Graduate Programme: Research and Development

Why Shell?

Growing energy needs are the world’s biggest challenge.  To solve this in ways that are economically, environmentally and socially responsible we need remarkable problem solvers, keen to make their impact.  Engineers and scientists able to collaborate, push boundaries, think creatively and commercially.  

“I got a real sense that I was ready to add true value to projects that have a significant bearing on Shell’s global operations.”- Floris, Technical Graduate Programme

Do you have a passion to bring to life projects that will impact on the future of energy?  As one of the most innovative companies in the world, we offer the chance to join our technical teams taking this journey of discovery, pushing boundaries and exploring frontiers as we go. 

Our Programme in Research and Development:

Working in Shell’s Research and Development teams, you’ll be instrumental in working to create, develop and deliver safe, differentiated technologies in a fast and efficient manner to help Shell in its ambition to become the world’s most competitive and innovative energy company. As part of a dynamic and innovative team you’ll be active in a wide range of areas supporting Shell’s business.

As an ambitious graduate with a flair for technical creativity you will be central to Shell’s future success. You’ll start in either the downstream or the upstream areas of the business. In downstream you can expect to tackle challenges such as developing new catalysts, creating high-performance fuels and lubricants, delivering improved chemical and refining process technologies, and working in partnership with customers on innovative products. Upstream projects include hydrocarbon exploration and recovery technologies: identifying, evaluating and unlocking difficult hydrocarbons from the subsurface with a particular focus on environmental impact and energy efficiency.

You will join a structured two to three-year learning programme that will ensure you have the skills and experience needed to enable you to become a future company thought-leader and an essential part of Shell’s delivery of global operational excellence.

First-hand involvement on cutting-edge projects places pioneering graduates like you in challenging positions so you can make your mark within your team and the organisation as a whole. Throughout your journey on the Programme some of the best operating teams and engineers in the business will dedicate themselves to helping you develop your skills and propel your career.

You can expect to receive world-class coaching, invaluable mentoring, formal structured training and regular in-depth progress checks to ensure you’re on track to reaching your potential. Staff networks (including Energie – a UK network for recent graduates) give you access to a wide range of social events and colleagues from across the business at all levels.      

Rewards and benefits include:

  • The opportunity to work on global projects with external partners
  • A structured development programme, highly valued across the industry
  • Working for a globally recognized brand tackling globally significant challenges
  • Excellent flexibility and work-life balance
  •  A minimum starting salary of £32,500 (higher rates may be available for MSc and PhD applicants) and opportunity for rapid progression 

Ideally you’ll hold a qualification at Maters or PhD level in a discipline such as:

  • Biosciences
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Earth Sciences (e.g. Geology, Geophysics)
  • Materials Science
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Physics

The application process for our graduate programmes is rigorous, but is designed to enable the most talented graduates to stand out.  After submitting an online application, you will be invited to complete our online assessments. Successful candidates are invited to a telephone interview.  The final assessment takes the form of a Shell Recruitment Day* at which around six candidates participate in both individual and group exercises.  

Through this process we will be assessing candidates’:  

  • Capacity – the intellectual ability to analyse and apply unfamiliar information to complex situations.
  • Achievement – the ability to identify and manage resources in order to deliver results.
  • Relationship-building – the ability to work within, and lead, diverse teams      
  • And, for Technical candidates, Technical expertise.

*An Assessed Internship is an alternative final assessment option for penultimate year students. 


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