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About Faculty for the Future program

Faculty for the Future

Building a community of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)

The Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future program supports outstanding women from developing countries in their pursuit of advanced graduate studies in STEM at leading universities worldwide.

The program also has an extended mission to encourage community building through in-person forums, with the objective to create an international community of women leaders who will support scientific development and act as change agents in their home countries.

Next Call for applications

Applications for Faculty for the Future Fellowships for the 2016–2017 academic will be accepted online as of September 2015. Note: the applications Website is currently closed until September 2015.

Fellowships are awarded to women from developing and emerging economies to pursue PhDs or post-doctorate degrees at top universities abroad. Applicants are chosen via a rigorous selection process based on academic performance, outstanding references, research relevance, and commitment to teaching as well as the ability to be a change agent and inspire other young women into STEM pursuits.

The United Nations notes that women pursuing tertiary education are significantly underrepresented in the fields of science and engineering. A key objective of the Faculty for the Future program is that Fellows return to their home countries to continue their research and teaching, in turn becoming advocates for public policy in their scientific domain of expertise and laying the groundwork for change in regard to women in STEM in their home region.

Eligibility criteria and application process instructions for the 2015–2016 academic year can be found on the Faculty for the Future application's website.

Community building

The Schlumberger Foundation's 12th Faculty for the Future Forum, which took place November 3-5 in Cambridge, MA, USA, brought together more than 60 women scientists from across the globe.

 The ultimate goal of the Faculty for the Future program is to create a community of women leaders in STEM, who will support the socio-economic development of their developing home countries. The annual forum offers a unique environment that encourages an open dialogue about the challenges and opportunities that face women in STEM.

Past forums have been held in the United Kingdom (London and Cambridge), France (Paris and Clamart), the United States (New York, Cambridge and Houston) and the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi). This year’s event addressed the question, “Can STEM education be instrumental in achieving the Millennium Development Goals?”

In attendance were 60 women scientists, representing 31 developing countries, that are currently studying at one of 40 prestigious North American universities. During the event the women shared their research and life experiences as women in STEM. Throughout the three-day session, the Faculty for the Future Fellows had the opportunity to collaborate, to share their research and learn from each other, and to network with prominent scientists and other accomplished invited speakers who might act as career mentors.

The agenda covered topics such as:
■ What could still be keeping women out of the STEM fields?

■ Women in STEM begins with girls in STEM: what are the ways to support the new generation?

■ Can STEM help to cure the major ailments of the modern world?

■ And more, as seen on the full agenda.

Faculty for the Future Fellow Unaiza Ahsan, who is from Pakistan and is working toward a PhD in Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology, was inspired by the event. “The organizers made sure to select speakers who could serve as great role models and who shared inspirational personal stories. I started believing in myself more and got motivated for my research. I hope we inspire more women to join the sciences and cultivate their talents in this growing community,” Ahsan said.

Through learning sessions, panel discussions and breakout meetings, participants heard from leaders in the field.

In addition, a number of Schlumberger and Schlumberger Foundation leaders spoke at the Forum, including Schlumberger Foundation President Sola Oyinlola. In his keynote speech, he urged the women to make STEM relevant in their societies by using their diverse skills to help solve the problems of the communities wherever they lived, stressing that STEM applications are everywhere around them.

The Faculty for the Future is building an international community of women leaders in science, who are prepared to make an impact in their home countries.

Faculty for the Future Fellow Eloise Marais, who is from South Africa and is doing postdoctoral research in Atmospheric Chemistry at Harvard University, was buoyed by the Forum, saying, “The accomplished fellow female scientists I met is a reminder of the tremendous talent in emerging countries and that more needs to be done by developing country governments and private companies to tap into this underutilized resource.”

Download the Full Program Booklet


About Faculty for the Future

Since its launch in 2004, 405 women from 68 emerging countries have received Faculty for the Future fellowships to pursue advanced graduate studies at top universities abroad.

The program’s long-term goal is to generate conditions that result in more women pursuing academic careers in STEM disciplines. Grant recipients are expected to return to their home countries to continue their academic careers and inspire other young women to choose careers in STEM.

About the Schlumberger Foundation

The Schlumberger Foundation is a nonprofit entity that supports STEM education. Recognizing the link between science, technology, and socioeconomic development, as well as the key role of education in realizing individual potential, the Schlumberger Foundation flagship program is Faculty for the Future.

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