The AD Data Initiative is a coalition of leading academic, government, industry, and non-profit organizations that recognizes the need for dementia researchers to find easier ways to share unpublished data, analytical tools, and scientific findings. These partners are working together to accelerate progress towards new diagnostics, treatments, and cures in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). In 2020, the AD Data Initiative publicly launched a non-profit organization, referred to as ADDI to help achieve its goals.

The Fellowship

The AD Data Initiative is creating new possibilities for over 55 million people worldwide living with Alzheimer’s or related dementia. To accelerate novel discoveries in ADRD, the William H. Gates Sr. Fellowship from the AD Data Initiative will support approximately five fellows during our two-year program to engage in research, share their findings, and grow the dementia data sharing community spearheaded by the AD Data Initiative.

Fellows may also be asked to collaborate with the AD Data Initiative on data analysis activities, use and promote analytic tools available on the AD Workbench (ADDI’s online data sharing and analysis platform), help identify and develop new tools, data, and capabilities, and engage in community forums such as AD Connect (ADDI’s online community).

Successful fellows will use human or human-derived anonymized data that is accessed, with permission, on the AD Workbench or from other sources. They will conduct their analyses on the AD Workbench and address a question in the ADRD field. The question may, but is not required to include one or more of those suggested by the AD Data Initiative:

  • Can we combine existing and new data to track aging and disease progression?
    • Can we predict and delay the conversion of mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease?
    • Do diverse genetic and environmental backgrounds change the risk of onset or progression of Alzheimer’s disease?
  • Can we identify biological pathways that might be:
    • Targets for intervention?
    • Signatures of pathology, which could facilitate clinical trials that are agnostic to existing clinical diagnostic categories?
    • Used to stratify patients?
  • Can we optimize how to stratify patients for clinical trials?
    • Can we redefine Alzheimer’s disease (go beyond stratification)?​
  • How can we rapidly, repeatedly, and consistently measure cognitive function?
  • Can we assess the validity and reliability of proposed novel biomarkers and diagnostics?
    • Can we extract meaning from less structured data (such as speech) using artificial intelligence, machine learning, or other methods?
  • Are there lifestyle or behavioral changes that will pause or delay Alzheimer’s disease symptoms?

This fellowship is not intended to address hypotheses outside the dementia field, collect new data, recruit new subjects as part of a new or existing clinical study, involve non-human derived data, or prepare data for broader sharing without specific analyses.

Fellows will continue to work at their home organization and not be employed by ADDI. However, our fellows will not work alone. The program will consult with each fellow to identify mentors, provide opportunities to engage with other fellows and AD Data Initiative partners, support conference participation and publications, and more.


Approximately five fellows will be selected for our two-year program. Preferably, applicants have a doctoral degree relevant to this program and approximately five to ten years of relevant work experience after receiving their highest degree. Applicants must be researchers currently employed by an academic (non-tenured position), government, industry, or non-profit organization. Applicants should have expertise in computational, machine learning, statistical, or other data science methods, and a demonstrated interest in brain research, neuroscience, or other relevant fields.

We believe high-quality science needs to include different perspectives, so we are building a diverse and inclusive environment. We encourage people from all cultural, geographical, and technical backgrounds to apply, including those who are from underrepresented backgrounds in their field.


Each fellow in our Year 1 cohort will receive a financial award of up to $100,000 USD, to be used to support their research. The award will be divided and distributed over the course of the two-year program. Fellows will be offered opportunities to develop their professional networks within the ADRD field, including identifying mentors. The program will also provide fellows with financial assistance to attend and present findings at relevant scientific conferences and publish findings in peer-reviewed journals and other publications.

There will also be opportunities for the fellows to connect with their peers on AD Connect by leading discussions, answering questions, or offering expertise. Finally, as the inaugural cohort, the 2023 Gates Sr. AD Fellows will have the unique experience of helping shape this program for future participants.

Application Materials

  • Profile details (as requested in the online application)
  • Brief resume or curriculum vitae, including links to any relevant publications (maximum 2 pages).
  • Personal statement describing how receiving this fellowship would help the applicant accelerate new discoveries in the diagnosis, treatment, or cure of ADRD (maximum 1 page).
  • Research statement answering these questions (maximum 2 pages):
    • What question in the ADRD field will you address?
    • What is your hypothesis?
    • What human or human-derived anonymized data will you use, including data that is discoverable on the AD Workbench or from other sources?
    • What data analysis tools will you use? Confirm that you will do your analyses on the AD Workbench. If not, please explain.
    • What is your schedule of activities and anticipated research milestones?

Fellowship Rules

Visit AD Connect, our online community, to review our Fellowship Rules.

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