Schmidt Science Fellows


The Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs Division will again be accepting nominations for the Schmidt Science Fellows program. Nominations are due by April 29th, 2024. UC San Diego will nominate up to 7 applicants to represent the university.  The Schmidt Science Fellows program aims to develop the next generation of science leaders to transcend disciplines, advance discovery, and solve the world’s most pressing problems. Schmidt Science Fellows are expected to be future leaders and should demonstrate a keen interest in harnessing interdisciplinarity and interaction with wider society to accelerate discovery to achieve global impact. Fellows will be supported by the program to undertake a full-time, postdoctoral study for at least one year in a world-leading laboratory in a field different from their existing area of expertise.

The Schmidt Science Fellows Program will hold informational webinars about the program for interested candidates; dates/times and registration details in addition to general information about the Schmidt Science Fellows Program can be found on their website:

Award Details

  • Fellows receive a stipend of $110,000 per year for up to two years of postdoctoral study in a different area from their PhD, at any approved location worldwide.
  • Personalized mentoring to help fellows develop as scientific and societal thought leaders.
  • A bespoke professional development curriculum delivered across three week-long residential convenings as well as virtual offerings through the organization's Science Leadership Program.


  • Have conducted their PhD in the natural sciences (Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Sciences), Engineering, Mathematics, or Computing – and all sub-disciplines therein.
  • Candidates must have a keen interest in undertaking an interdisciplinary research pivot during a postdoctoral placement.
  • Have completed, or expect to complete, all of the requirements for the conferral of their PhD in one of these fields between 15 May 2024 and 30 June 2025.

  • Be available for the entire period of the 2025 program, from April 2025 to July 2026 including onboarding activities and in-person convenings.
  • More about eligibility:

Evaluation Criteria


  • Extraordinary achievement – Clear record of academic achievement of the highest quality in the sciences and 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 12-24 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 – Demonstrated history of effective collaboration with diverse team members.


  • Global ambitions 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 – A genuine and demonstrable potential for science leadership; displaying perseverance, resilience, a moral compass, and a galvanizing force of personality.

To learn more about the kind of Fellows we are looking for, please visit our website. In particular, we recommend you view our Fellow profiles at and the feature video on ‘What Makes a Schmidt Science Fellow?’


There is no limit for nominees a department may put forward. Please include the following:

  • Letter of nomination from the PI, Chair, or program director, which addresses the criteria stated on the Schmidt Science fellows program announcement and website. 
  • Nominee statement of interest in the program, including a likely field of postdoctoral study. (2 page max)
  • CV of the nominee.

Upload nomination materials here:

This is the information that will be requested in the Google Form: UC San Diego: Schmidt Science Fellows Nomination Form.pdf

For additional information, please see visit the Schmidt Science Fellows’ website.

More information about the selection process and timeline:

If you have any questions please send an email to which will create a support ticket.


UCSD Nominations Due no later than April 29th, 2024. 

Selected Nominees

If your student is selected as an institutional nominee, they will receive a code from GEPA. They will be required to use their code to initiate their application and supply contact details and other preliminary information beginning May 9th, 2024 - May 30, 2024. Candidates will then have until July 10th, 2024 to complete their full application. An extensive timeline can be found here


Full Name DepartmentCohort 
Chenghai LiMechanical and Aerospace Engineering2025
Adam KlieBioinformatics and Systems Biology2025
Yuanhang ZhangPhysics2025
Anupam (Anand) OjhaChemistry and Biochemistry2025
Wanda HouPhysics2025
Angelica OrlovaChemistry and Biochemistry2025
Nesreen ElathramChemistry and Biochemistry2025

Alexander Chen


Yim Wonjun

Materials Science and Engineering2024

Erick Armingol Gonzalez

Bioinformatics and Systems Biology2024

Jacob Schimelman


Ghita Guessous


Hratch Baghdassarian


Wenhao Qi

Jacob SchimelmanNanoEngineering2023
Kira PodolskyBiomedical Sciences2023
Erik BergstromBioengineering2023
Nadia ArangBiomedical Sciences2023
William LeineweberBioengineering2023
Bethany DanskinNeurosciences2023
Daril BrownElectrical & Computer Engineering2023


Full Name DepartmentCohort 
Daril BrownElectrical & Computer Engineering2023
Kira PodolskyBiomedical Sciences2023
Fernando SotoNanoEngineering2020

Visit Schmidt Science Fellows Program Fellows Page to learn more about Schmidt science Fellows and their research. 

Read more about UC San Diego's 2020 recipient.