Schmidt Futures announced a new $148M global initiative, the Eric and Wendy Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellowship, a program of Schmidt Futures, to accelerate the next scientific revolution by applying AI to research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The Fellowship adds to Schmidt Futures’ efforts totaling $400M to support talent that is developing and using AI in innovative ways to make the world better.
New methods in advanced computing and AI are increasingly contributing to revolutionary tools in scientific research and discovery. However, the current adoption of AI in scientific and engineering research is slow, unevenly distributed, and inconsistent. Increasing the shared knowledge and application of AI in STEM fields can shift the way that researchers consider questions and solve problems, improving analysis and increasing automation, thus broadening the scope and accelerating the speed of research. The Fellowship will seek to change how science is done by accelerating the incorporation of AI techniques into the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematical science, providing access to AI tools and training to the sharpest minds on the frontlines of scientific innovation.
The Eric and Wendy Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellowship, a program of Schmidt Futures, will initially support approximately 160 postdoctoral fellows across nine universities around the world each year, to learn and apply AI methods to their research. The Fellowship will then expand to more countries and continents. Each university site will select a new cohort, comprised of up to 20 Fellows, annually for up to six years. Universities joining the program will provide advanced AI training, funded research support, and professional development opportunities– both to shape research in their own departments and to help build a global network of AI-trained scientists.
Expanding the Schmidt Futures portfolio of AI programs like AI2050, AI Accelerator, and more, this Fellowship will broaden the range of human capabilities by supporting new approaches to scientific discovery and innovation through the rapid combination of AI methods towards STEM research. The Fellowship aims to create breakthroughs across a range of scientific fields – from creating new drugs to fight disease, to detecting some of the faintest objects in the solar system, to helping produce and store energy more efficiently.
“Scientific innovation today is too often defined by new use cases for existing technologies or refining previous advancements, rather than the creation of entirely new fields of discovery,” said Eric Schmidt, co-founder of Schmidt Futures. “This is why we need to accelerate the next global scientific revolution – by supporting broad and deep incorporation of AI techniques into scientific and engineering research.”
The Eric and Wendy Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellowship aligns with the mission of Schmidt Futures. A philanthropic initiative of Eric and Wendy Schmidt, Schmidt Futures bets early on exceptional people making the world better through building a network of the sharpest minds on Earth — helping them to solve hard problems in science and society by connecting them across fields, bringing multiple types of capital to bear, and applying modern tools and technology thoughtfully.
“AI is already revolutionary—but it is not yet as accessible, equitable or interdisciplinary as it needs to be,” said Wendy Schmidt, co-founder of Schmidt Futures and president of The Schmidt Family Foundation. “By supporting postdoctoral candidates around the world in fields beyond computer science, we hope to create a community that can develop and improve this technology and find novel ways to apply it in solving some of the world’s most pressing problems.”
In its inaugural year, the program is supporting universities across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Singapore, with plans to expand to additional countries in the future. The first cohort of universities include:
The University of Toronto, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, National University of Singapore, University of Oxford, Imperial College London , Cornell University , University of California San Diego , University of Chicago and the University of Michigan.
“The Eric and Wendy Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellowship, a program of Schmidt Futures, will create an immediate acceleration of AI applications across several disciplines,” said Stuart Feldman, Chief Scientist of Schmidt Futures. “The Fellowship will provide these postdoctoral fellows with the advanced tools to increase the scope and speed of their research while discovering new and innovative use cases for AI within their field and create an ecosystem of scientific networks that will support them and their work.”
Schmidt Futures bets early on exceptional people making the world better. Founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative that brings talented people together in networks to prove out their ideas and solve hard problems in science and society.
Lifestyles Magazine/Meaningful Influence reported earlier a $100 million gift by Canada-based international philanthropists Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman to establish an Ai research center at the University of Toronto.