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Selection Process

The Schmidt Science Fellows program works in partnership with a select group of the world’s leading science and engineering institutions to identify candidates to apply for each year’s Fellowship cohort. Our annual process follows these steps:

Each of the selected institutions is invited to nominate a small number of their most exceptional PhD students. Institutions will use their own internal processes to choose nominees who will then be issued with a unique application identification number. Nominees use our application portal to submit their basic personal information.

Nominated individuals will then complete a full application. The application requirements include a curriculum vitae (CV) with relevant publications or research, reference letters attesting to the student’s accomplishments and capabilities, and personal statements on why the applicant is interested in the Program and what they hope to achieve during and after it. Candidates are required to make a case for and consider several placement options as part of the application process to ensure optimal postdoctoral placement to support their interdisciplinary pivot.

Application packages will first be reviewed by a board of senior researchers who have knowledge of a wide variety of disciplines. This stage is called Academic Review. The best candidates will be invited to participate in Pre-Selection interviews that take place by video conference.

Short-listed applicants will be invited to a final round of face-to-face panel interviews. These normally take place in spring, ahead of Fellows beginning their Fellowship year in July. Final selection is immediately followed by a public announcement of our new cohort of Schmidt Science Fellows.

For details of the candidate selection criteria for Schmidt Science Fellows please see here.


Following selection, Fellows will work with the Program team to identify, consider, and finalize postdoctoral placement opportunities, in advance of the Fellowship year beginning in July 2020.

August 12 2019

Nominated candidates are selected by their institutions and nominees are asked to submit their preliminary information to our application portal.

October 1 2019

Deadline for applications by nominated candidates wishing to apply for the 2020 cohort of Schmidt Science Fellows.

November 2019

Begin application reviews through a multi-stage review process as described above.

April 2020

The 2020 cohort of Schmidt Science Fellows is selected and announced.