Schmidt Science Fellows Program

Invitation to Nominate Outstanding Doctoral Researchers for the Schmidt Science Fellows Program 2025 of the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fund for Strategic Innovation in Cooperation with the Rhodes Trust.


A. The Program

The Schmidt Science Fellows Program aims to expand the horizons of the next generation of leaders and innovators in the natural sciences, engineering, mathematics, and computing. The program is administered by Schmidt Futures, in partnership with the Rhodes Trust, and is supported by many of the world’s leading scientific thinkers, industry leaders, and institutions. 

KIT again is one of the select group of the world’s leading science and engineering institutions which are invited to make nominations.


B. Funding Model and Opportunity

The fellows receive a stipend of US $110,000 per year for up to two years of postdoctoral study in a different area from their doctorate, at any approved location worldwide.

  • Build a global network through our Science Leadership Program, a bespoke professional development curriculum delivered across three week-long residential convenings and a rich set of virtual offerings.
  • Benefit from personalized mentoring delivered by experienced international interdisciplinary science leaders to develop as scientific and societal thought leaders.
  • Join a lifelong community of exemplary interdisciplinary scientists.
  • Receive unique scientific freedom to pursue ambitious research goals, take risks, and have bold ideas.


C. Eligibility

In order to be eligible for nomination and potential selection as a Schmidt Science Fellow, 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 doctorate in one of these fields between May 15, 2024 and June 30, 2025.  
  • Able to start their fellowship in July 2025 or October 2025 and available from April 2025 to July 2026 to attend onboarding activities, the in-person Science Leadership Program convenings and the annual Schmidt Science Fellows Interdisciplinary Science Summit.
  • Be nominated by a designated senior official at one of our nominating partner institutions.


D. Target Group

The program addresses outstanding doctoral researchers who combine keen scientific curiosity with the capability of cooperation, a wish to make a major contribution to science and the society by their work, and are ready to focus on a discipline that is different from their existing area of expertise during the funding period. 

Applications from individuals are encouraged regardless of age, disability, gender, gender identity, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity, parental status, marital or civil partner status, race, color, ethnic or national origin, nationality, religion or belief.

The doctorate should be completed between May 15, 2024 and June 30, 2025.

The Schmidt Science Fellows Programs attaches particular attention to the following 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 12-24 months of postdoctoral study in a field different from the applicant´s doctorate discipline and a belief that interdisciplinary science and the taking of appropriate scientific risks are important for the advancement of discovery.
  • Collaborative Spirit – History of effective collaboration with diverse team members. 
  • Character and Leadership – Genuine and demonstrable potential for science leadership; displaying perseverance, resilience, a moral compass, and a galvanizing force of personality.
  • Global Ambitions for Social Good – Desire to use one´s personal talents and science to make a positive difference in society and the world.

E. Internal Nomination Process at KIT

Scientists of KIT who supervise doctoral candidates are requested to propose qualified candidates to the DE Internationales (International Affairs Business Unit). Contact person: Oliver Kaas, Phone: 45323; E-Mail: oliver.kaas∂ by April 12, 2024 at the latest.

Please submit complete applications under: scholar∂

In addition to your proposals, submit the following documents:

A short CV of the nominee, a list of the most relevant publications, a letter of recommendation of the nominator, and a letter of motivation of the nominee; also including the current research during the doctorate and the planned research during the fellowship, as well as the name of the desired research institution at which the research stay is to be carried out. Both letters should consider the selection criteria given above in an adequate way. Kindly indicate the presumable date of completion of the doctorate.

The proposals submitted will be coordinated by the International Affairs Business Unit and then reviewed by an internal selection committee (CRYS). International Affairs will inform nominees as soon as possible on the committee's decision regarding nominations for KIT.


F. Further Steps of the Selection Process

The candidates chosen for a nomination by KIT will be issued a unique authorization code confided to International Affairs by SSF to register for the online application procedure. Registration will be open from 12 May through 01 June 2023Subsequently, applications can be completed until 17 July 2023.  Full applications will consist of details of the academic history, including transcripts, a curriculum vitae (CV) with relevant publications, and at least three, but no more than five letters of recommendations, a personal statement outling their motivations, a brief description of their PhD research, a proposal outlining their future research plans, and three short outlines of potential labs in which they may carry out this research.

Academic reviews by SSF will occur August through October 2024, and online interviews by January through to February 2025. The announcement of the awardees in this Schmidt Science Fellows cohort is planned for May 2025. Global placement will occur from July through October 2025  

Important deadlines


Important links




Your contact at International Affairs (INTL):

Oliver Kaas, phone 45323, email: oliver.kaas∂

Please submit your complete nominations to: scholar does-not-exist.intl kit edu


External Links: