Results of Call for National Excellence Scholarships: Ministry of Science and Ministry of Education to Fund Candidates for Master’s, PhD and Postdoctoral Studies Abroad

Ministry of Science and Ministry of Education announced on 24 April 2015 a Call for National Excellence Scholarship Programme. The purpose of this Programme is to develop research capacities by means of awarding scholarships for Master’s, PhD and Postdoctoral studies at reputable foreign higher education and research institutions. Scholars are provided with the opportunity to obtain international professional experience and access to modern research infrastructure.

National Excellence Scholarship Programme is the result of joint efforts of Ministry of Science and Ministry of Education within the “Higher Education and Research for Innovation and Competitiveness (HERIC)” Project, financed from a World Bank loan, the main objective of which is to strengthen the quality and the relevance of higher education and research in Montenegro, through the reform of higher education funding and quality assurance systems, as well as by strengthening research and development capacities. The development of the programme took a long time, and included the contribution of all relevant science and education institutions in the country, cooperation with NGO sector, students who already had the experience to study abroad at some of the prestigious world universities, as well as the engagement of one of the greatest experts for scholarship programmes in Europe and in the world.

The closing date of the call was 6 July 2015. A total of 163 candidates applied to the call, 93 of whom for Master’s studies, 64 for PhD studies and 6 for Postdoctoral studies.

After the expiry of the deadline for submitting applications, documents were administratively processed and 140 applications were referred to evaluation. Two expert commissions were formed. Ministry of Education formed an expert commission for the evaluation of Master’s studies applications, and Ministry of Science formed an expert commission for the evaluation of PhD and Postdoctoral studies applications. The Commissions, each comprising three foreign experts, acted as selection committees.

The experts prepared Final Evaluation Reports for each of the candidates, containing mutual comments and the final number of points, which would be forwarded to each rated candidate as feedback. This entire process guaranteed fair, open and transparent evaluation procedure which had been defined in advance by the Scholarship Programme Management Handbook.

The number of approved scholarships is 73, of which 43 for Master’s studies, 26 for PhD studies and 4 for Postdoctoral studies, which will be funded with 639,564 euro.

Call Statistics

Scholarship type

Master’s

PhD

Postdoctoral

Total number of submitted applications

93

64

6

Number of applications referred to evaluation (after administrative check)

74

60

6

Number of approved scholarships

43

26

4

Approved amount

285,264.00 €

269,000.00 €

55,300.00 €

Master’s Scholarships are awarded to students of Master’s studies at reputable higher education institutions abroad (full-time students). Scholarships are awarded for a period of one to two years of study, depending on the duration of a Master’s programme.

PhD Scholarships are awarded to students of PhD studies at reputable universities abroad, for a period of one to two years of study, and to students who have been approved for research stay of 6 to 12 months at one of the reputable universities / research institutions abroad, who have enrolled in PhD studies in the country or the ex-YU region.

Postdoctoral Scholarships are awarded to researchers working in Montenegro, for research stays at reputable research institutions abroad, in order to obtain international research experience. Scholarships are awarded for a period of 6 to 12 months.

Upon completing the studies, scholars are obliged to return to Montenegro and transfer the acquired knowledge into the national science and innovation system.

The entire structure of the National Scholarship Programme was modelled after the EU’s “Horizon 2020” Programme and the Marie Curie Fellowship Programme. In that manner, all applicants acquired a significant experience in applying for other European funds in the field of science, research and education.