National Scholarship Programme

Tips for applicants

Tips found at this webpage are related to the following issues:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Motivation letter and programme of the stay
    • Motivation letter
    • Programme of the stay
  • Recommendation letters
  • Admission/Invitation letter
    • What should be written in an admission/invitation letter?
    • What must not be written in an admission/invitation letter?
    • How to get an admission/invitation letter?
    • Where to find a list of higher education institutions/research organisations in Slovakia?
  • Helpful hints

Curriculum vitae

Brief information about you:

  • personal information,
  • current and/or achieved education,
  • work experience (current and previous employment),
  • personal skills (language, communication and organisational skills, digital competence, etc.).

CV should be structured – written in points/paragraphs, no whole sentences.

Hint: European CV format: www.europass.cedefop.europa.eu/en/documents/curriculum-vitae

 

Motivation letter and programme of the stay

Motivation letter and programme of the stay are your tools to convince the Selection Committee members:

  • that you know what do you want, why do you want it and how do you want to achieve it and
  • that it is meaningful and necessary to carry out your scholarship stay in Slovakia.

Motivation letter is about you and programme of the stay is about your stay in the respective host institution in Slovakia.

Motivation letter

  • clear, concrete and logical reasoning of your scholarship stay, and setting of your goals;
  • text should be divided into logical paragraphs;
  • write, why did you decide to apply for a scholarship stay in Slovakia, and what are the contributions of the stay;
  • write, why did you choose the respective host higher education institution/research organisation in Slovakia;
  • write, what the respective host institution has to offer, how is it different from your home institution (what is the added value of the respective host institution in relation to the theme, aim, expected results of your stay, something exceptional).

Of PhD students, university teachers, researchers and artists is expected:

  • competence and soundness;
  • relation of the stay to your dissertation (write name of your dissertation, its theme/content and its relation to the scholarship stay), or relation of the stay to your teaching and/or research/artistic activity;
  • write, what is your (carrier) goal, what do you want to achieve and what do you want to gain by the scholarship stay;
  • write, how are your current studies and/or teaching/research/artistic activities related to your study and/or teaching/research/artistic intentions at your host institution in Slovakia;
  • write, how will you use the results of your stay after your return to your home institution and how will you use them in your further education/research/carrier.

Programme of the stay

  • detailed information about your study and/or teaching/research/artistic plan at your host institution, and explanation of the relation between planned activities and goals of the stay and possibilities of professional growth and/or career opportunities;
  • write, what are the (concrete) goals of your stay;
  • write, what opportunities have your host institution in Slovakia to offer from the professional point of view;
  • write, what exactly would you like to do during your scholarship stay in Slovakia, e.g.:
    • visiting lectures and seminars (not just a list, but also description and content);
    • visiting libraries, work in a laboratory, data collection, methodology creation, etc. (specify the methods, used apparatus, time plan of experiments);
    • consultations with experts (be specific);
    • visiting other relevant institutions related to your field of study/research (write also meaning/content of these visits);
    • PhD students, university teachers, researchers and artists – it is highly recommended to create a time plan of your stay as a part of the programme of your stay, i.e. your idea of time sequence of your planned activities and their content;
    • students – it is highly recommended to choose concrete subjects (with credits), which do you plan to study, describe the subjects and their content; your workload should match the workload of students in Slovakia (students of Slovak higher education institutions should gain approximately 30 credits per semester);
  • do not forget to write the name of your host institution, duration of your stay, date of the beginning and completion of your stay.

 

Recommendation letters

  • are evaluations written by your university teachers or supervisors in which they:
    • describe your preconditions for a study and/or research stay;
    • highlight your personal qualities;
    • evaluate your study results or research achievements and professional preconditions;
  • recommender should write in his/her recommendation letter:
    • how long and from where does he/she know you (seminars, lectures, other activities);
    • that he/she is acquaint with your study/research plan at your host institution in Slovakia and that he/she supports it (it is advised to provide your recommender with your motivation letter);
    • what significance has the scholarship stay, from the point of view of your recommender, for you, your further studies or research career;
    • what significance has your scholarship stay in Slovakia for your home institution;
    • whether has he/she and your home institution interest in your scholarship stay in Slovakia or not;
  • recommendation letters should not be formal, therefore do not ask for them at the last moment;
  • recommendation letters must be issued on headed paper of your home higher education institution/research organisation; they must contain full name, contact address and work position of your recommender and they must be signed by the recommender;
  • PhD students submit one recommendation letter issued by their dissertation supervisor and students submit two recommendation letters issued by their university teachers (do not submit two identical recommendation letters!). 

