DataLab generates and facilitates interdisciplinary research and training across the diversity of big data users and researchers at the UC Davis campus and Medical Center, including:

Graduate Student & Postdoctoral Affiliates

Training and incorporation of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in data science is a core mission of DataLab. By drawing from students and researchers in programs from across campus, we foster intellectual exchange and interdisciplinary interactions. Active affiliates have access to our resources (space, computers, community, etc.) and are eligible to apply for competitive travel grants, GSR positions, and other opportunities.


Candidates may self-nominate or be nominated by a current DataLab faculty member. Nominations are considered during the annual call for membership in the fall, and on a rolling basis as space is available. Students and postdocs are welcome and encouraged to attend seminars,
workshops and tutorials prior to applying for membership.


We expect all affiliates to be actively engaged with DataLab. You’ll get to learn and share new things, get ideas for your research, develop new projects, find new information, and network among yourselves and others.
This interdisciplinary interaction is valuable and rare, and requires investing the time to participate.

  1. Attend the semiannual DataLab networking mixer.
  2. “Be” in the DataLab space and spend time working on your research and interacting with your peers for a half day once a week. We have large monitors, comfy chairs, coffee and tea (and often snacks), and several reservable private offices in addition to the large open collaboratory workspace. We also have our own library of books on data science related topics (from working with R and Python to applications), and a mini computer lab preloaded with working versions of common software for data science, including some proprietary software. Collaboratory workspaces are first-come-first-serve, but designated workspaces can be allocated based on need. Come work on your research and engage – you never know what skills and tips you’ll pick up!
  3. Engage in a research cluster. A list of current DataLab supported clusters can be found under Community. Interested in organizing or participating in a new cluster investigating a topic within the broad purview of data science? Contact DataLab admins to propose your idea.
  4. Participate in our workshops. Help out as a “TA” for at least one workshop a year in which you are proficient. This is a great way to deepen your expertise, and share and connect with the community.
  5. Attend (and present) at our quarterly Problem Solving un-Seminars. You don’t have to know anything about the talk topic to contribute and learn from these unique ‘flipped’ design talks. We expect all affiliates to present a problem solving un-seminar during their tenure in our program. Contact us if you have a topic in mind and we’ll discuss and get you on the schedule. Also, we appreciate your help in identifying individuals across the university who would also be good candidates as speakers for this series.

Optionally, affiliates are encouraged to:

  1. Attend our workshops! DataLab affiliates have priority registration for all DataLab events.
  2. Hold group office hours at DataLab. Get together with other affiliates who have complementary technical skills and strengths and pick a consistent time to be available throughout the quarter to field questions from the research community on campus. This is great experience if you are considering a career in industry and/or consulting, looks good on your CV, and is good practice for you to apply the skills you have learned to a variety of projects. We will put out a call for affiliate times and topics each quarter.
  3. Lead or participate in an affiliates project. If you have an interesting
    research question or side project, form a working group with your colleagues in DataLab. The project can relate to your individual research, a competition or just something you find interesting and want to investigate – it’s up to you to decide what you want to do. We have a few successful past examples and can point you to ideas for new ones. Not sure how to set up and manage a research team? We can help you get started.
  4. Mentor data science undergrads We have a few undergrad
    interns here at the DataLab and there is an undergrad club. This is a minimal-time investment activity that can have a big impact on the lives of our students.
  5. Help with admin activities for the DataLab. This includes assisting with ongoing activities as well as planning and seeking out new opportunities for the DataLab to engage in meaningful ways with campus and the broader community.
  6. We welcome suggestions for other creative ways that affiliates can be active in our data science community.  Email us or come talk with us.

Review & Termination of Membership

DataLab Affiliates memberships are reviewed annually. At this time,
affiliates can decide whether to renew or terminate their affiliation. Terminated affiliates will be removed from the affiliates listserv and cannot apply for research and travel funds, and forfeit any unused current

Faculty Members

UC Davis faculty may join if:

  • Their research area is either represented in, or appropriate for, research in data science.
  • Their research benefits from application or existing or
    development of new data science tools.
  • Their scientific contributions are of obvious merit and commensurate with those of current members.
  • They have contributed to or can be expected to contribute to DataLab’s research, training, and other strategic activities.


Candidates for membership must be brought to the attention of the DataLab Director. Candidates may self-nominate or be nominated by a current DataLab faculty member. Nominations are accepted year round. To apply, contact us for the (brief) application link.

Professional Research Associates

We encourage DataLab participation by Project Scientists, Research Specialists, Academic Coordinators, and other non-faculty professionals. These individuals are often in the trenches and at the forefront of data science and provide continuity for ongoing research projects.