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Eric and Wendy Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellowship

Posted by on Thursday, December 8, 2022 in Announcements .

The Eric and Wendy Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellowship, a program of Schmidt Futures at UC San Diego led by Faculty Director Tara Javidi and Education Associate Director Ilkay Altıntaş, leverages UC San Diego’s place at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence research to train the next generation of scientific leaders pioneering the use of AI in STEM. Established with the generous support of Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative of Eric and Wendy Schmidt, this prestigious program annually supports 10-20 Postdoctoral Fellows with a two-year fellowship to apply AI techniques to research in the engineering, mathematical, and natural sciences. The program provides a unique, cross-campus ecosystem of training and scientific discovery consisting of three interconnected core components:

  1. Community formation of a diverse cohort of researchers and scholars from across the STEM areas of excellence with interest in the use of AI methods;
  2. Training modules in the form of courses, seminars, and panels pulling from established pedagogical areas of excellence designed to provide postdoctoral fellows with core AI technical competencies; and
  3. Co-mentoring to bridge the gap between STEM and AI, including at least one STEM faculty as the primary mentor and nominator, and a second AI/method faculty in the role of co-mentor.

Schmidt AI in Science Postdocs also receive comprehensive foundational training in scientific leadership, research ethics, professional development, and other critical skills to complement the Program’s AI curriculum. In addition, they are encouraged to engage with the DEI initiative or program of their choice at UC San Diego.

Current postdoctoral scholars and PhD candidates who will receive their doctorate before September 1, 2023 and who are in the fields of engineering, mathematical, and natural sciences are invited to apply for the 2023 cohort of Schmidt AI in Science Postdocs. Applications must be submitted via the Schmidt AI in Science Postdocs Program Application Form by Thursday, December 15, 2022 to be considered for the 2023 cohort. If selected, Fellows must have completed their PhD by September 1, 2023.

Before applying, applicants must obtain the sponsorship of a faculty member at UC San Diego who is willing to serve as their primary faculty mentor.

Complete applications should consist of the following documents:

  • Schmidt AI in Science Postdocs Program Application Form;
  • A research statement emphasizing the promise of the applicant’s research agenda and demonstrating a clear understanding of how to apply AI to improve their science;
  • A diversity statement to describe the applicant’s contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion through their academic career;
  • A letter of nomination from the applicant’s primary (STEM) faculty mentor at UC San Diego. The letter from the proposed primary (STEM) mentor should address: a) the applicant’s proposed research and how training in AI methods and approaches through the Schmidt AI in Science Postdocs Program will enhance their science, b) the extent to which the applicant will participate in departmental and campus academic activity (e.g., seminar programs), c) the extent of applicant’s anticipated participation at national/international research meetings, and d) the proposed STEM mentor’s involvement in mentoring for other programs designed to increase access and opportunity in higher education;
  • Two additional letters of recommendation. These letters should address: a) The novelty, quality and promise of the applicant’s work; b) the potential for the nominee to leverage the training they would receive as a Fellow to pioneer and accelerate the adoption of innovative applications of AI in their field; and c) if the applicant’s Ph.D. is in progress, rate the likelihood of its completion by September 30, 2023.

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