Eric and Wendy Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellows, a program of Schmidt Futures (Research Fellow)

Job summary

Applications are invited for prestigious Eric and Wendy Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellowships, a program of Schmidt Futures, commencing from September 2023. There are up to 20 positions available, for a duration of 1 or 2 years (Research Fellow positions require several years of experience post-PhD and experience with supervision/ in industry) Fellows will join the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Network of researchers. The fellows will join a...

Job listing information

  • Reference ENG02344
  • Date posted 27 October 2022
  • Closing date 8 December 2022

Job description

Job summary

Applications are invited for prestigious Eric and Wendy Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellowships, a program of Schmidt Futures, commencing from September 2023.

There are up to 20 positions available, for a duration of 1 or 2 years (Research Fellow positions require several years of experience post-PhD and experience with supervision/ in industry)

Fellows will join the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Network of researchers. The fellows will join a unique collocated cohort of top scholars with tailored training and one-on-one career development. The fellowships are flexible and independent, allowing recipients to freely explore while drawing on expert faculty mentors of their choice. These fellowships have the aim of identifying excellent researchers and accelerating them in using AI to advance and disrupt Science or Engineering.

Here ‘AI’ is interpreted very broadly, e.g.: topics in Bayesian Inference and Robotics; ‘Science’ covers any typical topic in Natural Science and Engineering (Epidemiology, Biology and basic science in biomedicine are included but very clinical medical themes are not covered, including conventional medical imaging). Examples include Bayesian optimization for molecular or materials design; machine learning for single cell data; physics-based ML for turbine design and astrostatistics. These posts are not suitable for generic AI research with general application: candidates must be aiming to substantially advance a particular area of Science. Applicants could view themselves as AI researchers tackling particular pieces of Science or Science researchers using AI to transform their area. Applicants working in AI-based industry, with a desire to return to academic research, are encouraged to apply. The fellows will be collocated within Imperial’s dynamic new AI campus, I-X, and alongside other AI researchers including across Imperial’s faculties and departments.

Duties and responsibilities

The Eric and Wendy Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellows will produce independent and original research, using AI to advance Science, within their host department and I-X, submit publications to refereed journals, and help with teaching and administration. The post holders will be expected to undertake a self-directed program of research and scholarship, play a role in the national and international research community and, without obligation, but in accord with their career development goals, be engaged with teaching students

Further information about I-X can be found at:

There are a number of positions available for a duration of up to 2 years.

Fellowships are also available for researchers that are earlier in their careers as well as up to 10 1-year fellowships with start in early 2023, a Teaching Fellow, Postdoc and Fellows Centre Advisor and Centre Manager post: links to other opportunities can be found here If candidates want to be considered at the Research Associate level then they need to send in an additional application for that role (the documents submitted can be repeated).

Research Fellows will be expected to have several years of experience post-PhD (in research or AI-based industry) and be able to supervise members of research teams.

Essential requirements

  • PhD (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline.

  • The potential for leadership qualities in the subject, as illustrated, for example, through showing initiative on research projects and an ability to supervise members of research teams.

  • An outstanding research record commensurate with their level of experience as demonstrated, for example, through an outstanding thesis, publications, conference presentations, code etc.

  • The ability to contribute significantly to the research environment of both I-X and Imperial College as demonstrated, for example, through a proven track record of successful research interaction.               

Further information

In addition to completing the online application, candidates should upload following documents:

  • A full CV including publications.

An additional single file with:

  • Publication Elaboration: a 1 page, or less, note outlining the contribution of up to three papers by the applicant. This should be suitable for a general/lay reader.
  • Research Proposal Lay Summary: a 1 page or less, summary of the proposed research suitable for a general/lay audience. Particular attention will be paid to this summary. It should answer the question of why/how this application of AI will be transformative for the target area of science. The proposal should start by mentioning, the applicant’s proposed department and at least one mentor who could support the application – one mentor should be within the fellow’s proposed department but others could be outside. Mentors must be contacted in advance of the application. It is not essential that the mentor be a very close fit to the proposed research, entirely independent research efforts are welcomed, but a collaborative mentorship is likely to make the science more credible. The majority of the fellowships will be of 2 year duration but some will be 1 year. Please indicate whether you would consider a 1 year appointment.
  • Research Proposal: a 3 pages or less proposal that explains why and how the proposed research could be transformative for a particular area of science. It can be structured around background, a small number of hypotheses/aims, and work packages. It can be assumed that the reader will first read the Lay Summary and so content need not be repeated.
  • Training Plan: a ½ page or less plan, identifying any particular skills that need to be acquired for the proposed research to succeed. Training is a key part of the proposed fellowship, whether helping an AI expert master a scientific topic or a scientific topic expert advance their AI skills. Deep expertise in AI (or the particular Science area) is not a pre-requisite: the minimum level of AI/Science experience is that needed to credibly articulate a plan for how AI will advance Science.
  • Kindness Statement: a ¼ page or less outline of your view on the need for kindness among scientists. The fellows will join a cohort of fellows in AI for Science with opportunities for outreach and LMIC engagement.

Please note that applications that focus on AI alone, or focus on AI with broad application to numerous example areas, will not be considered: a focus on advancing new science  in a particular area is essential. The use of AI must serve a catalytic role: applications which use AI in a manner judged routine across the specific field (e.g. this would apply to some parts of bioinformatics) maybe be at a disadvantage. With exceptions like AI for Mathematical Proofs, publications/ outputs in mainstream venues read by a broad range of scientists/ engineers, will typically be expected Schmidt Futures seeks to enable national and international mobility: candidates from outside Imperial are particularly encouraged to apply. Candidates that are already in Imperial are asked to supply several sentences in their proposal outlining how remaining in Imperial is the best route for their personal growth. Applicants seeking a principle mentor in mathematics (and so host department of mathematics) should apply to the Chapman-Schmidt AI in Science Fellowships – these and other posts can be found here:

Should you have any queries please contact Alex Gibbs, Imperial-X Operations Manager 


About Imperial College London

Imperial College London is the UK’s only university focussed entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business and we are consistently rated in the top 10 universities in the world.

You will find our main London campus in South Kensington, with our hospital campuses located nearby in West and North London. We also have Silwood Park in Berkshire and state-of-the-art facilities in development at our major new campus in White City.

We work in a multidisciplinary and diverse community for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle the big global challenges our complex world faces.

It’s our mission to achieve enduring excellence in all that we do for the benefit of society – and we are looking for the most talented people to help us get there.

Additional information

Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive, and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity and to eliminating discrimination. All employees are expected to follow the Imperial Values & Behaviours framework. Our values are: 

  • Respect              
  • Collaboration
  • Excellence          
  • Integrity
  • Innovation

In addition to the above, employees are required to observe and comply with all College policies and regulations.

We are committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment for all. We therefore encourage candidates to apply irrespective of age, disability, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, gender reassignment, sex, or sexual orientation. We are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Disability Confident Leader and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

For technical issues when applying online please email