Through an initial commitment of at least $25 million for the first three years, this innovative fellowship represents the beginning of a broader $100 million effort to drive scientific leadership and interdisciplinary research across society over the next decade and beyond. In addition to a stipend of $100,000 for each Fellow, the Program includes courses and experiences at some of the world’s leading academic institutions, and hands on work in field-leading research laboratories.
The Schmidt Science Fellows are chosen from a pool of nominations provided by many of the world’s leading research universities, followed by a rigorous screening and interview process. For more information, see Selection Process.
The Schmidt Science Fellows program leverages the expertise and input from elite academic institutions from across the globe, as well as the experience of the Rhodes Trust, to attract future leaders that have recently completed PhDs in the natural sciences, engineering, mathematics or computing, and provide them with experiences, tools, and opportunities to position them to thrive in their future careers. Leading universities in both the United Kingdom and United States are core partners in this effort, and provide input and host immersive sessions at their campuses as part of the global meeting series.
In addition, the leading research universities across all regions of the globe participate in the Program by identifying elite PhD candidates at their institutions to nominate as Schmidt Science Fellows. For the first year of the program, we identified a broad range of select universities that were eligible to nominate potential Fellows, based on those that have a strong track record of producing field-leading PhD candidates and objective third-party rankings of the leading scientific research universities worldwide. We will continually assess this list of participating universities and plan to expand the Program in subsequent years to ensure that the world’s leading young scientists have the opportunity to become Schmidt Science Fellows.
These and other universities also participate in the Program by serving as potential locations for Schmidt Science Fellows to conduct their postdoctoral research studies.
For the first year of the Program, we have selected 14 individuals to comprise the inaugural class of Schmidt Science Fellows. We anticipate the Program will roughly double in size in both the second and third years, and continue in perpetuity beyond that point.
The Schmidt Science Fellows may pursue postdoctoral research in any laboratory that is substantially different from their existing field of expertise. The degree of difference is subject to a case-by-case evaluation. It may be that a Fellow pursues a completely new line of inquiry within the same discipline, or it might be a related line of inquiry in an entirely new discipline. For instance, a biochemist focused on immunology might pursue research in a laboratory focused on molecular biology. Alternatively, a Fellow with a PhD in oceanography might join a computer science laboratory focused on modeling wave behavior using algorithms.
Applicants are asked to identify potential areas of postdoctoral study as part of the application process, though not required to settle on a single proposal when applying. After being chosen for the Program, Fellows make final decisions about their postdoctoral research laboratory with the approval of the Schmidt Science Fellows program team, in order to ensure a good fit at a high-quality institution, valuable fellowship experience, and consistency with the overall goals of the Program. The preference is that Fellows select a postdoctoral laboratory located at an institution different from where they have received their PhD or where they have already planned future research activities, in order to promote a diversity of experience.
The Schmidt Science Fellows program works with Fellows to ensure they have an opportunity to work in an exciting and innovative research lab that meets these goals. The Program also assists Fellows that want to continue work in their postdoctoral area of study following the completion of the fellowship, or in instances where the initial postdoctoral period should extend for longer than the initial 11-month period of time.
Applicants must be nominated by a designated senior executive at a leading academic institution where the individual has pursued a PhD in an applicable field of natural science (including life, physical, and earth sciences), engineering, mathematics, or computing. For the Program’s first year, nominations were accepted from a select group of leading academic institutions that are partnering with the Schmidt Science Fellows program. We will continually assess this list and plan to expand the Program to more universities in subsequent years, ensuring that the world’s leading young scientists have the opportunity to become Schmidt Science Fellows.
Individuals nominated by these institutions are then sent an invitation with the necessary log-in credentials to apply for the Program.
For the first year of the program, the five weeks of all-cohort meetings will take place across the United Kingdom, Massachusetts, and Northern California, hosted at the leading universities in these areas. See Global Meeting Series for further details.
Neither Alphabet, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries, including Google, have any role in supporting, developing or administering the Schmidt Science Fellows program. While Fellows may interact with individuals or entities that are part of these companies, particularly through the Global Meeting Series, there is no direct or indirect support for the Program provided by Alphabet, Inc. or any of its subsidiaries.
The Rhodes Trust is a central partner in the Schmidt Science Fellows program, serving as administrator for the Program, and is responsible for the execution of the fellowship. Rhodes coordinates the selection process, liaises with partner universities, assists in the postdoctoral placements of the Fellows, and facilitates the global meeting series.
Alumni Rhodes Scholars are eligible for nomination to be Schmidt Science Fellows, but they are not given preference in the selection process.
The Fellows receive a stipend of $100,000 for their living expenses, as well as an allowance for personal travel. All costs associated with the global meeting series – including travel, temporary lodging, and meals – are fully reimbursed.
Individuals that complete the Program are certified as Schmidt Science Fellows, providing them association with one of the world’s leading brands in science and technology. This includes a certificate of completion signed by the Program’s sponsors. In addition, Fellows receive on-the-ground experiences at a number of the world’s leading academic institutions, and valuable connections with the faculty, administrators and other leaders in key scientific fields. Finally, Fellows will have a place in a lifelong community of leading scientists that will collectively drive research, investment and policy in the sciences for years to come.
In addition, all individuals that reach the finalist stage for selection as a Schmidt Science Fellow receive a certification to recognize this achievement.
Fellows are provided with a stipend of $100,000 to cover the duration of the Program, which is intended to cover relevant living expenses while the Fellow is pursuing his or her postdoctoral research. Fellows are asked to ensure that, while at the Global Meeting Series, their attention is fully focused on the sessions at-hand and engagement with their colleagues.