The Fulbright-SERN scholarship supports talented Timorese students to pursue post-graduate studies in oil and gas or natural resource related disciplines, at universities across the United States of America. This partnership was negotiated in conjunction with the US Embassy in Timor- Leste, Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals Resources and the National Petroleum and Minerals Authority/ Autoridade Nacional do Petróleo e Minerais (ANPM). Each scholarship includes education fees, English language tuition, airfares, living expenses while away and other associated costs. Jose Joanico Freija De Jesus Soares is among the 15 Timorese students from the first program initiated in 2013. Jose successfully completed his Masters in Geology and returned to Timor-Leste. "Petroleum is a big part of the income in East Timor. That's why I wanted to study and learn more about petroleum and sedimentology related to petroleum," he says. "After doing my Masters I want to contribute and develop my country with the capacity that I have, and I want to thank ConocoPhillips because they are sending me to the USA."Fulbright is the most widely recognised and prestigious international exchange program in the world, funding scholars to study in the United States and U.S. scholars to study abroad.