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FAQ

How large is the Schmidt Science Fellows program?

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 will include courses and experiences at some of the world’s leading academic institutions, and hands on work in field-leading research laboratories.

How will Schmidt Science Fellows be selected?

The Schmidt Science Fellows will be 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.

Which universities are participating in the Schmidt Science Fellows program?

The Schmidt Science Fellows program will leverage 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 will 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 will be participating 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 have identified a broad range of select universities that are 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 will also participate in the Program by serving as potential locations for Schmidt Science Fellows to conduct their postdoctoral research studies.

How many individuals will be selected as Schmidt Science Fellows?

In the first year of the Program, we plan to select 10-15 individuals as 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.

What types of postdoctoral research can Schmidt Science Fellows pursue?

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 will be 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 will be 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 will 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 will work with Fellows to ensure they have an opportunity to work in an exciting and innovative research lab that meets these goals. The Program will also assist 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.

How can someone be nominated to become a Schmidt Science Fellow?

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 will be 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.

Universities will be asked to submit their nominations by November 13, 2017. Individuals nominated by these institutions will then be sent an invitation with the necessary log-in credentials to apply for the Program.

Where will the global meeting series part of the program occur?

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.

What role does Alphabet, Inc. or Google have in the Schmidt Science Fellows program?

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.

What is the role of the Rhodes Trust? Are alumni Rhodes Scholars eligible to apply to be Schmidt Science Fellows?

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.

Will Schmidt Science Fellows be paid?

The Fellows will 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 - will be fully reimbursed.

What certification or attestation will Fellows receive upon completion of the Program?

Individuals that complete the Program will be certified as Schmidt Science Fellows, providing them association with one of the world’s leading brands in science and technology. This will include a certificate of completion signed by the Program's sponsors. In addition, Fellows will 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.

Can Fellows’ families join the global meeting sessions?

Fellows will be 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 welcome to bring their spouse or partner to the global meeting series sessions.