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The Schmidt Science Fellows program aims to equip the next generation of leaders and innovators with the tools and opportunities to drive world-changing advances across the sciences and society by giving them a year of scientific broadening between their PhD and the start of their research career. In partnership with the Rhodes Trust and elite academic institutions from across the globe, the program aims to assemble a diverse array of Fellows who have recently completed PhDs in the sciences and engineering, and challenge them to expand their scientific and societal horizons. In doing so, the Schmidt Science Fellows program will expose participants to new scientific breakthroughs, new fields of studies, new micro-cultures, and new ideas that they will take with them throughout their lives.


The fourteen-month Schmidt Science Fellows program will provide participants with a stipend of $100,000, and will feature two core components:

1. Postdoctoral Research Year

Fellow will conduct a full-time, 11+ month postdoctoral research study in a field-leading laboratory, focusing on a discipline in the natural sciences, engineering, mathematics or computing that is different from their existing area of expertise and planned future focus. Our goal is to introduce the Fellows to the ideas, practices, methods, and cultures of other scientific disciplines, broadening their scope of experience. By doing so, Fellows will form a diverse perspective on the questions and techniques that will position them to make breakthrough discoveries and drive societal change.

The Fellows will select their postdoctoral research group, with assistance from the Schmidt Science Fellows program, the Rhodes Trust, respected researchers, and a number of leading universities. 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.

2. The Global Meeting Series

The Schmidt Science Fellows program will also feature four global meetings at the world's leading academic institutions, interspersed across the duration of the fellowship. These meetings will expose Fellows to new cutting-edge science, provide them the opportunity to interact with each and with leading thinkers in the sciences and society, and develop new skills that will help them in their future careers. Each meeting will have a specific theme and focus, designed to expand the scope of experience and skill sets of the Fellows, and augment their postdoctoral research work.


In order to be eligible to become a Schmidt Science Fellow, individuals must:

  • Have a background in a field of natural sciences (including life, physical, and earth sciences), engineering, mathematics, or computing;
  • Receive or expect to receive a PhD in one of these fields between May 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018; and
  • Be available for the entire period of the Program from July 2018 through July 2019.

Additionally, nominees should exhibit the following key qualities:

  • Scientific Curiosity - Desire to achieve a broad level of exposure to and knowledge in cutting-edge innovations and research across the sciences
  • Extraordinary Achievement - Clear record of academic achievement in the sciences at leading institutions of higher learning
  • Intellectual Spark - High degree of intelligence, energy, and intellectual curiosity that will drive future scientific discoveries
  • Global Ambitions - The will to make a lasting impact in the sciences and society, conducting research and pursuing knowledge that will benefit the world
  • Collaborative Spirit - Demonstrated history of effective collaboration with diverse team members
  • Computing Interest - General interest in modern computing and data science topics
  • Alignment with the Program - Interest in pursuing a year or more of postdoctoral study in a field different from the topic of study for which the applicant received his/her doctorate


MPLS Division will nominate up to five individuals for the program. Recruitment is expected to be highly competitive. Nominations must be received by 31st October and need to come from supervisors of eligible DPhil students or from departmental Directors of Graduate Studies (DGS).

Students wanting more information should speak to their DPhil supervisor or departmental DGS.