Launched in 2017 with an initial commitment of $25 million over three years, the fellowship program is part of a ten-year, $100 million effort by Schmidt Futures to support the next generation of science leaders and interdisciplinary research. Hailing from fifteen different countries, the twenty postdoctoral fellows in the program's second cohort will be placed in a research environment that exposes them to new ideas and approaches. The fellows also will receive a $100,000 stipend and personalized mentoring and will attend four international science and innovation meetings, giving them ample opportunity to engage with new concepts and leaders from science, business, and the policy arena.
This year's fellows include Wiriya Thongsomboom (Stanford University), who will explore the potential of soil microbes for degrading plastics, optimizing plant productivity, and producing value-added chemicals from agricultural products or waste; Paul Ohno (Northwestern University), who will apply his work with lasers to assess the climate-relevant properties of atmospheric aerosol particles suspended in air; and Rebecca Sherbo (University of British Columbia), who seeks to explore ways of using microbes and renewable electricity to convert carbon dioxide into biofuel.
"We are tremendously excited to welcome this new class to the growing community of Schmidt Science Fellows," said Wendy Schmidt, co-founder of Schmidt Futures and president of the Schmidt Family Foundation. "They are truly exceptional in their insight, intellect, and eagerness to work across scientific disciplines and pursue discovery in unprecedented ways. We cannot wait to see what they will accomplish in the years to come."
For a complete list of Schmidt Science Fellows, see the Schmidt Futures website.