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Scholarship stay planning - timeframe

 

Deadline 30 April

When planning your scholarship stay, the following principles apply and need to be also followed during mobility:

  • beginning of the scholarship stay:
    • students: the earliest date of the beginning of the stay is 1 September; the latest date of the beginning of the stay is 1 April (of the following year)
    • PhD students, university teachers, researchers and artists: the earliest date of the beginning of the stay is 1 September; the latest date of the beginning of the stay is 31 August (of the following year)

 

  • completion of the scholarship stay:
    • students: the latest date of the completion of the stay is 31 August (of the following year)
    • PhD students, university teachers, researchers and artists: the latest date of the completion of the stay is 30 November (of the following year)

  

Deadline 31 October

When planning your scholarship stay, the following principles apply and need to be also followed during mobility:

  • beginning of the scholarship stay:
    • students: the earliest date of the beginning of the stay is 1 February (of the following year); the latest date of the beginning of the stay is 1 April (of the following year)
    • PhD students, university teachers, researchers and artists: the earliest date of the beginning of the stay is 1 February (of the following year); the latest date of the beginning of the stay is 31 August (of the following year)

 

  • completion of the scholarship stay:
    • students: the latest date of the completion of the stay is 31 August (of the following year)
    • PhD students, university teachers, researchers and artists: the latest date of the completion of the stay is 30 November (of the following year)

 

Explanations on the general conditions

The National Scholarship Programme does not support international applicants who are receiving a scholarship in Slovakia in the framework of other scholarship programmes funded from public resources (e.g. International Visegrad Fund, Erasmus+, CEEPUS, bilateral agreements, etc.) for the same period (that would be considered double-funding).

 

Explanations on the amount of the scholarship based on experience

To determine the monthly scholarship amount (in case of university teachers, researchers and artists) with regard to their work experience, only work experience until the day of the application deadline is taken into consideration. Time spent on PhD studies is counted towards work experience (max. 6 years of PhD studies can be taken into account).

 

Explanations on application documents

 

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 you would like to achieve, why you want it and how you plan to achieve it and
  • that it is meaningful and necessary to carry out your scholarship stay in Slovakia.

Motivation letter is about you, your career perspectives and development, the assests of the particular host insitution and the programme of the stay is about details of 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 you have decided to apply for a scholarship stay in Slovakia, and what the expected contribution of the stay is in regard to your career;
  • write, why you have chosen the respective host higher education institution/research organisation in Slovakia;
  • write, what the respective host institution has to offer, how it is different from your home institution (what is the added value of the respective host institution in relation to the topic, aim, expected results of your stay, something exceptional).

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

  • competence and expertise;
  • 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 or if such relation is not that tangible explain why you have decided to cross the borders of the specific area/discilplne and open up for new areas;
  • write, what your (career) goal is, what you want to achieve and what you would like to gain within your scholarship stay;
  • write, how your current studies and/or teaching/research/artistic activities are relevant to your study and/or teaching/research/artistic intentions at your host institution in Slovakia;
  • write, how you will use the results of your stay after your return to your home institution and how you will use them in your further education/research/career.

 

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 the (concrete) goals of your stay;
  • write, what opportunities your host institution in Slovakia have to offer from the professional point of view;
  • write, what exactly you would 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 infrastructure, 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 schedule of your planned activities and their content; choose the appropriate time scale when describing phases/activities of your stay;
    • students – it is highly recommended to choose specific 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.

 

Letters of recommendation

  • reviews should be 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 qualifications;
  • recommender should write in his/her recommendation letter:
    • for how long he/she has known you and how he/she got familiar with you (e.g. via seminars, lectures, other activities);
    • that he/she has got acquainted with your study/research plan at your host institution in Slovakia and that he/she is supporting it (it is advised to provide your recommender with your motivation letter);
    • from the point of view of your recommender how significant the scholarship stay is to you, your further studies or research career;
    • how relevant your scholarship stay in Slovakia is to your home institution;
    • whether he/she and your home institution are supportive for you to carry 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 shall be issued on letter-head 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 shall be issued on the letter-head 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 or English (depending on the language of scholarship online application);
  • the original of the 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's approval to attend lectures and seminars, and to be allowed to take 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 the scholarship stay can strengthen the relationships between the institutions and how it will move forward research/educational co-operation and the subject area, 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 of great 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 the NSP (write the name of the scholarship programme, brief information about it and link to the website www.scholarships.sk);
  • write, what study programme you would like to study, what your research plan is, what the period of your stay would/could and when at the latest the admission/invitation letter must be issued (for online-application purposes, you will need just a scan of the admission/invitation letter; original of the document shall 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?

 

List of publications

If the applicant submits a list of publications in a form other than prescribed, his/her application will not meet the formal requirements of the programme and therefore will be excluded from further evaluation and selection procedure. 

 

Helpful hints

  • scholarship applications must be submitted according to the information available at www.scholarships.sk ("Programme Terms and Conditions" > "International Applicants");
  • the application provides the only image about you the Selection Committee will get – there is no interview (the Selection Committee will only take into consideration what you have written in your application and its attachments)
  • devote enough time and pay proper attention to writing the required documents; do not start writing the documents a day/a few days before the application deadline, since the quality of documents determines the possible success of your application;
  • the Selection Committee besides your application reads and evaluates a lot of other applications and it depends only on you, if your application will be perceived as attractive by the Committee or not – a scholarship cannot be awarded to every applicant; moreover consider that the Committee member is reading several applications in a limited period of time, so well structured and clearly written documents help them easiiy navigate through the text;
  • when preparing the required documents, do not think about them as a duty "I have to write them because they are requested from me", but as an opportunity to present yourself and to inform the Committee who you are, what you would like to achieve and to convince the Committee that you are the right candidate for a scholarship in the framework of the NSP.