Thursday, December 23, 2010

7 koraka ka efikasnoj školarini

Getting a scholarship can be difficult. So many students from all over the world are trying to get scholarships in both American, European and Australian universities. However, there are a couple of ways for you to significantly improve your chances of getting that scholarship you always wanted. The steps below refer to Dutch universities, but can also be used for most other Northern European universities.
Get excellent grades
Getting excellent grades at the university in your home country most definitely improve your chances, as this is something universities will look at when evaluating candidates for scholarships.
Know what you want to study
It is extremely important to do your homework and find out which course you exactly want to study, which topics will be taught and who will teach them. Most of this information can be found on the universities home pages (also see our previous posts listing the most important universities of applied sciences and academic universities in the Netherlands).
Important: Don’t just apply for a scholarship! Know what you want to study before you apply as this will increase your chances of actually standing out. It will message to the evaluation committee that you are dedicated and have a goal. Do your homework! You will have to do this for each and every scholarship you apply for!
Get to know the people
Once you know who is teaching the different courses at the study you would like to attend, try finding them on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Try to discover what they like and which papers they wrote. Try to ask specific questions about their work or engage in a friendly debate with them. Make sure you leave the impression you have read what they wrote and that you are genuinely interested in the topic (which should not be too hard if you already decided which study you wanted to do). Show them you are passionate about the topics of the study. Once you are in contact with them, it is easier to mention you are looking into getting a scholarship to attend their university and you can ask if they have tips for you to increase your chances. Don’t forget, if they like you already then it will be easier for them to recommend you or mention you as a real prospect to the evaluation committee.
If you can’t find the professors on any of the social networks, don’t worry. You can still try to reach out to them through email and do the same as mentioned above. Just make sure you first build up a relationship before you ask for any tips. This will cost some time and effort but the value this brings to getting you that scholarship is priceless. For example, even if they can not give you the scholarship on their university, they may still recommend you for a scholarship to a similar study on a similar/same university.
Get to know the culture
Learning about the culture of a country you want to study will help you better communicate with the different universities and professors. It does not even need to be that hard. You could try to go on a short holiday in the Netherlands. If you can not afford that, no problem. Try finding forums of expats in the Netherlands, try reading up on Wikipedia, try finding different sites describing the culture of the country and communicate with pen pals in the country (you can find loads of people on Twitter or Facebook willing to communicate).
Make sure you speak the language
Of course you can not be expected to speak perfect Dutch in the Netherlands. Most likely, Dutch people will not even permit you to speak Dutch once they realize you are not Dutch (don’t worry, you will know what I mean after you live in the Netherlands for a while). However, it is important to speak really good English. Make sure your English writing skills are perfect. If you are not sure if they are, try to get a second opinion from someone you trust. Alternatively, you can go to several online classifieds boards or forums in different English speaking countries (e.g. Gumtree) to ask for help. There are plenty of people and websites on the Internet that can help you improve your writing skills. Just put a little bit of energy into it. No application is easier to reject than the one full of grammar or spelling mistakes.
Follow the rules
Most Northern European universities expect you to do some pre-work and follow the rules of the process. This means that asking (by email or on forums) for application requirements often goes unanswered. The reason for this is that most of this is available online. If you had just looked better at the website of the university you would have found them yourself. That said, if you can not find the rules to the application process (including the application papers/forms) it is okay to send of an email to the university asking where on their website you may find the application information. If you are friendly enough and to the point, you will most likely get a helpful answer. Respect that there is a process for scholarships and grants applications, mainly to keep it fair for everyone and to make sure the best ones get through. You can be the best one if you respect the process and ask about this process instead of asking them to send you all the information they can possibly have.
A lot of scholarships are hidden
Once you do your homework, you may find a number of smaller scholarships that are specific for the study you want to attend. Most of these scholarships can just be found on the university websites and most of the time just the pages specific to the study. It is much easier to get a scholarship if you are one of the few to apply for it. So here again. do your homework, be passionate and be great at your communication skills.
Yes, these steps all look like a lot of work. But you have to remember that getting a scholarship is not easy and you need to stand out from all those other potential candidates (most of which will not follow the steps above). If you apply the steps mentioned above, you will have significantly increased your chances of getting that scholarship you always dreamed about. With time, patience and hard work you can move mountains (or in this case, get that scholarship)!

Univerzitet u Edinburgu UK | Rok za prijave 1. februar

Postgraduate Opportunities

University of Edinburgh

With an international reputation for innovative research in a broad range of disciplines; the University of Edinburgh provides the opportunity for PhD students to work alongside some of the most influential academics in the world.
Applications are now invited for over 120 PhD Scholarships for postgraduate research starting in 2011-2012.
Principal’s Career Development PhD Scholarships
55 PhD Scholarships are available to students from any country. These scholarships provide development opportunities which will support our research students as the progress beyond their PhD, by offering a package of career training that allows students to simultaneously develop skills in research, and also in teaching, public engagement or entrepreneurship.
Each scholarship covers the UK/EU rate of tuition fee and pays a generous stipend.
Closing date for applications: Tuesday 1 February 2011.
Overseas Research Scholarships
50 overseas research scholarships are also available to overseas PhD students undertaking a research degree in any field of study. Each award covers the difference between the UK/EU rate of tuition fee and that chargeable to an overseas student. Subject to satisfactory academic progress the awards are tenable for up to 3 years.
Closing date for applications: Tuesday 1 February 2011.

