The need for female professionals in STEM industries is overwhelming according to this National Science Foundation (NSF) report, and the data is similarly dismal for minorities. Himani Agrawal, a Ph.D. student studying mechanical engineering, just won a fellowship to help change those statistics.
Agrawal was awarded the Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Fellowship, an award for female Ph.D. and post-doctoral students from developing countries studying science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects. The fellowship, valued at $50,000, is only awarded to 5-6 percent of applicants who apply from around the world, and applicants must illustrate a commitment to inspiring young women to pursue studies in STEM. This is the first time a University of Houston student has been awarded the fellowship.
The fellowship application included five rigorous rounds, and it included an interview with the Schlumberger Foundation Board of Trustees.
“This fellowship means a lot to me,” Agrawal said. “I’m hopeful the support of the Schlumberger foundation will help me a lot in getting a post-doc position after I finish my Ph.D.” She said part of her academic success has come from outside the classroom. “You can’t focus only on academic excellence, you must also focus on extracurricular activities, especially outreach.” Agrawal is a graduate committee member of the Society of Women Engineers UH chapter, a group which hosts several outreach events throughout the year.
Learn more about the Schlumberger Foundation here.