Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the future 2

The Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future program is one of the most prestigious scholarship programs for women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields from developing countries. This program aims to promote gender equality and increase representation of women among STEM faculty in universities.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about the Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future program including eligibility criteria, application process, benefits and tips for a successful application.

An Overview of the Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Program

The Faculty for the Future program was launched in 2004 by the Schlumberger Foundation – the philanthropic arm of the global technology company Schlumberger.

This program awards fellowships to women from developing countries to pursue PhD or Postdoctoral research in STEM fields at leading universities worldwide. The goal is to help these women become university faculty members in their home countries after completing their studies abroad.

Over the years, Faculty for the Future has awarded 613 fellowships to women from 101 developing countries. The program has an impressive track record with 90% of fellows returning to academic careers in their home countries after completing their PhDs.

The Schlumberger Foundation is committed to supporting gender equality in STEM research and academia through this flagship program. By building research expertise in women STEM leaders, Faculty for the Future aims to inspire future generations of young women to pursue STEM disciplines.

Faculty for the Future Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the future

The Faculty for the Future scholarships are highly competitive with only 35-40 fellowships awarded annually from over 1000 applications. Here are the key eligibility criteria for these prestigious scholarships:

  • Women from developing countries interested in pursuing PhD or Postdoctoral research abroad
  • Having an excellent academic record – minimum GPA equivalent of 3.5 out of 4.0
  • Completed (or be in final year of) Master’s degree in a STEM subject
  • Proficient in English with TOEFL score of 550 (paper based) or 79 (internet based)
  • Commitment to return to academics in home country after completing PhD abroad
  • Not older than 40 years of age at time of application

In addition to the above criteria, preference is given to women who are first generation PhD or come from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.

Faculty for the Future Scholarship Benefits

The Faculty for the Future fellowships are very comprehensive in the benefits offered to recipients:

  • Full financial support for 3-4 years of PhD studies including tuition fees, monthly stipend, health insurance, travel costs
  • Annual conference and research grants
  • Mentoring support throughout PhD and re-integration after completion
  • Opportunities for career development, networking and raising visibility
  • Joining a community of over 600+ women STEM fellows and alumnae

The financial support enables fellows to fully focus on their PhD research and completion without financial constraints. After completion, the re-integration support is aimed at helping them transition back to faculty roles in their home countries.

How to Apply for the Faculty for the Future Scholarships

The Faculty for the Future scholarship applications are open annually from September to November each year. Here are the key steps in the application process:

1. Determine Eligibility

First, determine if you meet all the eligibility criteria listed above. The program is very competitive so ensure you meet the high academic achievement criteria.

2. Prepare Required Documents

You will need to prepare the following documents for the online application:

  • CV detailing academic achievements and publications
  • Identification document (passport or national ID)
  • Undergraduate and Master’s degree certificates
  • Academic transcripts with GPA or marks
  • TOEFL or IELTS score report
  • PhD research proposal
  • 2 reference letters from professors

Keep these documents ready before starting the application.

3. Complete Online Application

The entire application is submitted online through the Faculty for the Future website. You will be required to provide information on your background, academic history, research interests and upload relevant documents.

It takes 1-2 hours to complete the detailed application so allocate sufficient time. Submit the application before the deadline.

4. Clear Plagiarism Check

All research proposals undergo a plagiarism check. Ensure your proposal is completely original without any plagiarized content.

5. Interview

Shortlisted candidates are invited for interviews to assess academic excellence, commitment to teaching and research potential. Interviews are conducted via video by selection panels.

Prepare thoroughly for the interview to showcase your strengths.

Tips for a Successful Faculty for the Future Scholarship Application

Here are some top tips to help you submit a strong, competitive application for the Faculty for the Future fellowships:

  • Start early – Begin preparing your application well in advance of the deadline to avoid last minute rush.
  • Follow instructions – Carefully follow all instructions in the application to avoid simple mistakes. Adhere to word limits.
  • Stellar academics – Having outstanding academic grades and a strong, well-written research proposal will give your application an edge.
  • Get feedback – Ask faculty advisors to review your research proposal drafts and provide feedback for improvement.
  • Prepare reference letters – Approach professors early on to write you strong recommendation letters that highlight your academic excellence.
  • Practice interviews – Do mock video interviews with friends or at your university career center to be prepared for the real thing.
  • Show your passion – Demonstrate your genuine passion for teaching and research in your essays and interview. Enthusiasm stands out.

With thorough preparation and a competitive application, you can maximize your chances of success for the Faculty for the Future scholarship.


The Schlumberger Foundation’s Faculty for the Future fellowship presents a tremendous opportunity for women STEM scholars from developing countries to access world-class PhD education and become university faculty.

This prestigious program offers comprehensive support including full scholarships, mentoring and career reintegration assistance. With thorough preparation, you can submit a competitive application to launch your academic career through Faculty for the Future.

Frequently Asked Questions about Faculty for the Future

Here are answers to some common questions about the Faculty for the Future scholarship program:

What countries are eligible for the scholarship?

Women from developing countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean are eligible to apply. The full list of eligible countries is provided on the website.

What fields of study are covered?

Fellowships are awarded for PhD research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects only. Fields covered include physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, engineering disciplines, earth sciences and more.

Can I get funding for a PhD in another subject?

No, only PhDs in approved STEM subjects are eligible. Research proposals in non-STEM fields will be automatically rejected.

Can I apply before completing my Master’s degree?

Yes, final year Master’s students can apply but need to have completed their degree before starting the PhD. Provisional transcripts will be required at time of application.

Do I need to have a PhD offer already?

No. You can apply without having an offer of admission yet. If awarded, you can subsequently apply to universities based on fellowship confirmation.

Can Faculty for the Future help me get a PhD offer?

No, securing admission at the university is the fellow’s responsibility. However, the Foundation can provide an acceptance letter to include in university applications.

How many fellowships are given annually?

Typically, 35-40 fellowships are awarded each year out of over 1000 applications received. The acceptance rate is very selective at under 5%.

Can I apply again if rejected once?

Yes, you can reapply for Faculty for the Future in subsequent years as long as you continue meeting the eligibility criteria.

Is there an age limit for applicants?

Yes, applicants cannot be over 40 years of age at the time of applying to the program. There are no restrictions after being selected.

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