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Frequently Asked Questions

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How large is the Schmidt Science Fellows program?

The inaugural cohort of Schmidt Science Fellows included 14 postdoctoral Fellows and the 2019 cohort includes 20 Fellows.  The cohort size is expected to grow to 40 Fellows per year over the next several years.  However, the Schmidt Science Fellows community is much broader than just its Fellows and includes numerous selectors, Global Meeting speakers, and partners who all share the common belief in the power of interdisciplinary science to accelerate discovery and make a positive impact on the world.

How are Schmidt Science Fellows selected?

The Schmidt Science Fellows are chosen from a pool of nominations provided by many of the world’s leading science and engineering research institutions, followed by a rigorous screening and interview process. For more information, see our Selection Process.

Who is eligible to become a Schmidt Science Fellow?

Read more on our Eligibility page.

Which universities are participating in the Schmidt Science Fellows program?

Leading research universities and institutes across all regions of the globe help select emerging scientific leaders to nominate as Schmidt Science Fellows. We have identified science and engineering instituions based on a strong track record of producing field-leading PhD candidates and by using objective third-party rankings of the leading scientific research universities. We continually assess our list of participating universities and plan to expand the program in future years. Institutions interested in becoming nominating bodies for the Program should make an inquiry here.

What scientific areas should candidates be completing their PhDs in?

We are looking for the brightest minds in the Natural Sciences (Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Sciences), Engineering, Mathematics, or Computing – and all sub-disciplines therein.

Where do Schmidt Science Fellows conduct their research placement?

Schmidt Science Fellows can conduct their research during their Fellowship year in any laboratory around the world that is an appropriate fit for their scientific pivot and where the Principal Investigator is committed to supporting the work of the Fellow.  The Schmidt Science Fellows program helps facilitate the placement process. To learn more, please see the our Placement information and see which laboratories have hosted our Fellows in past years.

What types of postdoctoral research can Schmidt Science Fellows pursue?

Schmidt Science Fellows may pursue postdoctoral research in any laboratory anywhere in the world 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 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, although they are 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. The Schmidt Science Fellows program team approves each decision 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 to promote diversity of experience.

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 invited to nominate for the Fellowship and where the individual has pursued a PhD in an applicable field of the Natural Sciences (including Chemistry, Biology and Neurobiology, Physics, Astronomy, and Earth Sciences), Engineering, Mathematics and Computing.

Individuals nominated by these institutions are then sent an invitation with the necessary log-in credentials to apply for the program.

Where does the Global Meeting Series part of the program occur?

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. We expect future Global Meetings to be held in other areas of the US, Europe, and Asia.

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 and senior leadership of the Trust sit on its governing board. Alumni Rhodes Scholars are eligible for nomination to be Schmidt Science Fellows, but they are not given preference in the selection process.

Are Schmidt Science Fellows paid?

The Fellows receive a stipend of $100,000 for their living expenses. All costs associated with the Global Meeting Series – including travel, temporary lodging, and meals – are fully reimbursed.

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

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. Fellows also 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 certificate to recognize this achievement.

Can Fellows’ families join the global meeting sessions?

While families are occasionally invited to join select Global Meeting events, Fellows are asked to ensure that, while at the Global Meeting Series, their attention is entirely focused on the sessions at-hand and on engagement with the Schmidt Science Fellows community.