The Open Society Foundations and Staffordshire University PhD Scholarship, UK

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Open Society Foundations & Staffordshire University Scholarship

Aims

The Open Society Foundations and Staffordshire University Business School jointly invite applications from university graduates with outstanding academic qualifications for five scholarships on the MPhil / PhD in Economics programme by Distance Learning mode.

This scheme aims to support the reform of the higher education system in Central and East European countries by providing opportunities for younger university teachers and researchers to gain access to West European higher education and to pursue research in Economics at an advanced level, leading to an MPhil or a PhD degree.

Operation of the Scheme

In the academic year, the scheme will be offered to candidates from Albania, the Republic of Kosovo, the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Montenegro. There are five scholarships available in this round. The scheme offers the opportunity for the beneficiaries to spend a part of each year
at Staffordshire University, but also requires them to complete most of their research work in their own institution, thus ensuring that they will remain in the region and continue to be active members of their home institutions. The beneficiaries must undertake to remain in the region for at least two years after the completion of their doctoral program.

Distance Learning Mode

The scheme requires the successful candidates to enrol on the MPhil / PhD programme at Staffordshire University. Each year, they will spend 3-4 months of their time at the University and the remaining part at their home institutions.

In the first year of the programme, candidates will reside in Stoke on Trent for four months, during the first semester, attending a number of taught modules ( including research methods in economics ) and preparing a proposal for their thesis. In subsequent years, they will return to Stoke on Trent for three months each year, to work on the completion of their thesis and, in some cases, take additional courses. These subsequent stays may be scheduled in a way that minimises conflict with their teaching or other duties.

All candidates will be assigned a thesis supervisor at Staffordshire University who will remain in regular contact with them (by post, fax, e-mail, and the Internet) when they return to their home institution, and who will require them to submit their work at regular intervals. The supervisor will also visit the candidate once a year at their home institution.

Candidates are expected to allocate a portion of their time ( on average 15 – 20 hours per week ) to working on their research while away from the University. The home institution may be required to confirm, in writing, that the candidate will be allowed sufficient time and given other support to work on her/his thesis.

MPhil and PhD

Normally, candidates initially enrol on the MPhil program. Subject to satisfactory progress, they will be able to transfer to the PhD programme, probably in the second year of their study. Candidates who already have a Masters degree (including a ‘research methods’ course) may be able to enrol directly on the PhD programme. For further details of the MPhil / PhD programme, please see the following website http://www.staffs.ac.uk/.

Duration of Scholarships

Scholarships are granted for a period of up to four years, subject to the satisfactory progress of candidates and their continued association with a university or research institution in the region.

Financial Details

The OSF will cover the cost of travel between the home countries of the candidates and Stoke-on-Trent ( including the cost of obtaining a UK visa ) and provide them with a maintenance grant ( £828 per month ), a book allowance of £200 per year during their stay in the United Kingdom, and a thesis allowance of £301 at the time of submitting their thesis. The OSF and Staffordshire University will jointly cover the tuition fee and the cost of supervision, including the annual visit to the candidate’s home institution.

Open Society Foundations & Staffordshire University Scholarship Eligibility

Applicants should :

Be nationals of and normally resident in one of the following: Albania, Republic of Kosovo, the Republic of Macedonia or the Republic of Montenegro during the academic year in which they apply for the award; applicants who are temporarily out of the country at the time of application ( for a total period of less than three consecutive months ) may be treated as being resident.

Hold a first degree ( the equivalent of a BA degree ) with good grades in economics or related disciplines.

Hold a teaching or research position, as an assistant, a junior lecturer or researcher, at a higher education, research or public sector institution in one of the countries in the scheme.

Be able to demonstrate their knowledge of English by passing a TOEFL ( ITP ) or IELTS test at an appropriate level by the time interviews are held for these scholarships, or by other means ( such as having completed an academic programme in English at another institution, or having obtained a
satisfactory mark in one of the above-mentioned tests at a date no earlier than January ).

Return to their home countries at the end of their scholarship period.

Employees, employees’ relatives ( or former employees who have left employment less than two years before ) of the Educational Advising Centers or local Open Society Foundations representations directly involved in the Open Society Scholarship Programs administration in the region and the participating universities will not be eligible to apply for these awards.

Please note that if you have applied, or are applying, for other grants, fellowships or scholarships with the Open Society Foundations you should alert us to this in your application. While you may apply for more than one program simultaneously, you can be awarded only one Open Society Foundations scholarship or grant for a given period.

Areas of Study and Selection Criteria

Candidates may apply to undertake research in any area of theoretical or applied economics. Candidates will be selected on the basis of: (a) their potential to complete a PhD in economics successfully, and (b) the availability of relevant supervisory capacity in their chosen areas of research both at Staffordshire University and their home institution.

This year, applications are invited in the following areas :

  • Monetary policy and the financial sector
  • European economics
  • International trade and foreign direct investment
  • Economic consequences of national and ethnic conflicts
  • Economics of small and medium sized firms and SME policy
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Labour economics and economics of education
  • Economic well being and environmental quality
  • Regional inequalities and regional development

Open Society Foundations & Staffordshire University Scholarship Application Form

Applicants must complete the joint Open Society Foundations – Staffordshire University application form and submit it together with a number of additional documents, specified therein.

Application forms may be obtained from Local Educational Advising Center offices in Podgorica, Prishtina, Skopje, Tirana or from Mrs Jenny Herbert, International Links Administrator, Staffordshire University Business School, Leek Road, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST4 2DF, U.K. ( email : j.herbert@staffs.ac.uk ). The electronic version of this document is available on the PhD programme website at the following address https://www.staffs.ac.uk/

Application documents may be either typed or hand-written in dark ink. Copies ( not the originals ) of university diplomas and transcripts (list of subjects studied and their marks or grades) must be enclosed with the application. The English translation of documents is not necessary at this stage. If candidates are accepted, they will subsequently be required to present the original documents with official translations for
verification when they first arrive at Staffordshire University.

Application forms and all supporting documents must be delivered to the local Educational Advising Center office or the University, in person or sent by post or fax to arrive by January. Applicants are required to submit two copies of the application package: one original and one photocopy of the entire application package. Applicants are requested not to use any staples on their applications and documents.

Applicants are also asked to submit a copy of the scholarship Self-assessment form together with their application package. The Self-assessment form can be found at the end of the of the application form.

Open Society Foundations & Staffordshire University Scholarship Selection Procedure

All applications will be sent to Staffordshire University Business School directly or by the local Educational Advising Center offices. They will be considered by a selection committee who will prepare a short list of applicants. Short-listed candidates will be notified by the second week of March and invited to take an English language test. The language tests will be conducted in the second half of March at the local Educational Advising Center offices. Candidates who pass the English language test will be invited for interviews which will be arranged in late April / early May.

The final decision as to which applicants will be offered scholarships will be made after the completion of all interviews. It is expected that applicants will be informed of the final decision by the end of May.

Successful applicants will be required to arrive in Stoke on Trent in mid-August. ( Candidates required to enrol on preliminary courses would be expected to arrive in early August )