MARES Erasmus Mundus Doctoral Fellowships for International Students, 2014

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Applications are invited for doctoral fellowships for the Joint Doctoral Programme on Marine Ecosystem Health & Conservation funded by Erasmus Mundus. Each year there are about 9 scholarships available for 3 years: 3 for Category B applicants; 5 for Category A applicants and 1 for an external window candidate (Western Balkan / Turkey). Research/Training with MARES partners has to happen in at least 2 different European countries. For Category B fellowship holders, these two countries must be different from the country in which the doctoral candidate has obtained his/her last university degree. The applications will close on December 1st 2013 for September 2014 intake.

Study Subject (s): Fellowships are awarded for the Joint Doctoral Programme on Marine Ecosystem Health & Conservation. MARES focuses its research on six scientific and applied fields dealing with the effects of impacts of humans on the natural marine environment. These pre-defined fields are: Future Oceans: temperature changes – hypoxia – acidification, Understanding biodiversity effects on the functioning of marine ecosystems, Biological invasions, Natural Resources: overexploitation, fisheries and aquaculture, Ocean noise pollution and Habitat loss, urban development, coastal infrastructures and Marine Spatial Planning.
Course Level: Fellowships are offered for pursuing doctoral programme.
Scholarship Provider: Erasmus Mundus
Scholarship can be taken at: EU Member States or the countries participating in the Consortium

Eligibility: Diploma Requirements (yes/no): A prerequisite for admission is that applicants have a Master degree in Biology, Ecology, Environmental Sciences, Oceanography, Marine Sciences, Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, or other equivalent degrees. In fact a minimum requirement of 240 ECTS or equivalent to 4 years of graduate studies with thesis is eligible. Paper versions of diplomas (or transcript of records for those who have not yet obtained their diploma).
Language Requirements (yes/no):
-A recent TOEFL Certificate: minimum score: 570 points (Paper) or 87 points (Internet)
-Or a recent IELTS Certificate: minimum score: 6.5
-Or a recent First Certificate in English from the University of Cambridge
-Or a recent Certificate of a University Language Centre is testifying that the student masters the necessary knowledge of English to function academically (specify CEF-level) – C1 level
-Or a recent proof that the candidate followed at least 2 Years of higher education taught in English.

Scholarship Open for International Students: Category A candidates: candidates who come from a country other than EU member states and who are not residents nor have carried out their main activity (studies, work, etc.) for more than a total of 12 months over the last five years in these countries. (The only exception to this rule applies to Third-Country (non-EU) candidates who have previously received an Erasmus Mundus masters scholarship).
-Category B candidates: Any candidate who does not fulfill the criteria of a category A applicant.
-Window candidates: Each year the EU can offer extra grants for candidates from specific areas. Usually 1 additional grant is available each year for candidates coming from Western Balkan and Turkey. These candidates should apply under “Category A”.

Scholarship Description: MARES is a Joint Doctoral Programme on Marine Ecosystem Health & Conservation funded through Erasmus Mundus. The programme is offered by a consortium of 24 partners originating from 14 different countries. MARES will focus on six scientific and applied fields, all dealing with the effects of the impact of humans on the natural marine environment. MARES is funded for 5 years and offers for each of these 5 years approximately 9 fellowships for doctoral researchers. These fellowships are funded for 3 years and always involve at least 2 partners with an obligatory mobility component.

Mobility Rules: Research/Training with MARES partners has to happen in at least 2 different European countries. For Category B fellowship holders, 2 of the countries visited during the MARES activities must be different from the country in which the doctoral candidate has obtained his/her last university degree. You have to spend at least two thirds in Europe for the period covered by the fellowship.
If the PhD topic you selected includes a third-country partner (a non European partner), then:
-Category A fellowship holders can spend a period of maximum 1 semester (6 months) in a third country.
-Category B fellowship holders can spend up to 1 year in a third-country.
-Periods in excess of this duration cannot be covered by the MARES project.

Number of award (s): Each year there are about 9 scholarships available: 3 for Category B applicants; 5 for Category A applicants and 1 for an external window candidate (Western Balkan / Turkey).

Duration of award(s): These fellowships are funded for 3 years.

What does it cover? An Erasmus Mundus grant can be broken down into several components:
-Employment Budget: An Erasmus Mundus PhD fellowship is a grant that is funded for 3 years (exactly 36 months). With this grant PhD candidates are offered an employment contract. 2.800€ is available for employment purposes (33.600€ per year or 100.800€ for the full 3 years). Different national regulations (taxes, social security, salary calculations, etc.) in different countries result in a different net salary. Depending on the institution and country where the candidate is employed, the monthly net salary ranges from 1.400€ to 2.000€. In the exceptional case when offering an employment contract proves impossible (due to for example visa regulations; applicable to non-EU nationalities employed in the UK), a stipend will be offered instead of an employment contract. The amount of the stipend will be exactly €1400.
-Bench Fee Budget: Next to the employment budget an Erasmus Mundus PhD grant also foresees in a bench fee budget of 600€ per month (7.200€ per year or 21.600€ for the full 3 years). This budget is usually under the direct control of the main supervisor and can be transferred to the host instutition during mobility periods. From this particular budget the following costs can be paid:
Yearly contribution to the MARES fund of €240
Costs related to research activities
Costs of training course participation
Participation costs of conferences
Enrollment costs at universities
Participation to the obligatory MARES annual meetings
Travel costs between host institutions (partner 1 – partner 2) are normally not paid from this budget. The doctoral guidance committee however can decide on a case by case basis.
-Travel Fee / Installation Costs Budget: This particular budget is only available to Erasmus Mundus funded Category A candidates. 7.500€ is available to cover costs related to travel and installation. This budget is transferred directly to the candidate in different installments:
3.000€ at the start of the first year
1.500€ at the start of the second year
1.500€ at the start of the third year
1.500€ upon successful completion of your MARES Joint Doctorate (graduation).

Selection Criteria: The selection of grantees is a competitive process based on the academic performance and credentials of the doctoral candidates, in order to guarantee the selection of high-quality researchers.

Notification: By the end of February preliminary selection results will be communicated. All applicants will then receive a feedback email regarding their selection. The official approval from the funding agency (EACEA) is usually expected by early May.

How to Apply: The application process happens fully online. Applicants have to register an account, fill in an online application form and upload the required documents before the deadline in December. It is not necessary to do everything in one session. The application form will save all inputted information, so it’s possible to continue completing this form at a later date.

Scholarship Application Deadline: The application deadline is December 1st 2013.

Further Official Scholarship Information and Application

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