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Swedish Institute Visby Programme Scholarships for PhD Studies and Postdoctoral Research, 2020-21

The Swedish Institute is delighted to announce Visby Programme Scholarships for PhD studies and postdoctoral research for up to 12 months for the academic year 2020/2021. Scholarships are available for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russian Federation, and Ukraine.

The Visby Programme aims at building capacity in professionals who have the ambition to play an active role in society and to contribute to a positive development in their home countries and region.

  • Award
  • Application Process
  • Clarity of Information


Helpful offer for international students to get a fully-funded PhD and Postdoctoral research study award in Sweden.

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The Swedish Institute is a public agency that encourages interest and trust in Sweden around the world. We operate in the fields of culture, education, science and business in seeking to strengthen ties and promote development.

Scholarship Description:

  • Applications Deadline: 10 February 2020
  • Course Level: Scholarships are available for PhD and Postdoctoral research.
  • Study Subject: Scholarships are awarded to study any of the courses offered by the institute
  • Scholarship Award: Included in the scholarship
  1. Tuition fees: pay directly to the Swedish university by us
  2. Living expenses of SEK 10,000/month
  3. Travel grant of SEK 5,000/academic year
  4. Membership in the SI Network for Future Global Leaders (NFGL)
  • Nationality: Scholarships are available for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russian Federation, and Ukraine.
  • Number of Scholarships: About 60 scholarships will be offered.
  • Scholarship can be taken in Sweden

Eligibility for the Scholarship

Eligible Countries: Scholarships are available for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russian Federation, and Ukraine.

Entrance Requirements: Applicants must meet the following criteria:

The scholarship provides PhD students, postdoctoral and senior researchers with an opportunity to conduct research at Swedish universities. Researchers within all academic disciplines may apply. To qualify you to need to belong to one of the following categories:

  • PhD student – PhD students/candidates applying for one long-term visit of 6, 9 or 12 months.
  • Postdoctoral researcher – Postdoctoral researchers applying for one long-term visit of 6, 9 or 12 months. Holders of a PhD degree, preferably from 2014 or later.
  • Senior researcher – Holders of a PhD degree who do not fit into the category of postdoctoral researchers, above, applying for one long-term visit of 6 months maximum.
  • Sandwich model– PhD students, postdoctoral and senior researchers applying for a scholarship over several shorter visits. Maximum three research visits per year, over three years. You may apply for the total number of months as specified for each category above (minimum 6 months). Each visit must be minimum 1 month. The scholarship visit(s) must be carried out by the end of 2021.

English Language Requirements: Applicants whose first language is not English are usually required to provide evidence of proficiency in English at the higher level required by the University.

Application Procedure

How to Apply: The letter of invitation from a Swedish university department welcoming you as a visiting scholar is an essential part of the application. 

Requirements for the letter of invitation

  1. The mandatory SI template Letter of invitation must be used. Word 1997-2003.
  2. The letter of invitation must be dated within the last four months and acknowledge the proposed scholarship period.
  3. The letter of invitation must be signed by a professor or head of the department at the Swedish university. If the attached letter of invitation is not signed, the application will not be processed
  4. Attach the signed letter of invitation as a PDF to your application.

2. Prepare your application

Prepare the documents listed below. Always use the required SI templates or the application will not be considered.

Please note that enclosures 1-9 are mandatory for all applicants. PhD students are also required to submit enclosures 12-13.

  1. Letter of invitation
    See instructions in section 1 (“Get a letter of invitation”), above.
  2. CV of the appointed supervisor/contact person in Sweden – mandatory
    A brief CV, maximum 2 pages, including a list of the most relevant publications (maximum 10).
  3. Abstract – mandatory SI templateWord 97-2003
    The abstract should give a summary of your research proposal briefly outlining its main components. The abstract should be written targeting a broader audience, not only researchers within your field. Maximum 700 characters, including spaces.
  4. Research proposal – mandatory SI templateWord 97-2003
    The research proposal should describe the scientific quality of the project as well as its originality, methodological approach and relevance. The research proposal is an important part of your application and should be prepared carefully, written in a way so that generalists can evaluate it. Maximum 6 pages.
  5. CV of the applicant – mandatory Europass CV template
    CV:s submitted in other formats will not be considered. Please note that the CV should include a photo of you. Maximum 3 pages.
  6. Personal motivation – mandatory SI templateWord 97-2003
    The personal statement of motivation is an essential part of the scholarship application. It will complement the academic evaluation in assessing the applicant’s personal and professional motivation and how the suggested research project corresponds to the overall aims of the Visby Programme.
  7. Copies of university degrees – mandatory
    Copies of the highest attained university degree, translated into English and certified by the university. Do not attach transcript of records. Applicants for a postdoctoral scholarship who are to receive their PhD degree shortly after the application deadline must submit an official letter from their home department stating the expected date for obtaining the degree. Such applicants will receive the same monthly stipend as scholarship holders at PhD level, until a copy of their PhD degree certificate has been provided to the Swedish Institute.
  8. English Language Certificate – mandatory
    A copy of an internationally recognized English test result (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge). You may also use SI:s English language certificate template. The template is to be filled out by an English teacher or another professional who can evaluate and comment on your English language proficiency. The proficiency requirement is at least English 6 or Independent User B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. If you have completed an educational programme (for example a Master’s degree) in English, you may submit a diploma instead.
  9. The contact information of two reference persons
    Contact details (full name and e-mail address) of two reference persons must be provided directly in the online application portal by all applicants. PhD students should state their academic supervisor at the home department/research group as their first reference person. During the scholarship selection process, the reference persons may be contacted by SI for additional information. Your prospective supervisor in Sweden cannot serve as a reference person.
  10. List of publications – optional
    The applicant’s list of publications should be submitted using the mandatory SI template. Maximum two pages. Note that while a list of publications is optional (because of the different levels applicants may be at), we urge everyone who has publications to submit a list.
  11. Previous Scholarship Results – former scholarship holders only
    If you have previously been awarded a scholarship from SI for PhD/postdoc/senior research visits, you must include a report of your earlier results. 
  12. Letter of support – PhD students only
    PhD students are required to submit a letter of support from their academic supervisor or head of the home department/research group that describes the applicant’s and the home department’s interest in co-operation with the Swedish department/research group and the long-term impact of a study/research visit to Sweden. The letter of support must confirm the applicant’s status as a PhD student’s and certify that the applicant will be able to continue his/her research at the home department after the scholarship period in Sweden. Maximum 2 pages.
  13. CV of the current supervisor at the home department/research group – PhD students only
    A brief CV including a list of the most relevant publications, limited to 10. Maximum 2 pages.

3. Submit your application online

Submit the application online using the Swedish Institute application portal. Complete all the mandatory fields and attach all required documents. To access the application portal, see the grey field below (“Apply here!”).

Scholarship Link