Apply for PhD/PostDoc


Guidelines for PhD/PostDoc

Step 1: Make sure you meet the eligibility criteria – otherwise you cannot apply

Nationality: You need to be an Indian National to be able to apply for a Svaagata.eu scholarship. 

12- month rule: To be eligible, you may not have resided nor have carried out your main activity (studies, work, etc.) for more than a total of 12 months over the last five years in a European country at the time of submitting your application. This rule does not apply to candidates in a vulnerable situation (for more information, see that button).

Other Scholarships: You must not have already benefited from a scholarship from the same type of mobility under another Erasmus Mundus Action 2 project. You can also not benefit from more than one mobility activity within the same project. 

Target Groups: There are different categories of possible candidates. If your current situation is in accordance with the scenario's below, then you are eligible to apply for an Master Degree scholarship:

  • Possibility 1: You are registered at one of the Indian Higher Education Institutions within the partnership (main partners) at the time of submitting your application. In the Erasmus Mundus Programme this is called Target Group 1

    In Karnataka:

    • Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore)
    • MS Ramaiah Medical College (Bangalore)
    • National Law School of India University (Bangalore)
    • Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University (Bidar)
    • Gulbarga University

    In Tamil Nadu:

    • Anna University (Chennai)
    • Indian Institute of Technology (Chennai)

    In Kerala:

    • Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (Cochin)

    In Maharastra:

    • MGM Aurangabad
  • Possibility 2: You are registered at a Higher Education Institution or a recognised research institute in India, not included in the partnership. In the Erasmus Mundus programme this is called Target Group 2. If you are registered in an institution which is only 'affiliated' to one of the institutions above, then you also belong to target group 2. 

Step 2: Make sure you qualify as a PhD-exchange student or a post-doctoral researcher

An exchange applicant is a student/researcher, officially registered in a university or other institution for higher education, who temporarily lives in a foreign country and attends courses and/or is involved in other academic activities.  This means you remain a student/researcher in your home university.

PhD-exchange students: In this call of the Svaagata.eu program, PhD scholarships are only available for exchange students. You can apply for 6 months, 1 year or 2 years, depending on the agreement between you and your PhD guide in your home institution.  

Post-doctoral applicants are always considered as exchange, as there is no degree involved in this mobility.  In order to apply for a post-doctoral research scholarship, you must be able to prove you have obtained your PhD.  Priority goes to post-doctoral applications within 5 years of obtaining the PhD degree.  If you are still in the process of graduating, you can also apply: you should mention this in your application form and upload the necessary information about previous degrees and transcript of records so far. If selected, you will have to present your degree before you can enrol at the host university.

The mobility can start as soon as all the administrative and other preparations are fulfilled, but you must start before the end of 2014.

Step 3: Inform yourself about the host university and the academic offer

Please check the website for information about the partner universities and check if they have an interesting offer in your field of study. Applicants have to present a clear research plan in their application. Each partner can also define specific criteria according to their internal rules, such as language requirements. Therefore applicants should carefully check all the information available. If you have further questions with regard to the academic offer or other requirements, please contact the contact person indicated on the website of the host university directly.

For most EU universities a pre-acceptance letter of a potential promotor is required. There is no template for a pre-acceptance letter, but it should state the willingness of that promotor to host you at his/her department. It should be signed and written on official university paper.

Step 4: Make sure you have the support of your home university

Exchange applicants should be aware that they have to be fully supported by and need the consent of their home institution to carry out their mobility period abroad, as recognition of research is an integral part of this project. A signed recommendation letter (preferably in PDF), written in English by an academic staff member directly involved with the course or research programme you are currently working at in your home institution. Applications from Target Group 1 will be validated (technical screening) by the home universities.

What are the fields of study for PhD/PostDoc?

Fields of Study

You can apply for a great variety of studies. The Erasmus Mundus Programme for India contains 10 Fields of study. In Svaagata.eu, we have prioritized 7 of them. Good applications in these 7 Fields of Study will have greater chances to be granted a scholarship.

Priority Fields of Study

  • Agriculture Sciences
  • Architecture, Urban and Regional Planning
  • Education, Teacher training
  • Engineering, Technology
  • Law
  • Medical Sciences
  • Social Sciences
Other Possible Fields of Study
  • Business Studies, Management Science
  • Geography, Geology
  • Natural Sciences

Database

  • Please use Filters to narrow your search. Available filters: University, Type of Mobility, Duration of Mobility, Field of Study and Subfield of Study.
  • Click the Search button in upper left hand corner of the database module if you want to execute a search with keywords.
  • Click View Record at the beginning of every line to see detailed information of a certain Field of Study.
  • IMPORTANT! If your search has too many results you might have to navigate through the result pages with the arrows in the upper right hand corner of the database module.

What documents do I need for PhD/PostDoc?

When applying online for a PhD/PostDoc scholarship, you will be asked for the documents mentioned here below. Make sure, if applicable, there is an English translation provided so your file can be assessed.

