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FDL Applications open

We have extended the FDL 2022 researcher application deadline to
Tuesday, 19 April 2022. 


Frontier Development Lab (FDL) applies AI technologies to science to push the frontiers of research and to develop new tools to help solve some of the biggest challenges faced by humanity. These range from the effects of climate change to predicting space weather, from improving disaster response, to identifying meteorites that could hold the key to the history of our universe.

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FDL is a public-private partnership with NASA and Trillium in the USA and ESA and Trillium in Europe. The FDL USA program is hosted by the SETI Institute and NASA Ames in Mountain View, California, and supported by leaders in AI from the private sector, such as IBM, Google Cloud, Lockheed Martin, and Intel, as well as our challenge partners, for example, the Mayo Clinic, MIT Portugal, USGS, DOE, and the Luxembourg Space Agency. FDL Europe is hosted by Oxford and ESA and supported by leaders in AI such as Google Cloud, Inria and NVIDIA, as well as challenge partners such as Catapult, SCAN, D-Orbit, IIasa, and Planet.

The goal of the 8–week summer program has been to bring together teams of experts from a variety of scientific fields, AI/ML, and the commercial sector to give the researchers the opportunity to apply their academic and research knowledge, and to push the boundaries of AI application for science, exploration and all humankind.
The program encourages rapid interaction and prototyping to create outputs with meaningful application that result in solutions to important challenge questions.  These outputs can be shared in published papers and conference presentations.  Participants will have the opportunity to work with stellar SETI Institute scientists, world class mentors, and subject matter experts to fulfill the expectations of the individual teams and to achieve the objectives of the program.

FDL and the SETI Institute are seeking doctorate/post doctorate researchers with experience and interest in one of the following areas: 

  • AI / Machine Learning
  • Alternative Energy/Hydrogen Production
  • Astrobiology
  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics
  • Biology
  • Climate Science/Weather
  • Data Mining
  • Disaster Response
  • Dry Cooler Designs
  • Earth Sciences
  • Electrical and Mechanical Engineering
  • Forestry
  • Geology
  • Geophysics/Earthquake Studies
  • Heliophysics/Space weather
  • Lunar Exploration
  • Mission Operations
  • On-board/Edge ML
  • Planetary Science
  • Quantum ML
  • Radiation Science
  • Research Engineering
  • Software Engineering
  • Space Resource Engineering
  • Statistics
  • Wildfire Predictions

Please visit the FDL website at, for additional information, to apply to the program and to submit a copy of your CV and cover letter no later than April 3, 2022.

After the application deadline, resumes will be reviewed and qualified candidates will be notified for 2 rounds of interviews by FDL and the SETI Institute, including a technical interview. Final candidates will receive invitation letters and complete information about the program, and instruction to attend the program on-line. Participants will be provided with weekly stipends.

Since this is an accelerated learning program, commitment to participate in the program for the entire duration, from June through August is required.

About SETI Institute
Our mission is to lead humanity’s quest to understand the origins and prevalence of life and intelligence in the universe and share that knowledge with the world. We have a passion for discovery, and for sharing knowledge as scientific ambassadors to the public, the press, and the government.

Depending on the COVID situation and possible travel restrictions, the FDL 2022 program may be offered virtually and partially in-person.

VISA and Other Requirements
If the FDL 2022 program is held in-person, international researchers interested in participating in the FDL program are required to obtain a J-1 visa.  Once final candidates are selected, the SETI Institute will aid and support the finalists in the visa application process.  The cost of the visa will be absorbed by the Institute. 

International students on F-1 visa, who are currently pursuing their studies at a US educational institution, are required to obtain OPT, Optional Practical Training, or CPT, Curricular Practical Training.  International students on F-1 visa are strongly recommended to consult with their school advisor on this matter.  Please note that for F-1 students, this is a requirement both for a virtual or in person program.



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