Reporting to the Chief Scientist, the Program Scientist will join the Scientific Knowledge team to develop new areas and approaches for investment and research support, manage existing programs, and assist with the review and diligence of research proposals. A successful Program Scientist will help manage a diverse portfolio that includes talent programs for post-docs, exceptional mid-career polymath researchers, and interdisciplinary fellows; discipline specific virtual institutes on topics ranging from astrophysics to earth systems modeling to artificial intelligence; development of data platforms and scientific software to improve the way scientific research is done; and exploring new avenues to support scientific research that furthers our understanding of the world.

The Scientific Knowledge team seeks to increase our understanding about the world by supporting new and innovative approaches and technologies, empowering the next generation of leaders, and creating a cross-disciplinary network of talented scientists. We believe that interdisciplinarity is crucial to unlocking the next generation of scientific breakthroughs. We believe that early, risk-tolerant focused investments can create leverage and scale that can have an outsized impact.

The Role Will Include

  • Identifying potential investment opportunities across the sciences
  • Fostering partnerships with universities, scientific research institutions, science collaboratives/funds, incubators, and other philanthropic organizations
  • Helping shape the broader Scientific Knowledge portfolio
  • Working closely with the VPs and other senior leaders responsible for delivery for all programs to ensure that our efforts meet or exceed their objectives


Key responsibilities

Science Research and Investments

  • Serve as an expert advisor on scientific topics for Schmidt Futures, including the intersection of science 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 Scientific Knowledge team
  • Conduct oversight and evaluation of investments or grants in the sciences
  • Work with other parts of Schmidt Futures while bringing a scientific approach to a variety of societal and organizational challenges

Partnership Development

  • Identify partner organizations — including universities, labs, other research facilities, and philanthropic and government 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, research universities, and other philanthropic organizations — and the Scientific Knowledge team 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

Portfolio Development and Organizational Leadership

  • In conjunction with the Scientific Knowledge team, 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
  • Provide support for existing science-focused programs by providing networking assistance, scientific expertise, and mentorship, as necessary, and by working closely and collaboratively with the teams responsible for delivery
  • Work with other members of the Schmidt Futures team to drive organizational priorities and role model our values


Knowledge, skills, and abilities

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 other science-focused institutions such as philanthropic organizations or academic research institutions;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop partnerships and to lead efforts end-to end
  • 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 continue to build on our reputation in this area



Applicants must:

  • Have a scientific doctorate from an accredited institution
  • Have at least 3 years of work experience in academia, business, medicine, government, philanthropy, or the military following their PhD
  • Have a demonstrated track record of scientific research including publications as well as applying for and obtaining scientific research grants
  • Have demonstrated ability to collaborate and a record of impact in high-intensity, team-based environments
  • Have the highest integrity and ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • 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


About Schmidt Futures

Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative, founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, that finds exceptional people and helps them do more for others together.  We knit talent into networks, bet on the most promising ideas through diverse forms of competition and support, and equip people to scale through partners and modern tools. To realize this vision, Schmidt Futures uses a broad set of tools — including gifts, grants, investments, and startup activity — for charitable, educational, and commercial efforts with a public purpose. Our initiative brings together the efforts of various charitable and non-charitable entities to improve our potential impact by making diverse types of capital available to the efforts we support.

Futures Action Network, LLC, which operates Schmidt Futures, is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer that proudly pursues and hires a diverse workforce. We do not make hiring or employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion or religious belief, ethnic or national origin, nationality, sex, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by applicable local, state, or federal laws or prohibited by Company policy. We strive for a healthy and safe workplace and strictly prohibit harassment of any kind.