outreach on the human brain. Since its founding, the Foundation has appropriated almost $500 million for philanthropic purposes.

The Dana Foundation is at an inflection point, as it refines its longstanding commitment to research and public education on the brain, to focus now on the intersection of neuroscience and society. Programmatic foci will include areas such as neuroethics and neuroscience and law. The Foundation pursues its mission through grants, programs, and publications. These include funding grant initiatives under the Neuroscience and Society focus; sponsoring the Dana Alliances, now including almost 700 scientists and clinicians from 45 countries; and organizing Brain Awareness Week, an annual global education initiative with almost 6,000 partners in 120 countries. The Foundation also publishes explanatory stories, teaching materials, and the on-line publication Cerebrum, which brings the frontiers of neuroscience and its implications to the public.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Surveys relevant literature and identifies trends and themes at the intersection of neuroscience and society
  • Identifies and maintains a roster of experts in fields relevant to neuroscience and society
  • Participates in planning process for meetings and grant programs
  • Generates meeting materials, including participant biographies, agenda drafts, and other supporting documentation such as logistics information
  • Manages execution of online or in-person (when possible) meetings, working closely with the Chief Information Officer of the Foundation to host and manage the Zoom line
  • Rapporteurs and drafts follow-on documentation of meeting proceedings
  • Synthesizes meeting discussions into list of priority areas and programs for consideration in Dana Foundation strategy
  • Works collaboratively with Dana Foundation staff engaged in communications, outreach, and education
  • Participates in planning process for Foundation’s grantmaking programs, including research on different models of grantmaking
  • Assists in designing and implementing a request for grant proposals
  • 10% of time will be spent on professional development activities, including coursework and training (approved and paid for by the Foundation), such as an online scientific community engagement course


  • Doctoral degree in neuroscience or related field (e.g., bioengineering) with strong appreciation for the how neuroscience both reflects and informs societal issues
  • Postdoctoral experience ideal
  • Ability to synthesize and analyze information and report on findings in an efficient manner
  • Excellent verbal communication skills, including the ability to clearly articulate purpose of meetings and other activities to potential participants
  • Excellent written communication skills, particularly in drafting and editing a variety of materials with scientific content (letters, white papers, summary documents), as well as preparing presentations with scientific and programmatic content
  • Attention to detail and strong documentation and workflow management and organizational skills
  • Have a creative approach to problem solving and the ability to take advantage of emerging opportunities
  • Be proactive, ability to meet deadlines and understand priorities, and a strong work ethic
  • Able to maintain composure under pressure with multiple tasks
  • Ability to work as a member of teams consisting of both internal and external stakeholders

Application process:

1. Please submit a cover letter describing your qualifications, a brief bio (200-word limit), and your curriculum vitae to Human Resources: pmangini@dana.org

Benefits offered:

  • Group Medical, Dental, Vision and Life Insurance: premiums paid by the Foundation
  • Direct medical and gym reimbursement plans
  • Short- and long-term disability, and Paid Family Leave: Short-term disability and Paid Family Leave funded by the Foundation
  • Section 401(a) retirement plan: Non-contributory contribution of 15% of compensation up to the IRS statutory limit (eligible after six-months’ employment)
  • Section 403(b) savings plan: Voluntary plan
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Education Assistance Program
  • Matching Gift Program
  • Vacation and Holiday Leave: All employees are entitled to 20 vacation days, other than those hired during a calendar year who are entitled to one day vacation per each full month of work. Employees are also entitled to three personal days and 11 paid holidays.

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