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1. How do I apply for this opportunity?

A. Please log on to http://www.shell.com/india/csphd for site related information and the application web link.

2. When can I apply?

A. The application window is between 9th August and 26th August 2013 23.59 hrs. IST (+5.30 GMT). After this time, the applications would be immediately queued for screening and late applications cannot be processed.

3. Who can apply?

A. Any student holding a recent post graduate degree or assured of obtaining a post graduate degree in science or engineering (eg. Masters/ dual degree in Engineering) by 1st July 2014 is eligible to apply for this current application window.

Further, the start date of the first degree (Bachelors/ integrated Masters/ Dual degree) should be no later than 2003.

4. Are students with B.Tech and other undergraduate degree eligible to apply?

A. The current program has been rolled out only for students with a second/ postgraduate degree as recognized in the country of origin of the degree, hence students with only an undergraduate degree (as recognized in the country of origin of the degree) would not be eligible in this round. This is a 4-year PhD program, and does not include provisions for an integrated Masters+ PhD.   

5. The poster indicates a Shell job offer post successful completion of PhD. Is there a requirement of a contractual bond to be signed while accepting the offer?

A. While we encourage students to take up the job offer post completion of PhD, the job offer itself is not binding on the student. There is no bond or other contractual obligation.

6. What are the next steps in the selection process?

A. The first step in the selection process would be to narrow the list of applications using appropriate handles and guidewords, based on the research proposals arrived at by FOM/NWO/Dutch Universities.

The shortlisted candidates would be informed and would be required to: i) take an online qualifying assessment, b) prepare a Presentation to showcase the Applied Computational Skill(s)  ii) be present at face-to-face interviews with Shell (in a few key locations as appropriate) between the 20th of September to 1st of November. The exact date, time and location would be communicated to each shortlisted candidate.

Further, in the period of 1st to 23rd November, the shortlisted candidates should also make themselves available for telephonic conversations with a few professors from universities in The Netherlands. The professors may also speak to the references (mentioned in your application form) or other professors in your institute/ department of study, to get a direct feedback, if necessary.

On the 1st of December, the current Shell job offer along with the NWO letter of intent would be handed over to the successful candidates. Following due process (submission of transcripts post completion of the Master’s degree, fulfilling other university admission processes eg. TOEFL/ELTS etc.), NWO  would formalize the employment contract with the student in close contact with the university /professor whose proposal the candidate’s profile has been matched with.

7. What if my current masters project is experimental, but I have good computational skills and motivation to pursue it. Can I apply? How will a resume screening include this?

A. While demonstrable prior computational experience is desired, it is also possible that you could convey your interests and highlight your range of skills in your Presentation as well as in the ‘Letter of motivation’ section of the Application. The screening process will include these inputs while arriving at a short list.

8. I am a current PhD student halfway into a PhD. Can I drop out and apply?

A. As mentioned in response to Q3 above, if you have a recent Master’s Degree or will be shortly completing the requirements for a Masters Degree, you can apply. However, the course credits accumulated in your current PhD course may not be transferrable- it would be treated as a fresh PhD start.

9. If I want to apply next year, which computational techniques should I develop to have the best chance of success?

A. It is difficult to predict the exact computational techniques that would be required for any project proposal each year, due to the wide variety in the proposals. Direct evidence of use of the specific computational methods for execution of the proposed PhD projects is not a prerequisite.

The screening process, both, by Shell as well as the Universities in The Netherlands, is designed to evaluate how well you have imbibed the few computational/ numerical analysis/ simulation or modeling skills you have listed in your application,  and a decision on computational research potential arrived at.

10. Can I apply for Shell direct recruitment in addition to the CS PhD program?

A. Yes, applying for the CS PhD program does not exclude anyone from applying to Shell directly (recruitment/ campus recruitments events)

11. Can I choose the University, Professor or Research topic/proposal?

A. The current selection process aims at matching skill sets of the student to project requirements.  The list of projects is arrived at after a ranking/rating proposal from a call for proposals in the Netherlands. The call is open to all participating institutes in the Netherlands, and the final shortlisted proposals each year could belong to any Professor from any Dutch Institute.

The selection process is then a four-way consent process involving the candidate and NWO/FOM, Shell, Universities/ Professors. Further, depending on bilateral discussions between the successful candidate and the Professor in the Netherlands, some fine tuning of the proposal may be involved.  However, while application for consideration, there is no provision to ‘apply for’ a specific university/ Professor/ Research topic.

12. No specific disciplines/ fields of science and engineering have been cited as requirements. How does this align with the PhD projects/ proposals?

A. No disciplines have been specified for the application, since the focus is on generic computational methods and modeling and simulation skills. For instance, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) skills could be demonstrated by candidates with a chemical, mechanical, aeronautical/aerospace, physics/engineering physics, material science, astrophysics  and  applied mathematics disciplines, to name only a few! The evaluation will then be on assessing the multidimensional abilities and holistic approach to modeling/ computation and simulation.

13. If I need specific training for handling, say, a software, would it be part of this package?

A. Any project specific training would be included as part of the normal PhD curriculum and would not be a pre-requisite for admission or selection.

14. If a selected student later declines, will there be a second list/ wait list in place? Would this be communicated?

A. As the offer to match the proposal to the right candidate is fairly elaborate, every effort would be made to retain a list of candidates who unfortunately were not given the offer, but found to be suitable in other selection criteria.  This could be communicated to the candidates, on request.

15. The requirement states a ‘recent Masters Degree’. Could this be further qualified?

A. The recent degree mainly stems from the need for the student to be ‘in touch’ with computational methods. The longer the break from education or exposure to computational methods, the higher is the difficulty in returning to academics. Typically, a gap of more than 2-3 years is deemed to be too large a break.

Some exceptions could exist. For instance, it could so happen that  after your Masters, you are now involved in an activity where computational methods and modeling continue to be the prime focus of your attention, as in a teaching career.  In such cases, you are welcome to apply and indicate the same appropriately in the ‘work experience’ sections of the application form.

16. I have completed my Masters degree outside India, and I am not an Indian citizen. Can I apply for this program?

A.  Anyone who has a recognized Masters Degree as per Q3 above can apply. However, the associated Shell job offer will be to work in Bengaluru, India on local terms.

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