Many Organisations sponsor Research Fellowship in order to aid promising upcoming professionals in return for their research/work in the field.
If you are looking for a nudge towards your plans in the future, then here’s everything you would require to know about research fellowships.
How to search Relevant Fellowship Opportunities for Yourself.
Be Alert and read the fine print.
More often than not, research fellowships are considered as scholarships, but that might not be the case everywhere.
The most important difference between the two is the availability of funds i.e. ‘financial aid’.
PhD scholarship or research fellowship is equivalent to financial aid, either in the form of tuition fee or ‘ per diem’ i.e. living allowance.
Fellowships may be granted as an honorary status, even without any financial aid. The status can provide the advantage of access to important resources, such as in a library or a research institute.
Call to Action.
In this Digital Age , Finding a research fellowship has been simplified, however the increased competitiveness makes it tough to acquire.
That’s why it’s important to have a well thought out course of action in mind.
Research Fellowships offered are broadcasted, and Websites have taken that onus to display available fellowships.
Some resourceful sites to look out :
- PhDPortal.com : This portal provides choices as well as filters , and extra details such as funding and other details like contact information or a link to the institution /department in question.
- ScholarshipPortal.com : This portal provides information on scholarships at different levels (Bachelor, Masters, PhD) considering the subject area of your interest, your nationality and the preferred destination country.
- Profellow.com : Profellow gives expert advice on competing fellowships through a ProFellow Member Network.
Bonus Links :
These sites can offer you numerous choices, but ultimately it’s up to you , as an individual who has to decide which one is better for you and why .
Important Do’s to get yourself an Amazing Research Fellowship!
1. Start Your PhD Fellowship Search Early.
An old and time- tested adage :
‘Early is on time , on time is late , and late is unacceptable.’
PhDs are highly coveted in most nations, and thus generate huge competition .It’s always fruitful to start early, get a head start , and not keep fumbling in the dark , grasping at loose strings later on.
Even though a lot of universities state that they would have more than one round of Applications/proposals , they consist of limited spots as well as limited funding.
Therefore , it’s always better to start searching early and make an informed choice/decision.
Start applying from November – December before you enroll. This might also help you to prepare for applying for other scholarships, both in the country as well as abroad.
2. Know Where Your Interests Lie.
First off, while a fellowship can be a fantastic opportunity, don’t apply just because it sounds fun or you’re looking for something to fill your time.
‘What will this experience offer me?
What do I expect to learn and accomplish?
It’s safe to assume that you have completed your Masters, and subsequently have a fair knowledge of the subjects and understanding where your interests lie.
However , to be fair, it’s not always clear in the beginning of your PhD search where you want to focus on.
Here’s a tip for it.
A topic, that keeps you up at night, maybe busy in your free time, or you find it interesting or intriguing and you invest most of your time in it, then it’s a sign that this is the subject you desire for PhD.
Honestly , Working towards a PhD degree is a grueling task. In order to be successful in such a venture, your mind, body ,soul should have an active interest in your subject.. it does not remain a piece of work, it becomes a part of your lifestyle.
It should NOT be something that you stop thinking out of the workplace , and definitely not something you prefer to leave back in the work environment.
Keep introspecting. New ideas can arise in the most unusual situations and places.
3. Understand Your Eligibility.
Here’s a secret.
Candidates who are well -rounded ( academics as well as sports , extra curricular activities) are preferred to those with near perfect grades.
Many fellowships ask for a good GPA , but don’t get stressed out about that one rough semester..
The authorities just wish to confirm through your GPA that you have been sincere and consistent throughout your academic years to make sure you are responsible and will be able to perform well.
4. Analyze University Rankings in Your Preferred Field.
It never hurts to apply.
The primary requirements for searching institutions is to give a look at university rankings filtered by subject of interest as given in the QS World University Rankings by Subject.
However, if it’s a niche subject, you should focus less on university rankings , and more on good universities which accommodate your interest.
Take time , evaluate and analyse , contact them and then make an informed decision.
Also, it’s a wrong attitude to remove higher ranking universities from your list because ‘chances are low’ .
5. Talk to Professors and Current Students Pursuing Post Doctoral Fellowships.
Professors actually know how things work in the departments , it might not be such a bad idea to develop good contact with them. Ask them for advice, and guidance. Your PhD should match your character, attitude, interests, and capability.
Contact Seniors, PhD students for they are better equipped with the know hows of a PhD Aspirant Life.
Bonus : Think about the Social Life of a PhD student, but Don’t make it your Priority.
Being a PhD scholar implies that it will take most of your time and energy. But that doesn’t mean you should not spare time for yourself. Keep a social life , aside of PhD search. Take part in extracurricular activities , a movie in a while, going out for dinner , sports, yoga .
Going out for walks and nice environment is often enticing, but make sure that it’s not the major reason why you took a particular university.. Because chances are you will mostly spend your time indoors, in a library.
Also make sure to keep a balance. Too many enticing activities can sometimes shift focus and lead to too many distractions from academic work.
I guess, if we have followed all this, then we are more than ready to start writing those applications!
Check out our Article on How to Write a Grant Application !
(Article Contributed by Aryan Gupta, Precisely)
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