Philanthropists Eric and Wendy Schmidt have announced the inaugural class of Schmidt Science Fellows, a postdoctoral fellowship program aimed at providing the next generation of leaders and innovators in science with the tools and opportunities needed to drive world-changing advances.
Launched last fall with an initial commitment of at least $25 million over three years, the fellowship is part of a larger ten-year, $100 million effort funded by the Schmidts to promote scientific leadership and interdisciplinary research. A partnership with the Rhodes Trust, which administers the Rhodes Scholarships, the program will provide fourteen fellows with a stipend of $100,000 in support of advanced-level research at a leading laboratory and in a scientific discipline different from their core area of study as a way to spur interdisciplinary thinking. Fellows also will be hosted at a participating university for five weeks of high-level courses and group programs focused on a range of scientific advances, conversations with some of the world's preeminent scientific and social leaders, and immersive leadership experiences.
The 2018 Schmidt Science Fellows are Karl Barber (Yale University), Fahim Farzadfard (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Wesley Fuhrman (Johns Hopkins University), Xiwen Gong (University of Toronto), Yogesh Goyal (Princeton University), Peyton Greenside (Stanford University), Abigail Groff (Harvard University), Hallie Holmes (University of Washington), Jina Ko (University of Pennsylvania), Frederick Richards (Cambridge University), Mattia Serra (ETH Zurich), Adi Steif (University of British Columbia), Ryan Truby (Harvard University), and Jielai Zhang (University of Toronto).
"Eric and I have long wanted to find a powerful way to enhance the development of some of our world's most promising scientists and technologists, to help them become our next generation of leaders," said Wendy Schmidt, president of the Schmidt Family Foundation and co-founder of the Schmidt Ocean Institute. "Following their fellowship year, this cohort will be equipped to drive new discoveries and to pioneer strategic approaches to the challenges we face for human and planetary health. We know they will move forward faster and in a more collaborative fashion than possible in previous generations. Congratulations to the first class of the Schmidt Science Fellows."