Leslie Schoop works at her computer

Quantum chemist Leslie Schoop wins 2020 Packard Fellowship

Oct. 15, 2020 11 a.m.

Leslie Schoop

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation announced today that quantum chemist Leslie Schoop is one of 20 researchers to receive a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, targeted to innovative, early-career scientists and engineers.

"Princeton is thrilled that the Foundation has honored Dr. Schoop with this extraordinary fellowship," said University President Christopher L. Eisgruber.

Schoop, an assistant professor of chemistry and a 2015 Ph.D. graduate of Princeton, works at the interface between chemistry and physics, using chemical principles to find and synthesize quantum materials with exotic physical properties. Her research has implications for nanotechnology and quantum computing. Quantum materials “can be hosts of completely new physics and can even help to increase our understanding of the universe,” she said.

“Now more than ever, we need science,” said Frances Arnold, a Class of 1979 alumna and the 2018 Nobel laureate in chemistry, who is chair of the Packard Fellowships Advisory Panel. “In a year when we are confronted by the devastating impacts of a global pandemic, racial injustice and climate change, these 20 scientists and engineers offer us a ray of hope for the future. Through their research, creativity and mentorship to their students and labs, these young leaders will help equip us all to better understand and address the problems we face.”

Each fellow will receive $875,000 over five years to pursue their research. The Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering are among the nation’s largest nongovernmental fellowships, designed to allow maximum flexibility in how the funding is used. Since 1988, this program has supported “blue-sky thinking” in physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, astronomy, computer science, earth science, ocean science and all branches of engineering, in the hopes that open-ended research over time will lead to discoveries that improve people’s lives. As a Packard fellow, Schoop will be invited to an annual conference to meet with other fellows as well as the advisory panel and members of their board of trustees. The next meeting is scheduled for September 2021, in Monterey, California.