Funding information

Funding applies to:
Open to applicants from a range of countries
Funding notes:
See award details above.

Contacts and how to apply

Administrative contact and how to apply:
Full details can be viewed at
The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336
Application deadline:
1 February 2011

Doktorske studije u SR Nemačkoj

Earning a PhD./ Doctorate in Germany

Ph.D./Doctoral Degree

In Germany, the Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), is a rather high academic title. It is pursued following the successful completion of a Master’s degree (or an equivalent academic degree) at an internationally recognised university, and it is often considered a prerequisite for an academic career. The main focus of doctoral studies is placed on research, culminating in the writing of a Ph.D. thesis. In Germany, there are different ways to obtain a doctoral degree:

  • Earning a Ph.D. through individual research
One possibility that is typical for the German university system is to pursue a Ph.D. by conducting individual research. For this purpose, the prospective doctoral candidate has to discover a professor (Doktorvater/ Doktormutter) who is willing and able to act as a supervisor. The doctoral candidates are not normally paid for their work and no precise time frame for completing the thesis is given. It can take about 3 to 5 years to obtain the Ph.D.
As the Ph.D. program does not have an explicit curriculum, you are completely free to organize the schedule for your research. This can definitely be seen as a blessing, as each doctoral candidate must be able to work autonomously and tenaciously. In addition, he or she has to establish a good relationship with the supervisor. In order to finance your research, you may have the opportunity to work as a research assistant for a university professor.

The University of Kaiserslautern offers research Ph.D. programs in all departments.

  • Earning a Ph.D. at a Graduate College or School
Graduate Colleges are another way of obtaining a doctoral degree in Germany. These institutions have recently been established by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and offer organized study programs in which research groups of a given university deals with closely defined areas of interest. Due to their structure, these Graduate Colleges enables the candidates to obtain their doctorate within two or three years. In addition, the DFG offers financial support to the candidates. As a result, Graduate Colleges constitute an attractive alternative for those wishing to obtain a Ph.D.
All courses are held in English. You will have the consistence support of the university staff, and the program has a distinctly interdisciplinary character. However, please note that these research groups deal with extremely specialized subject areas, and that candidates are selected according to strict admission requirements. At the moment, the University of Kaiserslautern has five Graduate Schools.

At present you can apply to these Ph.D. programs at the University of Kaiserslautern.

  • Obtaining a Ph.D. through an International Ph.D. Program
Like many other universities, the University of Kaiserslautern offers several international Ph.D. programs that are run by various faculties. Doctoral candidates support all social and administrative matters and take part in a well-structured program conducted in English. They can obtain their Ph.D. within 3 to 5 years.
As an integral part of all of these Ph.D. programs, students participate in a German-language course as well as undertake interdisciplinary coursework and individual tutoring. Major emphasis is placed on the Ph.D. thesis which is based on in-depth research on the topic.

Admission requirements and application procedures

In order to enroll in a German Ph.D. program, you generally need a Master’s degree or equivalent with considerably above-average grades in a relevant subject area. Information concerning the procedure and application can be viewed here.
If you intend to obtain a Ph.D. through an international program, you have to write your thesis in English; if you choose to enroll in other programs, you will need to find out about their specific requirements.
If you are planning to apply to a Graduate School, you have to follow these instructions.
As there is no central application office, prospective Ph.D. students should check the individual offerings and requirements of their university of choice, as each program, college or faculty has its own policies concerning admission requirements, application procedures, course schedules and graduate support. However, remember that you can pursue a Ph.D. in Germany only if you are able to find a professor who will supervise you!

Tips for finding a supervisor and choosing a topic for individual research

When searching for a supervising professor and a suitable topic for your research project, please consider the following:

  • Do I have correct and specific information about the different opportunities of pursuing my chosen subject area at the TU Kaiserslautern?
    • In order to answer this question, you should contact the ISGS, consult the Website of the relevant department including the list of publications, and send a short, personal inquiry to the respective professor(s) (For your own benefit: Please do not send any mass e-mails! Some professors receive hundreds of anonymous e-mails per week!)
  • Once you have decided with a subject and a potential supervisor, please submit your application to the professor. The application should contain a letter of motivation in which you should state:
    • why did you choose to apply to this program, faculty or school and why would you like to have this particular professor as your supervisor
    • In what way can you contribute to his or her research
    • What are your career goals
  • In addition, it should contain
    • Precise information of your research project (working title, objectives, methods)
    • Details of your education, your level of expertise in the interested topic, and your experience in research
    • A list of all your additional qualifications (vocational training, languages, publications, social activities, etc.)
    • How you plan to finance your studies at the University of Kaiserslautern
  • Your statement should not exceed 20 pages and you are expected to attach the following documents:
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Certified copy and translation (in German, English, French or Spanish) of your Bachelor’s/ Master’s diplomas and transcripts
    • Two letters of recommendation from members of your university’s faculty
    • Evidence of the required language proficiency
    • Application form
  • Send the duly filled application to the respective address
  • The relevant professor will examine your application and after (hopefully) accepting it, the Admissions Office will formally check and assess your certificates and admission requirements.

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