Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and wife Wendy Schmidt, the president of The Schmidt Family Foundation, have donated $5 million to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
The funding for the Schmidt Fellows program will support four Institute for Advanced Study members in the schools of natural sciences and mathematics, and support campus programs and promotion, school officials said.
Eric Schmidt serves on the board of trustees for the Institute. The $5 million gift is part of the Campaign for the Institute, which ends on June 30 and helps complete the $100 million campaign challenge established by the Simons Foundation and the Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences.
The goal of the Schmidt donation is to support the world’s top early-stage talent in mathematics and the natural sciences with the time, space and conducive environment to push the boundaries of human understanding.
Visiting scholars and post-doctoral fellows at the Institute, known as members, are at the heart of the Institute’s mission to encourage and support curiosity-driven research in the sciences and humanities. They are selected from the world’s leading universities and research institutions and spend time at the Institute addressing some of the most intriguing questions across the sciences and humanities, unencumbered by teaching and administrative obligations.
The gift to the Institute will also be designated for the purpose of promoting the Institute and its work through campus programs designed to draw key audiences, including academics, philanthropists, thought leaders and media outlets.
“Not only does the Institute bring together academics of the highest level, but it is a symbol for the importance of academic freedom and basic research,” said Robbert Dijkgraaf, director of the Institute. “This generous gift from Eric and Wendy allows us the freedom and independence to draw exciting young talent and cultivate programs on campus for existing and new audiences.”