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07 June 2021

King's College London student named 2021 Schmidt Science Fellow

Host-Microbiome Interactions student Geraldine Jowett has been selected for the fourth Schmidt Science Fellows cohort of postdoctoral fellows.

Geraldine Jowett

King’s College London PhD student Geraldine Jowett is among the 28 recipients of the 2021 Schmidt Science Fellowship. This postdoctoral fellowship supports early-career scientists, bringing together the brightest minds who have completed a PhD in the natural sciences, mathematics, engineering, or computing, and places them in a postdoctoral Fellowship in a field different from their existing expertise. Joining students from prestigious universities around the world, such as Harvard, MIT and Oxford, the announcement on the fourth cohort of fellows came from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Ms Jowett is currently studying novel interactions between innate lymphoid cells and the intestinal epithelium in an in vitro hydrogel-organoid co-culture system, a collaborative project between Dr Joana F. Neves and Dr Eileen Gentleman at the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences at King’s College London.

I am so grateful for this opportunity to join the 2021 cohort of Schmidt Science Fellows, and am excited to delve into a new interdisciplinary field of research by their side. Together, we will be given an opportunity to develop crucial leadership and science communication skills, allowing us to tackle pressing research questions.

Geraldine Jowett

"This scheme encourages us to pursue ambitious projects which might very well fail, but that could have a positive global impact if they succeed. I owe so much both to Eric and Wendy Schmidt as well as the team running the Schmidt Science Fellowship programme, but also to the supportive research environment I have experienced here at King’s College London which made my application possible in the first place," said Geraldine Jowett.

Fellows are supported for at least one and up to two years with a US$100,000-per-year stipend to fund both training and research. During the course of the programme, they learn new research ideas and techniques, attend workshops and engage with leading thinkers in science, business, policy and society. They also receive tailored training in science communication, leadership and the facilitation of interdisciplinary research.

As a Schmidt Science Fellow, Jowett will study the gonocyte specification during development, learning how to use cutting-edge biophysics techniques to better understand how the gonadal niche contributes to sperm and egg development. After her Schmidt Science Fellowship, she will be joining Prof Azim Surani at the Gurdon Institute of Cambridge University to further pursue the mechanobiology of mammalian germ cell development as a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow.

The programme is supported by Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative co-founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, in partnership with Rhodes Trust. This year’s cohort was nominated by 19 institutions in eight countries and represents 13 nationalities. With the addition of the 2021 fellows, there have been a total of 84 Schmidt Science Fellows.



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