This article will focus on how scholars can decide on which PhD program to venture into, which country is best for your program, and most importantly, how to get scholarship for PhD abroad without facing too many hiccups while doing so.
PhD is short for Doctor of Philosophy. This is an academic degree that in most countries qualifies the degree holder to teach their chosen subject at the university level or to work in a specialized position in their chosen field. The word ‘philosophy’ comes from the ancient Greek word ‘philosophical which means ‘love for wisdom.
It originally signified an individual who had achieved a comprehensive general education in the fundamental issues of the present world. Today, the Doctor of philosophy still requires love for wisdom but applies to individuals who have pursued knowledge in a much more specialized field.
What is a PhD?
A PhD is a globally recognized postgraduate degree awarded by universities and higher education institutions to a candidate who has submitted a thesis or dissertation, based on extensive and original research in their chosen fields. The specification of the PhD degrees vary depending on where you are and the course you are intending to study.
Generally, PhD is the highest level of degree a student can achieve, it usually follows a master’s although some institutions also allow students to jump straight to PhD by combining both their master’s and PhD, as long as they are convinced that the student has what it take to combine the two without facing too many difficulties. Traditionally, PhD takes three to four years to complete and after completing a set of original and authentic research will be rewarded with the highest honor in academia.
PhD Admission requirements
Your grades during master’s and bachelor’s degrees will go a very long way whenever you decide to get your PhD Most institutions generally prefer that candidates with high academic standards in both their bachelor’s and master’s levels. Except in some circumstances, PhD candidates with a first-class or a second class upper division will be considered first before the other ones with much lower grades.
Students who are willing to sponsor themselves might apply for PhD with a lower set of grades, but most organizations sponsoring PhD. candidates mostly consider students with a very high grade during their bachelor’s and master’s levels.
Some institutions might also require you to find a tenured professor in your field, who will guide and supervise you throughout your program before they can admit you, while some will assign you a supervisor based on your research topic and methodology once you have been admitted into the program.
Types of Funding
There are different types of funding available in academia, we will take a look at the different types of funding and then examine the types of funds available for PhD candidates.
The general types of funding includes:
Grants and Scholarships
Most people often mistake these two as the same thing, although they are similar in their direction, they are very different in approach. Both scholarships and grants are types of gift aid, which means that students do not need to pay the money back. But grants are usually need-based, and often go to young people who cannot afford the cost of their studies. In contrast, most scholarships are awarded based on academic, athletic, artistic ability, or any other extra curriculum skill that is valued and appreciated by some organizations.
Difference between Scholarship and Student Loans
Grants are not the only alternative to scholarships, we also have financial aid called student loans. Unlike grants and scholarships, student loans are a form of financial aid that needs to be paid back, sometimes with interest. Student loans can both be both a blessing and a curse, as it can either help the student or put them in the long run.
In developed countries, most people are still paying back their student loans, years after they’ve finished school and sometimes it’s way more than they took in the first place.
There are quite a several ways through which a candidate can seek financial assistance in other to enroll in a PhD program, although some may decide to sponsor themselves for the program, due to the required expenses, most candidates rely on assistantship for their program.
Sources of PhD Funding:
Government Agencies: The ministry of education in your home state, the ministry of women affairs and poverty alleviation, agencies, and other government parastatals are a very good place to start your journey if you are looking for a PhD scholarship. Most government agencies offer funds for specific sorts of people in the community. There are quite a several funding for men and women, people from education deprived local governments, state governments sponsor Engineers, doctors, and others who are eager to develop their states with the skill set.
Organizations or bodies: There are quite a several scholarship opportunities made available by specific organizations who are interested in either a particular skill set or working towards the good of their community. Bodies like the McArthur Foundation, Carnegie Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the like also sponsor PhD candidates with adequate funds.
Schools: Exceptional candidates in their Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees are also awarded scholarships by various institutions.
Here are some of the documents needed for PhD applications:
Language Proficiency: Some schools will require you to write a language proficiency test to prove your mastery of the English language. Some of the most popular ones are the ‘’Test of English as a Foreign Language’’ called TOEFL and the ‘’ International English Test Language’’ generally known as IELTS.
Employment/Academic Reference: Some schools might also require you to submit your employment records and/or your academic transcript, including details of course modules and module content as part of your application.
Candidates are also enjoined to submit reference letters from 3 or 4 people who know them well in the academic settings and who can vouch for both their academic credentials and character.
Personal Statements: Many schools will also require you to write a personal statement, which is a short essay that you can use to demonstrate your passion for your chosen subject.
PhD Research Proposal: Candidates are also required to submit their proposals, which will include the outlined research topic, highlight your awareness of current trends in your field, critical analysis, explain your intended research methodology, discuss the real-life implication of your proposed research topic.
In Conclusion, a PhD is the highest honor in academics, which is why there are quite a lot of scholarship opportunities available for it both at home and abroad, but candidates must adhere strictly to rules, guidelines, and principles in other for them to achieve their set goals and objectives.