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Program Scientist

Schmidt Futures is looking for an accomplished scientist to define new areas and approaches for investment and research support, to assist with the review and diligence of research proposals, and to manage existing programs within the Scientific Knowledge portfolio.  This will include identifying potential investment opportunities across the sciences; fostering partnerships with universities, scientific research institutions, science collaboratives/funds, incubators, and other philanthropic organizations; and helping shape the broader Scientific Knowledge portfolio.  

Schmidt Futures is currently seeking candidates with expertise in the biosciences or in engineering, but will also consider other specialties.  


Key Responsibilities

Science Research and Investment

  • Serve as a domain expert for Schmidt Futures on all topics related to the sciences, including the intersection of sciences with modern computing technology
  • Identify grants or other investment opportunities for Schmidt Futures, drawing on an extensive network in scientific and academic circles
  • Review and vet research proposals for scientific promise and viability, in conjunction with the Chief Scientist
  • Conduct oversight and evaluation of investments or grants (or portions of grants) in the sciences
  • Serve as a liaison on science topics for other Schmidt Futures programs and projects, providing an internal expert view on relevant issues pertinent to other investment decisions of the organization.

Partnership Development

  • Identify partner organizations — including universities, labs, other research facilities, and philanthropic organizations — that could work in concert with Schmidt Futures on science efforts
  • Engage with leading institutions and individuals driving research and investment priorities in the sciences
  • Work in conjunction with existing Schmidt Futures partners — including the Rhodes Trust, relevant universities, and other philanthropic organizations — and the Chief Scientist to implement science priorities across the organization’s portfolio
  • Participate in relevant industry or academic conferences and events, representing Schmidt Futures’ presence on science issues.

Scientific Knowledge Portfolio

  • In conjunction with the Chief Scientist, shape the overall priorities in the Scientific Knowledge portfolio and set future directions for investment
  • Help to design Scientific Knowledge programs that draw upon one or more scientific disciplines
  • Serve as a general advisor on all scientific research areas that may be pertinent to the work of Schmidt Futures
  • Provide support for existing Scientific Knowledge programs, including the Schmidt Science Fellows, Israeli Postdocs program,  the AI-Accelerated Research program, and others, by providing networking assistance, scientific expertise, and mentorship, as necessary.


Some of the desired capabilities include:

  • Expert-level experience and credentials in at least one, and preferably multiple, fields of science
  • Ability to critically analyze and assess grant proposals and other investment opportunities
  • Experience working with and for philanthropic organizations that focus in part or in whole on scientific knowledge
  • Partnership development and execution experience
  • General scientific expertise that goes beyond areas of established credentials and degrees
  • Public profile and extensive network in the sciences that will allow Schmidt Futures to establish a reputation in this area


Applicants must:

  • Have a scientific doctorate from an accredited institution
  • Have 3-7 years of work experience in academia, business, medicine, government, philanthropy, or the military following their PhD
  • Have demonstrated teamwork ability and record of impact in high-intensity, team-based environments
  • Have the highest integrity and ability to maintain confidentiality at the highest levels.
  • Be based at the Schmidt Futures offices in New York and be able to travel within the U.S. and internationally on a regular basis as needed.
Ready to apply?