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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Am I eligible if I hold dual citizenship, one of which is a developed country? 

No. You are not eligible to apply if you hold citizenship in a developed country.

Note: If you have been awarded a Faculty for the Future grant and after the award you obtain citizenship of a developed country, the grant will be discontinued as of the date of such additional citizenship.

Am I eligible to apply if I am preparing for a Master's degree? 

No. Only students who have applied to, have been admitted to or are currently enrolled in a university abroad to pursue a PhD or a post-doctoral course can apply for a Faculty for the Future grant.

Am I eligible to apply if I have already started my PhD or post-doc? 

Yes, you can apply even if you have already commenced your PhD or post-doc research.

Am I eligible to apply if I am already living in a developed country?

If you are a citizen from a developing or emerging country but reside in a developed country for the purpose of pursuing your studies, you are eligible to apply.

Am I eligible to apply if I study in my home country?

The Faculty for the Future program aims to provide the opportunity to scientific women from developing and emerging countries to pursue a PhD or a post-doc in the best universities abroad. However, in some cases “sandwich programs” are accepted where students spend only a part of the grant year in a university abroad. In these cases, however, it is important to note that the final PhD degree must be awarded by the foreign host university.

Why is my country not on the list when the IMF (or other sources) lists it as a developing country?

The Faculty for the Future program focuses on developing and emerging economies. The determination or classification of a country as advanced, developing or emerging is a complex process, requiring the analysis of numerous, often-changing, criteria. Faculty for the Future derives its eligible country list from a number of objective sources, including criteria seeking to identify developmental opportunities relating to science, gender and education. Among the most significant sources relied upon by the Schlumberger Foundation is the multi-variable United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) including the Gender Development and Gender Empowerment Indexes, as well as indicators of adult educational levels. The list is reviewed every year and levels of development fluctuate, so a country may be on the list this year and not on it the next, or vice versa.

Am I eligible to apply if I plan to pursue my PhD or post-doc in a university of another developing or emerging country?

The Faculty for the Future program aims to give the opportunity to scientific women from developing and emerging countries to pursue a PhD or a post-doc in the best universities abroad. If you've been accepted in a university of excellence you are eligible to apply, even if the university is not in a developed country. However, the host university or research institute that you choose for your studies must not be in your home country (unless it is a sandwich program and in this case the final degree must be issued by the foreign host university).

Is there an accredited list of host universities?

No. However, you are encouraged to apply to the best universities abroad in your discipline. The host university that you have applied to or are currently enrolled in or have been admitted to will be taken into account in the decision process.

Which disciplines are eligible?

Eligible applicants are preparing for PhD or post-doctoral study in STEM and related fields or cross disciplinary studies involving the major STEM fields. Awards in biological sciences are limited. 

When should I apply for a Faculty for the Future grant?

I plan to apply for a PhD or post-doc in 2018, should I apply for the Faculty for the Future grant in September 2017 or in September 2018? You are eligible to apply in September 2017. For example, if you apply to a host university during 2017 and receive a grant (results announced about end March 2018) it is valid until spring 2019 by which time you must have begun your studies in the host university of your choice. Each year, the application session for a grant opens in mid-September and applications can be submitted up until approximately mid-November.

Is it mandatory to pursue an academic career?

The Schlumberger Foundation does not require any document certifying that you will have a faculty position when you return to your home country upon completion of your studies. However, during the selection process (for both new and renewals), the reviewing committee closely examines evidence of the commitment to return home and the level of relationship with home country university[ies],  research or other institutions in the relevant discipline. The quality of this evidence, and in the case of renewals in later years of the program of study, the actual effort, as evidenced by applicants’ initiative to find research, faculty or other positions, or to engage in various collaborative or significant outreach projects with home country institutions, has a significant impact on the likelihood of receiving and renewing an award.

Is it mandatory to return to home country?

The Schlumberger Foundation does not require any document certifying that you will have a faculty position when you return to your home country upon completion of your studies. However, during the selection process (for both new and renewals), the reviewing committee closely examines evidence of the commitment to return home and the level of interaction and collaboration engaged with the home country university[ies]. The quality of this evidence, and in the case of renewals in later years of the program of study, the actual effort, as evidenced by applicants’ initiative to find research, faculty or other positions, or to engage in various collaborative or significant outreach projects with home country institutions, has a significant impact on the likelihood of winning and renewing an award.
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Can the grant be renewed and for how many years?