These documents should be scanned and then uploaded, preferably as a PDF file. Please note that if you want to upload multiple documents in 1 field, you will need to make a zip-file. Important! RAR-files are not supported, so please use ZIP-files.

Keep the originals of the scans/copies at the ready, so you can produce these whenever they are required later on in the administrative procedure.

Be aware that the documents mentioned, are those needed for the application to the Svaagata.eu consortium, but that further documents may be required for registration at the specific partner institution you will be spending your mobility period at, once you have been selected for a scholarship by the consortium.

Required documents:

  • An internationally recognised English language certificate (TOEFL, IELTS, ....), otherwise your file will not make it through the validation phase. A language certificate of your institution will not do!
Important: Some European universities or departments have specific requirements about the level you need.  If no such information is given on the website of the university you applied for, the selection committee will determine whether your results are sufficient.
  • Other language certificates if applicable.
  • A Curriculum Vitae, with a list of your publications (if applicable).
  • A copy of an official document that proves that you are an Indian national (e.g. a passport).
  • A photo of yourself.
  • If applicable: A proof of registration at your home university for the current year. If you are employed, you can add a (recent) proof of this situation 
  • A certificate of your degree obtained, or a certificate indicating that you will have your diploma by the time you start your mobility in the European University.
  • A research plan. Download the template here: research plan
  • A pre-acceptance letter signed by your promotor at the host university. (A email in which your promotor confirms your PhD/PostDoc scholarship will also do.)
  • A transcript of records with all the courses (and corresponding credits) you already finished at your home university. This document has to be signed by your home university.
  • A recommendation letter (preferably in PDF), written in English by an academic staff member directly involved with the course or research programme you are currently working at in your home institution. This letter must be dated and signed!
  • A good motivation letter written by you with more information about why you want to study abroad, which study program you are planning to enroll in, why you chose certain host universities, how your home and host university will benefit from your mobility,…You will need to justify how this study period abroad will benefit you and your direct socio-economic environment.
  • If you belong to a vulnerable (see vulnerable group button)group you should elaborate this in the motivation letter as well as in the application form, so it can be included in the selection procedure. Applicants should document their situation with relevant proof.
Please note that no additional documents are accepted after the deadline, except for official language certificates (TOEFL, IELTS etc.) of which you can prove that you were registered before the application deadline. Language documents are accepted until 10 days after the deadline, after that it cannot be guaranteed that it will be taken into account in the selection procedure which starts then.

What if I belong to a vulnerable group?

The scholarships of Svaagata.eu will be attributed according to academic merit and motivation in the first place. We also aim to give a large number of scholarships to female candidates whenever there is a choice between equally valuable candidates.

But as well as all other scholarships within this EMA2 project of the European Commission, we would like to award as much as possible the scholarships to applicants who need it most. Two such categories are formulated:


1   Vulnerable candidates: people who are in a social or political vulnerable situation, and therefore need extra support to apply and to go abroad. In order to qualify as vulnerable, you need to be able to produce a document that proves your vulnerability. In some cases your home university should be able to help you to provide the document you need, they can even certify this through an affidavit (e.g. the proof that you are a first generation student). In some cases you may have this document from the local authorities (e.g. a caste certificate, which is recognized as a proof of vulnerability by the Indian government).

Within this project we have identified the following possibilities in this category

  • " First generation higher education student" in a family that has had no other graduate
  • Orphans
  • Internally Displaced Persons IDPs (as recognized by the Indian government)
  • Members of schedule castes / schedule tribes /Other Backward Castes / Members of Gypsy communities (as recognized by the Indian government)
  • Politically migrated (but the condition of holding the Indian nationality remains)
  • Single parent families / families where primary earner dies or is severely injured

In the application form (section personal information) you will find a drop down list with these categories under the topic ‘vulnerable situation’.

The European Commission wants to reserve a number of scholarships for these applicants, under the label of Target Group 3 (TG3).  The project management will decide on the basis of your documents whether you indeed belong to TG3

 


2.   Disadvantaged candidates: any candidate who can testify and proof with a document that he or she is in a situation of disadvantage which is not mentioned under the category ‘vulnerable’. When proof is not possible (which might be the case in many situations), try to find trustworthy people or organizations (NGO…) who can testify for you. Give their reference, so we can check on that.  Possibilities in this category are for instance:

  • Physically disabled
  • Victim of natural disasters - Earthquake / Tsunami / Landslides
  • Woman in vulnerable social situation (coming from backward or tribal areas / widow / divorced / … )

The project management will analyze your documents to see whether you qualify as TG3.  In case you do not, you might still get a preferential status during the selection procedure, provided your application is of equally good quality as that of another candidate.

All information submitted under this label will be treated very discretely.

Selection Procedure

We are looking for the most motivated applicants, with good educational records, with a drive to excel in academics and eager to learn from the experience of working together with colleagues in a different cultural and intellectual environment. 

A multidisciplinary team will assess your dossier and select the best candidates.

The selection procedure is established according to the minimum requirements set out by the European Commission. The selection procedure as described guarantees the transparency of the selection process and an equitable treatment of individual applications. 

