Schmidt Science Fellows Program

The Schmidt Science Fellows Program, in association with the Rhodes Trust, has announced the 2021-2022 fellowship competition. The postdoctoral program provides participants with a stipend of $100,000 and features two core components: full-time postdoctoral research and a global meeting series. The program aims to 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. “We encourage our fellows to take a scientific risk this year and to think broadly and deeply about where across the globe they undertake their interdisciplinary pivot.”


In order to be eligible for nomination to the Schmidt Science Fellows application process, candidates must meet the following requirements:

Have conducted their graduate degree in the natural sciences (Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Sciences), Engineering, Mathematics, or Computing – and all sub-disciplines therein.

Have completed, or expect to complete, all of the requirements for the conferral of their PhD in one of these fields between June 1, 2021 and July 30, 2022.

Be available for the entire period of the 2022 program, from July 2022 to September 2023 including attendance of the Global Meeting Series (whether virtual or in person, as conditions allow, and including additional virtual programming).

Be nominated by a designated senior official at one of our nominating partner institutions.

Selection Criteria

• Extraordinary Achievement - Clear record of academic achievement of the highest quality in the sciences and an extraordinary degree of intelligence.

• Scientific Curiosity - High degree of intellectual curiosity combined with energy and creativity; a record of continuous innovation and/or use of new technologies.

• Alignment with the Program - Interest in pursuing a year or more of postdoctoral study in a field different from the applicant’s Ph.D. discipline and a belief that interdisciplinary science and the taking of appropriate scientific risks are important for the advancement of discovery.

• Collaborative Spirit - Demonstrated history of effective collaboration with diverse team members.

• Global Ambitions - Desire to use one’s personal talents and science to make a positive difference in society and the world.

• Character and Leadership - Genuine and demonstrable potential for science leadership, displaying perseverance, resilience, a moral compass, and a galvanizing force of personality. For more information, please see the Foundation’s selection criteria pages.

Yale Application Procedure

The Graduate School may nominate up to seven recent graduates/students for Schmidt Science Fellowships. The internal competition application deadline is Monday, May 31, 2021 at noon (EDT). Complete applications, including one letter of recommendation, must be received by this date for the application to be considered.

The application should include:

1. Schmidt Science Fellow internal application coversheet.

2. A description of the applicant’s dissertation research with an emphasis on why the research represents a significant advance in the applicant’s field and current/future benefits to society (up to one page).

3. Short, one- or two-paragraph statements addressing the six criteria listed above (up to a total of two pages).

4. A statement (up to one page) describing what field, different from the dissertation field, the applicant plans to study and a tentative plan of study. The applicant may change this in the final application, if selected as a Yale nominee.

5. Updated CV or resume. 6. A letter of recommendation from the applicant’s dissertation adviser addressing the six selection criteria listed above.

The applicant should submit items 1-5 together as a single PDF document to The dissertation adviser should independently submit a letter of recommendation to the same email address.

Next Steps

Applicants will be notified by July 1 as to whether they have been nominated to the Foundation. Nominees will be instructed to register their intent to apply online, using a unique access code provided to them. They will then have until August 31, 2021 to submit a full application.

Additional information can be found at

Fellowship Type: 
Postdoctoral Fellowships
Inside or Outside Fellowship: