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Opportunity for final Year PhD students in STEMM to self-nominate for the Schmidt Science Fellows programme 2025

Schmidt Science Fellows is an initiative of Schmidt Sciences, delivered in partnership with the Rhodes Trust, that believes in a vision of a world where interdisciplinary science flourishes without limit, accelerating discoveries to benefit the world, and driving innovation that improves quality of life for all.

They help scientists solve bigger problems faster by identifying, developing, and amplifying the next generation of science leaders, building a community of scientists and supporters of interdisciplinary science, and leveraging this network to drive sector-wide change.

Each year they are looking for the brightest minds in the natural sciences, mathematics, engineering, and computing who are interested in broadening their horizons and pursuing a challenging and rewarding period of study with the world’s leading academics and institutions.

Applications for the next cohort are now closed.


About the programme

Schmidt Science Fellows are looking for:

  • curious and creative scientists interested in pursuing ambitious postdoctoral research with world-leading scientists in a field different from their PhD. This scientific pivot from the PhD research field to a distinct postdoctoral research field during the Fellowship is core to the programme
  • academically excellent, risk-positive, early-career researchers who can demonstrate a commitment to ambitious, high-impact science
  • future leaders with the scientific curiosity, moral force of character, and collaborative spirit to lead teams and unlock transformative discoveries.

To learn more about Schmidt Science Fellows, take a look at the ‘We Are Schmidt Science Fellows’ features and film series.


As a Schmidt Science Fellow, you will receive:  

  • a personal stipend of US$110,000 per year for up to two years of postdoctoral study in a different area from your PhD, at any approved location worldwide
  • scientific freedom to pursue ambitious research goals, take risks, and have bold ideas
  • personalised mentoring to help you develop as a scientific and societal thought leader
  • a bespoke professional development curriculum delivered across three week-long residential convenings and a rich set of virtual offerings through the Science Leadership Program
  • a lifelong fellowship community with continued support, interaction, and collaboration opportunities. This stimulating and caring fellowship community is at the heart of the Schmidt Science Fellows Program and is a distinguishing factor among other postdoctoral funding opportunities.

More information can be found on the Schmidt website and their video Schmidt Science Fellows - Science Needs to Change.


Eligibility and selection criteria

In order to be eligible for nomination to the Schmidt Science Fellows application process, you must:

  • be studying for a PhD in the natural sciences (Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Sciences), Engineering, Mathematics, and Computing including any of the sub-disciplines, but excluding clinical track MD-PhD or Veterinary-PhD
  • expect to complete all the requirements for the conferral of your PhD between 15 May 2024 and 30 June 2025
  • be available April 2025 to July 2026 to attend onboarding activities and in-person meetings
  • be formally nominated to Schmidt by the academic panel convened by the Postdoc Academy

The key selection criteria are: academic excellence and intellectual curiosity, openness to risk in the pursuit of scientific discovery, a history of collaboration, moral force of character, leadership and the desire to make a positive difference. Please note the application process and delivery of Fellowship programming will be in English.

You can find more information in the programme's Selection Criteria. We recommend applicants view the Schmidt Fellow profiles.


How to self-nominate

Applications for the next cohort are now closed.

To apply for consideration by the panel, please send the following documents in pdf format to no later than 23:59 on 3 April 2024:

  • letter of interest stating motivation and suitability, referring to the aims of the programme and person specification (500 words max)
  • current CV (2 sides of A4 max, plus publications and presentations) clearly stating the full legal name, email address and scientific field of PhD
  • a reference letter from supervisor or PI detailing your suitability for the Fellowship
  • a statement confirming your good standing with the University signed by your department, i.e. that you have no past or current sanctions on your record and are not subject to any current disciplinary investigations (relating to either your academic performance or conduct) which may bring the programme into disrepute.

All documents must be formatted and sent as pdfs. All documents, including the reference letter and letter of good standing, must be received by the deadline. We cannot accept applications where any element is not in place when applications close.

Following the closing date:

  • a senior academic panel, coordinated by the Postdoc Academy, will shortlist candidates internally
  • if you are shortlisted, you will be invited to apply to Schmidt Science Fellows directly
  • shortlisted candidates will receive an authorisation code, giving them access to the Schmidt application portal.


  • Any questions about the self-nomination process (March to May 2024) can be directed to
  • Once nominees receive their authorisation code from the Postdoc Academy (from May 2024 onwards), all further queries about the application should be directed to the Schmidt Foundation directly.