Grants are awarded on a one-year basis, and may be renewed through to completion of PhD or post-doc study subject to performance, outreach and collaboration initiatives, and recommendations from supervisors (preferably host and home universities respectively). The decision to renew a grant is left to the sole discretion of the Schlumberger Foundation, based upon consideration of the goals of the Faculty for the Future program. The quality of the home re-integration plans and the follow-up to implement these plans as evidenced by job searches at home, joint collaboration, research or publications with institutions at home, or active PARTICIPATION in important discourse of relevance to the home country are important considerations when candidates approach completion stages of PhD course (years 3 and 4) or post-doc (year 2).

Is it necessary to provide the diploma and letter of admittance from my university in English? Is it necessary to make notarial attestations?

No, neither are mandatory.

Is there an age limit?

No. Women of any age are eligible to apply.

Will the grant support my family too?

Faculty for the Future grants are based on actual expenses to be incurred by the student only. This typically includes tuition and university fees, an estimation of accommodation costs and a living allowance (food, some allowance for books and supplies, medical/insurance coverage, child care, transport costs) in addition to a budget for travel to host country, visa and conference expenses. Grants can be up to USD 50,000 per year for PhD courses and a maximum of USD 40,000 for post-doc programs.

In addition, and at the discretion of the Schlumberger Foundation, an exceptional child care grant may be awarded (per eligible child) to a grantee when certain conditions are met. These conditions are provided in the financial section of the application form.  

After submission, can I still modify my application?

You may update your application form and save it as often as you need to before submitting it. However, once it has been submitted it can no longer be modified. When you have submitted your application, your references will receive a notification email requesting them to fill out a reference letter for you.

I've just submitted my application, what else am I expected to do? When will I be informed of the selection results?

The awards announcement is available on the application Website approximately by the end of March every year. Awarded applicants (new and renewal applicants) will then receive a personal e-mail. Unsuccessful applicants will receive a formal letter by the end of April.

How are the grantees selected?

The selection process includes five rounds:

  • First Round: Is based on compliance with eligibility criteria, including the consideration of the applicant’s country, discipline of study, educational plans, and overall quality of application. Non-compliant applications are eliminated;
  • Second Round: The first shortlist is reviewed based on scoring of the following criteria: academic performance; quality of host university as well as knowledge of (future) research department in host university and evidence of interaction with host university supervisor; quality of references; scientific interest of research proposal; commitment to teaching; relevance of research to home country; commitment to inspiring or mentorship to young women and others to pursue studies in the sciences; outreach to communities in any areas demonstrating leadership and an willingness to be a change agent;
  • Third Round: The second shortlist is reviewed by the Schlumberger Foundation’s scientific committee with a focus on quality of research proposal, scientific interest and relevance to home country;
  • Fourth Round: The final shortlisted candidates are interviewed by telephone by members of the Schlumberger Foundation Board of Directors;
  • Final Round: Selection of grant recipients by the Schlumberger Foundation Board of Directors.

The final selection of candidates for an award remains at all times at the discretion of the Schlumberger Foundation. The award process is competitive and as in any selection process, it is not possible to fund all the qualified applicants that are interviewed.

Why is a candidate not selected?

The Schlumberger Foundation receives an abundance of applications from highly qualified candidates for a limited number of awards. No individual correspondence will be engaged to provide reasons for not receiving a grant. In addition to tough competition, applications are typically unsuccessful due to the following reasons:

  • Poor overall quality of the application (especially the personal essay and the research and teaching essay);
  • Failure to meet eligibility criteria;
  • Level of qualification (the Schlumberger Foundation only funds PhD and post-doctorate research programs);
  • Average academic performance;
  • Lack of evidence of commitment to home country return and/or to teaching/research or role modeling/mentorship /outreach activities;
  • Lack of outreach activities.

The Faculty for the Future program seeks to have an impact on gender balance in science disciplines by reinforcing the presence and qualifications of female university teachers in developing and emerging economies. The Schlumberger Foundation firmly believes that better gender balance at the faculty level will encourage more women to study the sciences and engineering disciplines.

If you are well prepared to meet the core criteria and decide to embark on a doctoral program next year, you are most welcome to apply on-line next fall.

May I change my research project or host university if I receive an award?

Applicants may not change their research project or choice of host university once they have submitted their application. If you are selected for an award, it is on the basis of your application form and you may not subsequently modify your research project and/or host university without the prior approval of the Schlumberger Foundation. You are, therefore, advised to carefully select your choice of host university and your research project at the time of applying as there is no guarantee that subsequent changes will be accepted.

Can my spouse and family come with me if I get an award? What about visas?

Your spouse and children may, of course, accompany you to your host country. However, the Schlumberger Foundation does not handle, or assume responsibility for the visa process.