The project coordinator has access to all the electronic files in the project database whereas the partner universities have limited security rights and can only access files of applicants from or for their own university.

Validation

The files of the applicants are first screened on a technical basis. Applications from partner universities are validated by the home universities The other files are validated by the joint coordinator.
 
The validation criteria are eligibility and completeness of the file:

  • Eligibility:  nationality, previous scholarships within EMA2 (see guidelines)
  • Completeness: are all the required documents present and valid, the questions are answered

If an application is not valid, it is not considered for evaluation.  The applicant will be notified of this situation when the validation period is over (4 weeks after the deadline for submission of the application).

Evaluation

After validation the coordinating team assigns lists of the validated students to the chosen host university's (first and second choice). A selection committee at the local university does the evaluation on a standardized evaluation form. The host university is not obliged to consider the second choice grant applicants, if they have a great number of first choice applicants. The host universities evaluate and rank their applicants. The criteria used are academic merit (40 points), language skills (30 points) and motivation (30 points).

The host university has the right to reject the file of an applicant because of various reasons such as

  • the student is not eligible for the program requested (e.g. because of inadequate preparation...)
  • poor motivation
  • language is insufficient
  • documents are missing
  • full capacity of the program has already been reached. 

The reason for the rejection will be communicated to the applicant when notified about the selection decisions.

Selection

The selection committee is composed of representatives of the coordinator, the joint coordinator, 2 more Indian and 2 European members, academic staff members from different fields of expertise.

The selection committee will make ranked lists per type of mobility. Starting base for awarding the scholarships is the evaluation made by the host universities, but also the following criteria will be used:

  • Distribution among partners in Europe and in India
  • Gender balance
  • Priority for good applications from TG3 (priority formulated by the European Commission) and other disadvantaged groups 
  • Disadvantaged groups in TG1 and TG2
  • Spread in study fields (priority to those fields prioritized in the application of the project)

The selection committee will make ranked lists per type of mobility. 
This process will result in 3 lists 

  • selected candidates for each level
  • reserve lists, with indication of the order in which they will be invited in case some selected candidates do not take up the scholarship or do not confirm before the deadline
  • lists with refused candidates


Information to applicants

All applicants are informed by email of the selection decision. This mailings are done automatically via the project database. 

The non-selected candidates are informed of the reason of rejection or non-selection. They have the right to contact the coordinator in case of appeal. If applicable, the coordinator will contact the relevant partner if further information is needed. Applicants who wish to file an appeal can send a letter via registered mail to the  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The letter should state the reason of their appeal, including proof or supporting documents if applicable. The appeal has to be sent within 10 working days. The secretariat will react within 15 following working days.
 
The selected applicants receive instruction on how to proceed (online via the grant holder pages) and should also contact their host university. They have to confirm their acceptance of the scholarship within a deadline that will be communicated with the information of their selection.

I want to apply

Go to the application form for PhD/PostDoc

Activating your application form

The applications are done online. Applicants have to carefully follow the steps above to determine their exact status and choose the right application form. The application forms are renewed every call so applicants who have applied before have to create a new account.

On the project website, you will first have to answer five questions. By doing so, you will automatically be directed to the right application form. After clicking on the dedicated link, you will proceed to the appropriate account set-up page. Once you have created an account you will receive an email with a link to your application form. There's no need to complete all fields, nor to upload all documents in one go: you will be able to save your data and continue later on. After completion of all required fields, a button will appear allowing you to formally submit the application. If the button does not appear it means that you forgot a required field. Please check carefully.  Only when you have pushed the submit button, your application is submitted. You can find information whether you filled out all required fields on the top of the form. Once the file is submitted, you cannot change it anymore.

If you have submitted your application, you will receive an automatic email to the address indicated in your file. This email will have your application as PDF attached, and it will mention your registration number. Please save this email.

Application forms have to be written in English and have to be submitted online before the deadline announced on the website. Incomplete applications, unreadable, blank or unsigned documents shall not be considered eligible. Applications sent by email, post or fax will not be accepted.

Supporting documents

When applying online for a Svaagata.eu scholarship, you will be asked for the documents mentioned under the tab What documents do I need for PhD/PostDoc?. Make sure there is an English translation (if applicable) provided so your file can be assessed.

These documents should be scanned and then uploaded, preferably as a PDF file. Please note that if you want to upload multiple documents in 1 field, you will need to make a zip-file. Important! RAR-files cannot always be opened, so please use zip-files.

Keep the originals of the scans/copies at the ready, so you can produce these whenever they are required later on in the administrative procedure.

Be aware that the mentioned documents are those needed for the application to the Svaagata.eu consortium, but that further documents may be required for registration at the specific partner institution you will be spending your mobility period at, once you have been selected for a scholarship by the consortium.

Please note that no additional documents are accepted after the deadline, except for official language certificates (TOEFL, IELTS etc.) of which you can prove that you were registered before the application deadline. Language documents are accepted until 10 days after the deadline, after that it cannot be guaranteed that it will be taken into account in the selection procedure which starts then.

Mobility for successful applications will have to start in 2014.