 

Admission/invitation letter

  • higher education institution/research organisation approval that in case of being awarded the scholarship the respective host institution agrees with your stay there;
  • students – admission letter should be issued by an international relations office of the respective higher education institution in Slovakia or by a vice-dean for international relations of the respective faculty;
  • PhD students, university teachers, researchers and artists – invitation letter should not be just a formal admission for a scholarship stay, but it should reflect a certain level of host institution’s interest in applicant’s teaching and/or research/artistic stay in the framework of the NSP;
  • admission/invitation letter must be issued on headed paper of the respective host institution, it must be signed by the person who issued the document, and it must contain position and contact details of the person who issued the document;
  • admission/invitation letter must be issued in Slovak, English or Russian language (depending on the language of scholarship online application);
  • original of admission/invitation letter must be delivered to SAIA office in Bratislava according to the valid programme terms and conditions.

What should be written in an admission/invitation letter?

  • exact period (from – to) of your scholarship stay in the respective host institution;
  • PhD students, university teachers, researchers and artists –  information about planned activities during the stay and goals of the stay;
  • students – higher education institution approval to attend lectures and seminars, and be allowed to do the exams (list of subjects which the applicant will be attending can be included too);
  • it is recommended to add information about previous co-operation between the institutions, about common research interests, how will the scholarship stay strengthen the relationships between the institutions and how it will move forward research/educational co-operation, etc.

Admission/invitation letter content is evaluated only in case of PhD students, university teachers, researchers and artists – well written admission/invitation letter and clearly expressed interest of the host institution in Slovakia are an advantage.

What must not be written in an admission/invitation letter?

  • admission in the framework of another scholarship programme (e.g. Erasmus+, International Visegrad Fund, CEEPUS, bilateral intergovernmental agreements, etc.);
  • admission for full bachelor, master or PhD studies in Slovakia.

These admission/invitation letters do not meet formal criteria!

How to get an admission/invitation letter?

  • contact the respective potential host institution in Slovakia (by e-mail or by telephone);
  • write that you would like to participate in a study and/or research/artistic/teaching stay in the respective host institution and that you have an opportunity to be awarded a scholarship in the framework of hte NSP (write the name of the scholarship programme, brief information about it and link to the website www.scholarships.sk);
  • write, what study programme would you like to study, what is your research plan, what would be the period of your stay and when at latest the admission/invitation letter must be issued (for application purposes, you will need just a scan of the admission/invitation letter; original of the document can be sent by your host institution directly to SAIA office in Bratislava according to the valid programme terms and conditions);
  • attach your CV and motivation letter, or potential programme of your stay.

Where to find a list of higher education institutions/research organisations in Slovakia?

  • applicants can apply for a scholarship stay in the framework of the NSP at any higher education institution in Slovakia, any institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, or any other eligible host institutions according to the valid programme terms and conditions;
  • higher education institutions in Slovakia and institutes of the Slovak Academy of Sciences have their websites in Slovak and English language, where you will find contact details of employees of the respective institution.

 

Helpful hints

  • scholarship applications must be submitted according to the information available at www.scholarships.sk ("Programme Terms and Conditions" > "International Applicants");
  • the application is representing you, it is the only picture the Selection Committee has about you – there is not an interview (the Selection Committee will only take into consideration what did you write in your application and its attachments);
  • reserve enough time and pay proper attention to writing the required documents; do not start writing the documents on the day before the application deadline, since their quality decides about success of your application;
  • except your application, the Selection Committee reads and evaluates a lot of other applications and it depends only on you, if your application will be attractive for the Committee or not – scholarship will not be awarded to every applicant;
  • when writing the required documents, do not think of them as a duty "I have to write them because they are required from me", but as a possibility to present yourself and to inform the Committee who you are, what do you want to achieve and to convince the Committee that you are the right candidate for a scholarship in the framework of the NSP.

Last modified: 2017-03-29