Schmidt Science Fellowships


Application deadline: check with UBC graduate program, Graduate program nomination deadline: 29 July 2020 at 4:00 pm

Annual Value



Permanent Resident

Degree Level


The Schmidt Science Fellows program aims to provide the next generation of scientific leaders and innovators with an exceptional opportunity.  Fellows receive a stipend of $100,000 and are supported to pursue a one year postdoctoral placement at a world-leading laboratory anywhere in the world in a disciplinary pivot from their PhD. During their Fellowship year, they also participate in a varied and challenging Global Meeting Series that introduces new research ideas, techniques, and questions, in addition to a tailored training program. Fellows benefit from a personalized mentoring program, providing professional development support from experienced and internationally accomplished scientists.

UBC is one of 100 universities that have each been invited to nominate students to the international competition.  In 2019, 20 Schmidt Science Fellows were selected to be recipients globally.



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 30 April 2020 and 30 September 2021 (prospective UBC students are not eligible for nomination)
  • Have conducted their graduate degree in the natural sciences (Astronomy, Biology - including Neurobiology, Chemistry, Physics and Earth Sciences), Engineering, Mathematics, or Computing – and all sub-disciplines therein
  • Be available for the entire period of the 2021 program, from July 2021 to July 2022 including attendance at each Global Meeting (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, colour, 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 from their PhD research and pursuing a challenging and rewarding period of study with the world’s leading academics and institutions. Schmidt Science Fellows are expected to be future science leaders and should demonstrate a keen interest in harnessing interdisciplinarity, and interaction with wider society, to galvanize collaboration, and lead and inspire teams to accelerate discovery.

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: 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 a year or more 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:
    • Global Ambition for Social Good: 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.

Application Procedures

Schmidt Science Fellowships applicants must submit their application materials to their UBC graduate program.  Applicants should check with their UBC graduate program to find out their internal application deadline.  A complete application will consist of the following:

  • CV of the nominee, including publications (maximum three pages)
  • Statement from the nominee (maximum one page), addressing the following two points: (a) alignment with the Schmidt Fellows program - interest in pursuing a year of postdoctoral study in a field different from the applicant’s PhD discipline and (b) collaborative spirit - demonstrated history of effective collaboration with diverse team members.
  • Proposal from the nominee (maximum two pages), addressing the following two points: (a) potential postdoctoral research direction and (b) brief rationale for up to three potential postdoctoral Fellowship labs

Successful UBC nominees will be invited directly by the Schmidt Science Fellows program to submit a full application at a later date.

Presentation standards of documents: 10 point Arial font, or equivalent.

Nomination Procedures

Each UBC graduate program is invited to submit one nomination to a university-wide competition. 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 will consist of the following, submitted as 1 PDF document to the department's Workspace folder, by 29 July 2020 at 4:00 pm:

  • CV of the nominee, including publications (maximum three pages)
  • Statement from the nominee (maximum one page)
  • Proposal from the nominee (maximum two pages)

Details on the documents noted above are outlined in the 'Application Procedures' section of this webpage.

Please save the file name as Schmidt_PROGRAM_LastName_FirstName.pdf (e.g. a nomination file for student Jane Smith from MATH would be called Schmidt_MATH_Smith_Jane.pdf).

Adjudication Procedures

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will convene a committee to review the nominations submitted by departments and will nominate up to nine students to the international competition.

The Schmidt Science Fellows program expcts to announce the global results in May 2021.

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.

For further information about the UBC nomination process, please contact Natalie Thorson.