The Schlumberger Foundation’s Faculty for the Future program supports women from developing and emerging countries who are pursuing advanced research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at top universities worldwide before returning to their home countries and becoming ambassadors of science education to girls and women. The aim of the program is to reduce the gender gap in STEM disciplines.
Since the program’s launch 12 years ago, the Foundation has hosted 15 in-person gatherings for Faculty for the Future Fellows to help foster an international community of women leaders in STEM. The meetings are hosted yearly in association with prominent universities where Fellows are pursuing their studies, and bring together both current grantees and program alumnae.
The most recent Forums took place in Cambridge, United Kingdom and Cape Town, South Africa. At the Cape Town Forum, which was the first time the event took place in the African region, there were over 40 Fellows and alumnae in attendance, and the gathering in the UK brought together over 60 participants.
During the Forums, the Fellows meet and engage with distinguished scientists and hear accomplished leaders share their insights on topics such as how to support the next generation of young women in STEM. Through knowledge-sharing sessions and panel discussions, participants, learn skills and techniques to raise their visibility and improve their chance of successfully impacting their community and beyond both in their fields of science and socially, by creating conditions to enable more girls and women to follow their path.
Schlumberger Foundation president, Roseline Chapel, notes that “The women, brought together from diverse cultural and scientific backgrounds, share a dedication of excellence in research and a commitment to inspiring the future generation in their home countries to get involved in the sciences. The Forums offers a unique platform that encourages dialogue about the challenges and opportunities that face women in STEM.”
The program’s long-term goal is to generate conditions that result in more women pursuing scientific careers by lowering the barriers women face when entering STEM disciplines, thus reducing the gender gap.
Faculty for the Future Fellows are expected to return to their home countries after completion of their studies to contribute to economic, social and technological advancement by strengthening the STEM teaching and research faculties of their home institutions, and to also pursue positions in the public sector where their newly acquired technical and scientific skills can help provide evidence-based support for STEM policy making. In so doing, they become powerful role models and help to inspire other girls and women to pursue scientific careers.
Since its launch in 2004, 600 women from 78 developing and emerging countries have received Faculty for the Future fellowships to pursue PhD and Post-Doctorate study in STEM at 243 renowned universities worldwide. The program also helps build a community for the Fellows through Forums, both online and in person.
The Schlumberger Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports science and technology education. Recognizing the link between science, technology, and socio-economic development, as well as the key role of education in realizing individual potential, the Schlumberger Foundation flagship program is Faculty for the Future.
Fellows sharing their research during poster presentation sessions at a Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Forum.