Schmidt Science Fellows 2022
Schmidt Science Fellows 2022

Former Google CEO awards Oxford student in next generation of Schmidt Science Fellows

Hannah Rana is a former DPhil Engineering student at Magdalen College and has been selected for the fifth international cohort of Schmidt Science Fellows. The Fellowship will award Hannah up to $200,000 in stipend to pursue her research in the development of artificial retina, with the ultimate aim of restoring vision to the blind. The Schmidt Science Fellows is an initiative of Schmidt Futures, an organisation is founded by the former CEO and Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt and delivered in partnership with the Rhodes Trust. Hannah has also been listed in the Forbes '30 Under 30' in Europe. 

Hannah Rana was formerly a DPhil candidate and Amelia Earhart Fellow in cryogenics at the University's Department of Engineering Science. Hannah’s PhD research in astronautical engineering focused on developing cryocoolers for space science instrumentation and detectors for the next generation of space missions. As a Schmidt Science Fellow, Hannah will have the opportunity to employ her engineering skills to advance the development of artificial retina, with the ultimate aim of restoring vision to the blind.

As one of 29 Fellows from around the world, Hannah has been recognised as part of the Schmidt Science Fellows and will be  supported for one to two years, with up to $200,000 in stipend. Each fellow also receives individualised mentoring, and a series of professional development opportunities around the world, to help them pursue cutting-edge research at a disciplinary pivot to their PhD, and maximise their potential as future scientific leaders. The Fellows are all exceptional early-career scientists from around the world, comprising 113 active and alumni Fellows representing 30 nationalities of origin.

Hannah was nominated by the University for the Schmidt Science Fellowship and invited to apply, before being selected as a finalist to progress to a competitive selection interview, involving senior figures from business, academia and wider society.

She says of the award, “I was honoured to be Oxford’s nominated candidate and I’m delighted and humbled to have now been selected for the Fellowship. I’m very excited for the opportunity to pivot outside of my immediate field and translate knowledge and skills to working on technological advancements for restoring vision to the blind. This cause is close to my heart and I feel deeply grateful for the opportunity to contribute to tackling this vital problem. I’m also looking forward to connecting with the network of bright minds from around the world who will all be engaging in interdisciplinary science through this Fellowship.”

The Schmidt Science Fellowships are delivered in partnership with the Rhodes Trust tp support interdisciplinary science with the potential to accelerate discoveries that tackle major challenges facing humanity and have a positive impact on the world. 

Eric Schmidt, co-founder of Schmidt Futures and former CEO and Chairman of Google, said: “Our latest group of Schmidt Science Fellows embodies our vision for this Program at its inception five years ago. We find the most talented next-generation leaders from around the world and back these impressive young adults with the resources and networks they need to realize their full potential while addressing some of the big scientific questions facing the world."

"Congratulations to the 2022 Schmidt Science Fellows, I am excited to see where your science takes you and what you will achieve.”

Hannah rana

Read more about Hannah on the Department of Engineering Science website and the Schmidt Science Fellows