How to apply

In the second round, funding is available to support up to 15 one-year fellowships starting from April 2024, with the potential to extend for a second year

Eligibility

You will need to meet the following criteria:  

  • Have completed (or be due to have completed by the date of appointment) a DPhil/PhD in an area of mathematical, physical or (non-medical) life sciences.  
  • Have a promising research idea and enough general understanding of AI ideas and techniques to understand how these could lead to major improvements and expansions of your research, as well as potential ethical implications.  Fellows will be supported to develop their knowledge of AI during the fellowship.  
  • Have the support of an Oxford faculty member of an eligible Oxford department willing to host you in their lab for the duration of fellowship.    
  • Ideally, you will also have identified an AI/ML academic mentor who will be a faculty member in an eligible Oxford Department with appropriate research expertise in the application of AI/ML techniques in your area of STEM research. The Programme offers training and additional support sessions, so there isn't a big burden on the AI/ML mentor. It is preferable to have an AI/ML mentor external to your research group, and the mentor can be external to Oxford if a case can be made for this.
  • Have the creativity and initiative to develop innovative ideas and provide the intellectual energy and independent thinking necessary to deliver the research and adapt existing and develop new AI/ML techniques and methodologies to support research.  
Start date

It is our intention that the Postdoctoral Research Fellowships will start from 21st April 2024 – 31st May 2024, and though there is some flexibility with the start date, we expect fellows to be in Oxford and to engage with the training programme from May 2024.  

Eligible costs
  • Salary of the Fellow
  • Consumables and small items of equipment (less than £10k)  
  • Computing equipment (including up to £2k for a laptop)  
  • Travel  
  • Training (in addition to the specialised training in AI included in the fellowship)  

The fellowship pays 100% direct costs plus 10% overhead to the host department. 

Please note, if you are planning to apply for a salary regrade, please include this in the salary request.

What to include in your application

As part of the application, you will need to upload the following materials, combined as a single PDF:  

  • Research proposal setting out the research project you wish to pursue, including how your existing or proposed ideas and techniques might find application within one or more areas of the mathematical, physical or life sciences, and why this use of AI/ML will result in novel insights and impact.  The proposal should also include a statement explaining why your existing research and future career plan makes you a good fit for the Schmidt programme (2,000 words, included on the form).  
  • Training plan providing an overview of any AI-related skills you will need to acquire or further develop in order for you to succeed in your planned research. A deep expertise of AI techniques is not required; however, you will need a basic understanding. A tailored AI and software development training programme will be developed to support you, and is a key element of the scheme (400 words, included on the form)  
  • Letter of support from an Oxford faculty member based in an MPLS department, detailing the importance of the research and including confirmation from the Department that they are willing to host you if successful;
  • A (brief) statement of support from the AI/ML mentor. Please note that the role of the AI/ML mentor is as a guide/ collaborator.
  • CV including your academic publications (which will be assessed in line with the DORA agreement, to which the University is a signatory), (max. 3 pages in total, Arial 11pt font, 2cm margins). 
Assessment criteria

The review panel will use the following criteria in their assessment of applications:

  • Fit to call: the primary criterion will be that the underpinning applied science is internationally leading, with the application of AI/ML techniques appropriate and likely to lead to a step-change in the application domain  
  • Appropriate level of understanding of how AI techniques might be applied in order to progress the research area  
  • Clear demonstration of how the training component of the scheme will benefit the applicant, their research, and their career  
  • Quality of the applicant: strong track record appropriate to the career stage of the applicant  
Departmental procedures

Biology

Biology will be running an internal sift with an internal deadline of 8th September 2023; please could enquiries be sent to: fellows@biology.ox.ac.uk 

Chemistry

Chemistry will be running an internal sift with an internal deadline of 12th September 2023; please could enquiries be sent to: katie.winter@chem.ox.ac.uk 

Computer Science

Computer Science is not anticipating conducting an internal sift, but this may change depending on demand. Potential applicants are requested to send an email to researchsupport@cs.ox.ac.uk by noon Friday, 15 September with a summary of their project. Applicants must also enclose an email from their prospective mentor indicating their support for the application.  

Earth Sciences

Earth Sciences is not anticipating undertaking an internal sift, unless there is a high level of interest in the opportunity. An expression of interest deadline of 15th September 2023 will be used. Please could potential applicants email gavin.bird@earth.ox.ac.uk with details of their project title and prospective mentors by that date.

Engineering

Engineering Science will be running an internal departmental competition first, to select those who will be invited to apply on IRAMS. Please email research@eng.ox.ac.uk as soon as possible and by 12th September 2023 at the latest to notify us of your intention to apply and so we can explain the departmental competition process to you, including what documents you will need to submit. The deadline to apply to the internal departmental competition is 26th September 2023. 

Physics

Physics will be running an internal sift with an internal deadline of 4th September 2023; please visit the Physics Schmidt AI in Science Fellowships webpage for more information, and please could enquiries be sent to fellowships@physics.ox.ac.uk 

Statistics

Statistics is not anticipating conducting an internal sift, but this may change depending on demand. Please could potential applicants email grants@stats.ox.ac.uk with details of their project title and prospective mentors by 11th September 2023.

 

How to submit an application

Please ensure you consult with the departmental Research Facilitators before starting your application on IRAMS. Please note that some departments may have set an earlier internal deadline, so please check with your local research support team and prepare your application well in advance of the date advertised above.  Applications must be reviewed online by departmental approvers and, where approved, submitted for review before the deadline.  Further information on departmental procedures is included in the tab above.

Applications are made through the University’s Internal Research Award Management System: https://irams.ox.ac.uk/.  Once you are logged in, please choose the correct scheme from the list to start your application. If required, IRAMS guidance in the form of quick reference guide (QRG) documents for applicants, departmental approvers and administrators can be found on Research Support pages.

For applicants external to the University of Oxford, the individual department’s research support team will assist with uploading your application to IRAMS. The information you will need to complete is in the application form linked on this page.

Applications open on 1st September 2023.    

All applications must be received by 12:00 noon on 31st October 2023. 

Your application will be reviewed by a multidisciplinary panel of academic researchers, and decisions will be based solely on how you demonstrate that you meet the selection criteria stated above.  Short listed candidates will be interviewed as part of this process.

 

The interviews will be held on 4th and 7th December.  Please note that the panel decisions are final.

Further information

Further information on the fellowship application process is available from the Programme Manager Tanya Gujral  tanya.gujral@dtc.ox.ac.uk  

To discuss research programmes, please contact the relevant academic or research group in one of the MPLS departments.  

Equality and diversity

The panel wishes to recruit a diverse cohort of fellows with a wide range of backgrounds, and the division is committed to supporting an inclusive and supportive culture. You can view University policies, including those on equality, diversity, and inclusion and similar policies from Reuben College.  

The University of Oxford is committed to fostering an inclusive research culture which promotes equality, values diversity and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and students are respected.