Minor Field Studies
Do you wish to collect data for your degree project/essay abroad?
Stockholm University students have the opportunity to apply for the Minor Field Studies (MFS) programme funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The scholarship gives you the possibility to spend 8 weeks in a developing country to conduct a field study for your bachelor's or master's degree project/essay. You need a supervisor at Stockholm University and a contact person in the host country that can assist with practical matters.
Application periods 2021
|Application period||Period of field studies|
|20 Sept - 15 Oct, 2020*||Spring 2021|
|15 Apr - 5 May, 2021||Autumn 2021|
Please note: the deadline for all applications is at 23:59. For MFS scholarship holders, the earliest date to begin the field study is one month after the application deadline.
*Stockholm University will receive an answer of its application for new scholarships in November each year. Scholarships will be awarded to students as soon as possible thereafter.
Come and meet us at one of our information sessions about MFS. Ask all your questions about the application and meet some MFS alumni, that have already been on an MFS. It is recommended to participate in an information session and the “MFS Application Writing Workshop” prior to submitting an application. Some sessions may be advertised in Swedish, but can be held in English. Further dates for informations sessions and application writing workshops may be added here during April 2021.
- 20 april (at 12.00 – 13.00): Information session Gör ditt exjobb utomlands – sök Minor Field Studies stipendium Advertised in Swedish, but can be held in English.
- 21 April (at 16.00 – 16.45): Join our information session about Sida’s MFS scholarship
- 27 April (at 12.00 – 13.00): Information session Gör ditt exjobb utomlands – sök Minor Field Studies stipendium Advertised in Swedish, but can be held in English.
- 29 April (at 10.00 – 11.30): MFS application writing workshop
Coronavirus – Information for students about Minor Field Studies
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 2020 (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 and insurance changes as will 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.
In many of the countries eligible for a MFS scholarship, certain areas are clearly less suited for tourism or studies. When the Foreign Ministry warns tourists and students from going to these areas, the expression “dissuasion from non-necessary travels” is used (in Swedish: ”avråder från icke-nödvändiga resor”). If the dissuasion of “non-necessary travels” is only applicable to one specific part of the country, students may still carry out a Minor 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.
There are situations when the level of security rapidly deteriorates in a country, which calls for a general dissuasion of “all travels to the country” (in Swedish: ”avråder från alla resor”) or to “all travels to a part of the country”. This means that not only tourism and student travels are restricted, also staff of the Foreign Minstry are affected by the dissuasion. If this strong message is declared, it is not possible to carry out a MFS study in any part of the country, even though some parts of the country should still be safe to visit. This is due to the fact that the insurance used by Stockholm University for MFS students issued by Kammarkollegiet is not applicable under these circumstances. It is not possible for the student to sign an alternative insurance. Below you will find further information about Kammarkollegiet’s insurance.
If the Foreign Ministry calls for “all Swedes to leave a country/part of a country” (in Swedish: ”uppmanar svenskar att lämna landet/landområde”), Stockholm University needs to secure that no MFS students remain in the area. 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.
Future insurance changes that will affect your choice of host country
The terms and conditions of Kammarkollegiet’s Student UT insurance will be updated from July 1, 2021. An important change is that the insurance will not be valid in countries where the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Utrikesdepartementet) advises against all travel to (in Swedish: “alla resor”). If the advice against all travel only refers to a certain region in the country, the insurance is not valid at all in that country (in Swedish: “alla resor till delar av land”). If the advice against travel is introduced during the stay abroad, the insurance is valid during a transition period of 30 days for the student to have time to return home.
This will have some consequences for several MFS countries, for example, Colombia, Ethiopia and Turkey, where the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs advises against all travel to a certain region in the country. Please note, you have to compare the list of MFS host countries to the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs advise against all travel.
You will not be able to conduct your MFS through Stockholm University if the university cannot ensure that you have a valid student insurance via Kammarkollegiet. Please find further information about the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs advise against travel below.
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.
In order to apply for an MFS scholarship, you must meet the admission requirements.
To do so, you should:
- Do a bachelor's or master's degree project, or do some other type of thesis, at Stockholm University.
- Be a registered student at Stockholm University.
- Be a Swedish citizen or have a permanent residence permit (permanent uppehållstillstånd) in Sweden. The permanent right of residence (permanent uppehållsrätt) of EU country residents is not equal to a permanent residence permit and, therefore, does not meet the requirements. Students from other Nordic countries who are not Swedish citizens must have been registered in Sweden for at least one year to apply.
- Have good proficiency of the English language and know some basic Swedish. Knowledge of the host country's language is a plus.
- Never begun a doctoral (third cycle) level education (PhD).
- Not receive other scholarships through the Swedish Council of Higher Education (for example Erasmus) or Sida at the same time, or for the same education cycle.
- Not previously received an MFS scholarship for the same level of educational programme. It is acceptable to apply for a scholarship for a different educational programme or at another level of study. Further information is found under the heading “Selection and decision” below.
How to apply
Selection and decision
The assessment and selection process begins when the Minor Field Studies (MFS) scholarship application round has closed. Below, you will find an overview of Stockholm University's application assessment and decision process.
Assessment of the application
Both the academic quality and the feasibility of the project description are assessed. Each application is assessed in its entirety, including attachments. The assessment is based on the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR) MFS general terms.
Previous MFS field study
- Students who have not previously received an MFS scholarship will be prioritised. Applicants who have previously received an MFS scholarship are placed last in the selection process. Please note, students can only receive an MFS scholarship one (1) time within the same level of educational programme.
- Students that received a preliminary decision of an MFS scholarship in the application round with the deadline May 5, 2019, and were unable to conduct their field study due to Covid-19, can apply again and will be prioritised in the selection process.
When the application deadline has passed, the following process occurs:
- Student Services makes a basic eligibility assessment by checking that applications are complete and that they meet the admission requirements.
- Eligible applications are forwarded to the relevant department. There are at least two assessors of each application. Assessors are people at the department who have good subject knowledge and experience of assessing student theses/work/applications. All of the department's applications are assessed in the same way, regardless of education level.
- A Central Assessment Committee meet, consisting of faculty representatives, Student Services, and a student representative, to determine the selection.
Decision on allocation
Decisions are communicated to all applicants via email approximately three to four weeks after the application round closed. Accepted students are recommended to read the heading below "If you have been accepted by MFS".
Decisions can not be appealed.
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: March 31, 2021
Source: Student Services