Schmidt Science Fellowships


Deadline:

Graduate Program Nomination Deadline: Likely April 2022


Eligibility of Citizenship: Canadian, Permanent Residence, and International
Degree Level: Doctoral
Award Status: Closed
Applicant Status: Continuing Students

Description

Quick Facts

The Schmidt Science Fellows program provides the world’s best emerging scientists with new skills and perspectives to develop novel solutions to society’s challenges, become scientific and societal thought leaders, and accelerate ground-breaking discoveries.  The program is looking for the brightest minds in the natural sciences, mathematics, engineering, and computing who are interested in broadening their horizons.  Fellows receive a stipend of $100,000 USD per year and are supported to pursue a one to two year postdoctoral placement at a world-leading laboratory anywhere in the world in a disciplinary pivot from their PhD.  Fellows also benefit from a Global Meeting Series and personalized mentoring program.

UBC is one of select group of the world’s leading science and engineering institutions that are invited to nominate students to the international competition.  In 2020, 22 Schmidt Science Fellows were selected to be recipients globally.

Value: $100,000 USD

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for nomination and potential selection as a Schmidt Science Fellow, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Must have completed, or expect to complete, all the requirements for the conferral of their UBC PhD, including a successful defense, between 1 June 2021 and 30 July 2022.  Please note that prospective UBC students are not eligible for nomination.
  • 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
  • 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).

The Schmidt Science Fellows program is committed to equality of opportunity for all candidates.  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 Schmidt webpage includes an FAQ on eligibility.

Evaluation Criteria

The Schmidt Science Fellows program is looking for the brightest minds in the natural sciences, mathematics, engineering, and computing who are interested in broadening their horizons, pivoting away from their PhD research area and pursuing a challenging and rewarding period of study in an alternative discipline with world-leading scientists. Schmidt Science Fellows are expected to become science leaders and should demonstrate a keen interest in harnessing interdisciplinarity and interacting with wider society. Candidates must possess the drive to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems and the personality to lead, inspire, and galvanize cross-disciplinary collaborations to accelerate discovery leading to impactful solutions.

Applications for the Schmidt Science Fellows program will be judged against the following criteria:

  • Intellect:
    • Extraordinary Achievement: Clear record of academic achievement of the highest quality in the sciences and an extraordinary degree of intelligence.
    • Scientific Curiosity and Innovation: High degree of intellectual curiosity combined with energy and creativity; a record of continuous innovation and/or use of new technologies.
  • Programmatic fit:
    • Alignment with the Program: Interest in pursuing 12 to 24 months of postdoctoral study in a field different from the applicant’s PhD 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.
  • Leadership:
    • Character and Leadership: Genuine and demonstrable potential for science leadership; displaying perseverance, resilience, a moral compass, and a galvanizing force of personality.
    • Global Ambition for Social Good: Desire to use one’s personal talents and science to make a positive difference in society and the world.

Application Procedures

Schmidt Science Fellowships applicants must submit their application materials to their graduate program.  A complete application will consist of the following:

  • CV, including publications (maximum three pages)
  • A brief description of your PhD research (maximum one page)
  • Personal Statement (maximum one page):
    • Description of your leadership qualities, addressing the following two points: (a) character and leadership (genuine and demonstrable potential for science leadership; displaying perseverance, resilience, a moral compass, and a galvanizing force of personality) and (b) global ambition for social good (desire to use your personal talents and science to make a positive difference in society and the world)
  • Proposal (maximum two pages), addressing the following points:
    • Description of your proposed postdoctoral research direction, that represents a genuine, ambitious and innovative disciplinary departure from your PhD studies, with a clear goal towards gaining new skills in a new area and establishing field-leading interdisciplinary lines of research with potential for high reward and societal impact. When writing your proposal, please address the following two points: (a) alignment with the Schmidt Science Fellows program (i.e., interest in pursuing 12-24 months of postdoctoral study in a field different from your PhD discipline and a belief that interdisciplinary science and the taking of appropriate scientific risks are important for the advancement of discovery) and (b) collaborative spirit (i.e., demonstrated history of effective collaboration with diverse team members.
    • Three short outlines of potential labs in which you may carry out this research.
  • One letter of support (maximum 2 pages).  The letter should be signed and on letterhead (where possible).  The letter should address the evaluation criteria.

Nomination Procedures

  • Each UBC graduate program is invited to submit one nomination to the College of Graduate Studies. Given the highly competitive nature of this opportunity, graduate programs should nominate only an exceptional individual who will stand out amongst top applicants from around the world.
  • A complete nomination package consists of the following, submitted as 1 PDF document to graduateawards.ok@ubc.ca, by the deadline indicated above:
    • CV, including publications (maximum three pages)
    • A brief description of PhD research (maximum one page)
    • Personal Statement (maximum one page)
    • Proposal (maximum two pages)
    • One letter of support (maximum 2 pages)
  • The College of Graduate Studies Scholarship and Awards Committee will convene and determine one top-ranked application that will be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) for further review
  • G+PS will convene a committee to review the nominations submitted by departments and will nominate up to nine students to the international competition
  • Only successful applicants are notified

Further Information

For further information about the Schmidt Science Fellows, please visit the Schmidt Science Fellows website.  You may find the answer to your question in the website FAQ.

Questions? Please contact: graduateawards.ok@ubc.ca