Schmidt Science Fellowship

Call for Nominations: The Schmidt Science Fellows

in partnership with the Rhodes Trust

The Schmidt Science Fellows program is an elite postdoctoral program that aims to create a new generation of scientific leaders by giving the world’s best aspiring scientific minds a broader perspective, the ability to engage in an interdisciplinary way, and the opportunity to make a lasting impact on society. The fellowship includes the opportunity to conduct a postdoctoral research study focusing on a discipline in the natural sciences, engineering, mathematics, and computing that differs from the individual's existing area of expertise and is a planned area of future focus. After selection, the program works with Fellows to identify and secure a placement that will best achieve their scientific pivot. All placements are with world-leading scientific leaders and internationally-renowned labs.

MIT is allotted a limited number of nominations to this program, and our Research Development team hosts an internal competition for interested applicants.

Full details of the fellowship can be found here: (website)

Please Note: The following content applies to the 2024-2025 cycle. The MIT webpage will be updated for future cycles after the Schmidt Science Fellows program has released its updated annual guidelines and eligibility criteria, typically in late February.

  • $100,000 per year for a total of up to $200,000 stipend for a full-time 12–24-month fellowship.

    Fellows can extend or shorten their placement within the 12–24-month range in discussion with the program. Fellows wishing to continue their fellowship research placement beyond 12 months participate in a review process at ten months to discuss progress, objectives, and plans for the remainder of the placement.

  • Nominees must

    • Have received or expect to receive a Ph.D. in natural sciences (Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Sciences), engineering, mathematics, or computing– and all sub-disciplines therein.
    • The date of the completion of the Ph.D. must be between May 15, 2023, and June 30, 2024.
    • Be available for the entire period of the 2024 program, from July 2024 to September 2025, including onboarding activities, attendance of the Global Meeting Series, and a Senior Fellows event
    • Be nominated by a designated senior official at one of the nominating partner institutions. (MIT is a nominating institution)
  • The announcement for the internal competition is distributed via the MIT FundOps listserv. Any interested nominator or candidate can subscribe via this link

    A copy of the internal announcement is posted at the submission portal (website).

    1. Please pay careful attention to the eligibility criteria. Candidates must have completed their Ph.D. between May 15, 2023, and June 30, 2024.
    2. Any MIT faculty may nominate an MIT student or MIT recent graduate who meets the eligibility requirements. Self-nominations will not be accepted. Candidates should identify an MIT faculty member willing to nominate them, provide a letter of support, and submit the nomination materials on behalf of the applicant. If a faculty member is nominating more than one individual, they should email with a ranking of the individuals nominated with a brief reasoning.
    3. Once candidates have confirmed their eligibility, they should work with their identified faculty nominator, who will submit the following application materials to the internal submission portal (website) for consideration by the internal deadline.

      The submitted materials will include the following:

      • Letter of nomination from an MIT faculty member attesting to the nominee’s accomplishments and capabilities (1-page max)
      • A personal statement of why the nominee is interested in the program and what they hope to achieve during and after it (1-page max)
      • Brief statement confirming that the nominee will have completed, or expect to complete, all of the requirements for the conferral of their PhD in one of the fields between 15 May 2023 and 30 June 2024
      • Potential Candidate’s CV (2-page max)
    1. An internal selection committee will review the applications received, and the selected candidates will receive a notice to proceed forward in the application process to the Schmidt Fellows Program.
  • Individuals selected through this internal competition will be sent an invitation to apply to become Schmidt Science Fellows. Applications will be due July 17, 2023. Application packages will then undergo an academic review by discipline-specific panels of senior researchers to determine which candidates should progress to the final stage. Finalists will be invited to an online panel interview with senior figures from academia, business, and society. After these interviews, final selections for the 2024-2025 class of Schmidt Science Fellows will be made in Spring 2024.

    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.


If you have questions about the internal selection please contact Tannu Singh, Research Development Coordinator at  

If you have any questions about Schmidt Futures, please contact Tess Olson in the Office of Foundation Relations at