Minor Field Studies
Important: Please note that the MFS programme has been discontinued by SIDA and therefore there will be no more application rounds for MFS starting autumn 2022.
More information about SIDA's decision on the discountinuation of the programme can be found on the following link: Sidas stipendier | Sida (page in Swedish)
Stockholm University does not currently have any further information.
Those students who have already received a stipend, or a decision that they have been granted a stipend will be able to complete their study by 31 January 2023.
What is MFS?
Minor Field Studies is a scholarship programme funded by Sida and administered by the Swedish Council for Higher Education. The programme is aimed at higher education students at bachelor’s or master’s level.
General terms of Minor Field Studies 2021 (in Swedish).
MFS allows you to collect data or conduct a field study for an essay or a degree project in a less developed country during at least eight weeks (56 days). You are able to apply regardless of your research topic or degree. During your field study, you will have a supervisor at Stockholm University, and a contact in the host country.
Through MFS you will gain international experience, new perspectives, and a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you. It will make you prepared to handle issues on socio-economic development with a global perspective.
Please note that your field study must relate to at least one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030.
Possible host countries
The MFS scholarship offers students to conduct their field study in many less developed countries across the globe. However, you are only able to choose one host country and the duration must be at least eight consecutive weeks (56 days), but no more than 20 weeks.
Click here for a list of the MFS host countries (in Swedish)
Please note, it is important to read through the below information about the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Utrikesdepartementet) advice against travel as this may affect your choice of host country.
Travel dissuasion issued by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Please note that the MFS scholarship will not be granted to a country or a region if the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Utrikesdepartementet) advise against travel to a specific country or region. The level of safety can quickly change in different countries and regions and it is the duty of the Foreign Ministry to make sure citizens are informed about of the risks of travelling to dangerous areas. When preparing your MFS application, always try to find out as much as possible about the security situation in the area you plan to visit. Note that you have to compare the list of MFS host countries to the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs advise against travel.
An MFS-study cannot be undertaken when the Foreign Ministry advise against the below travel:
- “dissuasion from non-necessary travels to the country”
- “all travels to the country”
- “all Swedes to leave a country/part of the country”
Note: If the dissuasion from non-necessary travels and all travel is only applicable to one specific part of the country (a region), students may still carry out his/her field study in a secure area of the country as long as the dangerous areas are avoided also when travelling to or from the main destination.
Note: If the advice against travel is introduced, or changed, after departure and includes a dissuasion from “non-necessary travels”, the University shall, in consultation with the relevant foreign authorities and students, decide whether it is appropriate to stay in the country or return to Sweden.
Note: If the advice against travel is introduced, or changed, after departure and includes a dissuasion from “all travels”, the students need to leave the country and return to Sweden within 30 days.
Note: If the advice against travel is introduced, or changed, after departure and “urges to leave the country / part of the country”, the University must ensure that the student immediately follows the dissuasion and leaves the country / part of the country.
Should the Foreign Ministry dissuade from travelling when you have already arrived in the host country, you do not need to meet the MFS conditions of spending 8 weeks in the field. This is specified in the MFS general terms.
Even if a travel dissuasion has not been issued by the Foreign Ministry, Stockholm University should always secure that the personal safety and health of the student, and of persons concerned in the host country, is not at risk during the period of the Minor Field Study.
The field study should relate to at least one of the Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals. Please find below some links to further information about the Agenda 2030:
Scholarship and budget
The MFS scholarship will grant you SEK 27,000 that you can use to cover any expenses related to your field study, such as travel, accommodation, vaccination, and visa. However, note that the scholarship is not meant to cover all costs, but should be an addition to your student grant (e.g. CSN).
Support for students with a disability
If you have a disability and require support, such as leaning aids, transportation, assistant or other, you are able to apply for an extended scholarship to cover the extra costs. For more information, access the Swedish Council for Higher Education’s website.
Click here to read more about MFS with a disability (in Swedish)
Supervisor and contact in host country
Participants in the MFS programme will need a supervisor at Stockholm University as well as a contact in the host country. Preferably, you should have contacted them before you apply. Your supervisor in Sweden will be responsible for the academic supervision of you project. This contact person in the host country, however, has no academic responsibilities, but will help you navigate through your host country and issues that may arise.
Supervisor at Stockholm University
The supervisor at Stockholm University has the same responsibility for MFS students work as for other dissertation projects at home base. The supervisor should be well acquainted with the research method and be knowledgeable within the field. In addition, the supervisor may assist you in identifying a contact person in the host country.
During you time abroad, your supervisor will be on hand to assist in theoretical or methodological problems, should they arise. After returning to Stockholm University, the same supervision as for other degree projects will be available to you. Also, please note that some departments require the supervisor to have a PhD.
In the MFS application, you need to submit a confirmation from your supervisor at Stockholm University (email/certificate or equivalent) that certifies the suitability of the study and that they will be your supervisor. Contact your programme coordinator to get a supervisor. If you do not have a supervisor at the time of application, a certificate from the department supporting the application is required.
Your department can contact the MFS Coordinator for a template of the certificate, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact person in the host country
Your contact person in the host country can be employed at a governmental authority, Higher Education Institution, organisation or company in the country. They may also represent development projects such as Sida, the UN, NGOs, or similar. However, the contact does not necessarily have to be a part of an organisation. Many students choose to find a contact person themselves through their personal network or through research.
Your contact should be able to help with practical things both before and during you time in the country, such as finding people to interview, advice on accommodation, travel, transport and safety. The contact will not receive compensation from Sida or Stockholm University for their efforts. Therefore, it is important that you reimburse any expenses agreed by the both of you beforehand, for example for transportation or data collection.
In the MFS application, you need to submit a confirmation from the contact in the field (formal invitation or certificate/contract such as an email exchange) showing there is a contact in the country to assist you. If you submit an email exchange, make sure you include both your initial email requesting for a contact person and the contact person's reply confirming the request.
Please note: the confirmation must be submitted in English. If your contact does not speak English, please write a translation in English and attach to application.
Tips how to find a contact person:
- Ask your department if they have suitable contacts or collaborations abroad. Does another department have a suitable network you can use?
- Do you have friends/family that previously travelled or lived in one of the MFS countries?
- Research various host organisations and make contact.
- Stockholm University has many international partnerships, networks and collaborations. You can read more on this link Collaboration and societal development. Did you know that Stockholm University has a Nordic Institute of Latin Amerika Studies Do you know about SPIDER that works with ICT4D projects in Africa? If you want to get in contact with SPIDER about their projects, please contact the MFS Coordinator on email@example.com.
- Is there an MFS alumnus that have been to the country where you like to go? Ask the Exchange Coordinator at your department or the MFS Coordinator on firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.
If you have been accepted by MFS
If you have any questions regarding the MFS scholarship programme, please contact Student Services' MFS coordinator via email@example.com.
If you have questions concerning the project itself, contact the member of staff responsible for MFS at your department. Usually, this is the exchange coordinator.
It is recommended that you participate in an information seminar before you submit your application to the MFS scholarship. You find planned information seminars under the heading “Application rounds and information seminars”.
Last updated: January 30, 2023
Source: Student Services