June 4, 2012

Erasmus Mundus Scholarships in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation

Erasmus Mundus Scholarships

Course(s) Offered: Marine biodiversity, Nature conservation and restoration
Course Level: Masters
Provider: EU Erasmus Mundus
Country to Study in: Any country in Europe

Scholarship Description
The Erasmus Mundus Master of Science in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation is one of the Master Courses selected by the prestigious Erasmus Mundus framework of the European Commission.

It is strongly oriented to the fundamental understanding of the structure and function of marine biodiversity, the acquisition of several kinds of tools required for understanding the complexity of biodiversity patterns and processes and finally to the application of this knowledge for nature conservation and restoration.

The study programme is divided into 3 thematic modules: (1) Understanding the structure and function of marine biodiversity, (2) Toolbox for investigating marine biodiversity, (3) Conservation and Restoration of marine biodiversity. More information about the study programme can be found here.

A prerequisite for admission is that applicants have a Bachelor (or Master) degree in biology, ecology, environmental sciences, oceanography, marine sciences, geography, geology, or other equivalent degrees with minimum 180 credits at the latest before Sep 1st 2010. For third country students, preferably before Feb 28th 2010.

We expect a number of students to be attracted to the programme, whose institutions are not always well known and whose coursework is sometimes difficult to benchmark. We therefore have to take institutional reputation (e.g. via post-doctoral researchers) and international league tables into account. More easily measurable admission criteria that will be used are grade point averages, winning of prizes, TOEFL scores and details of course and project work completed.

Knowledge of the English language is a basic requirement:
  • A recent TOEFL Certificate: minimum score: 570 points (Paper) or 87 points (Internet)
  • A recent IELTS Certificate: minimum score: 6.0
  • A recent First Certificate in English of the University of Cambridge
  • A recent Certificate of a University Language Centre testifying that the student masters the necessary knowledge of English to function academically (specify CEF-level)
The Management Board might abstain from the above certificates if proof can be given that English was the language of instruction/teaching for at least one year of the previous successful studies or if English is the mother tongue.

Students can apply through a common application form available in English. It contains all elements necessary for further selection (such as full academic background containing a list of courses followed, obtained grades, ranking of the students in their previous studies (best 5%, 10 %, 20 %), language skills, motivation, background on marine sciences and so on).

The students should also indicate at which of the partner universities they would like to start their studies. Further two recommendation letters will be asked for each student. The coordinator (technical secretariat) collects all application forms, checks whether students fulfill basic diploma requirements and prepares an overview for the selection by the Management board.

Selection Criteria:
Selection will be based on academic scores, reputation of the school or institute were the student has previously studied, language skills, country of origin (in order to promote geographical balance), interest in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation and background, motivation and other relevant criteria.

Further the recommendation letters will be taken into account (with as criteria the names and reputation of the referees, their ranking of the student, their evaluation of the language and other capacities of the student).

Scholarship students will be divided over the three ‘Group I’ universities based on student preference, knowledge of languages and research interest.

Eligible group
Non-EU students from developing/emerging countries as well as EU students. Students from non-EU countries are defined as:
  • nationals coming from all countries (for all countries of the world with the exception of the 27 EU Member States, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein).
  • who are not residents of any of the above countries
  • who have not carried out their main activities (studies, work, etc.) for more than a total of 12 months over the last five years in any of the above countries
  • who apply for three Erasmus Mundus Masters Courses at maximum.
Participating Institution(s)
The Erasmus Mundus Master of Science in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (EMBC) is offered by a University consortium consisting of 6 partners (Group I : Ghent University (Belgium), University of Bremen (Germany), University of the Algarve (Portugal), and group II : University Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 006 (France), University of Oviedo (Spain) and University of Klaip├Ęda (Lithuania))

Fields of study
Master of Science in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation

Scholarship benefits
About 17 Erasmus Mundus scholarship grants are available. Students from non-European Union countries are eligible for two-year grants of € 21,000 per year. All partners run international programmes and provide the services of an Office for International Students and Scholars. They have the mechanisms in place for housing and provision for accommodation, mediation in visa procedure, counseling, social integration (welcome celebration, sport, cultural activities…), compulsory healthcare, help in opening bank account.

Method of Application
Application forms for the academic year 2012-2013 are available until 1 January 2012.
EMBC application requires the following steps :
  • read carefully the criteria
  • make an EMBC personal account in the EMBC application tool
  • enter all required data in the EMBC application tool :
    • personal data
    • study overview
    • language skills
    • professional data
    • financial information
    • motivation letters
    • other information
  • submit the EMBC application to the EMBC secretariat
  • send the required paper documents to the EMBC secretariat:
    • a copy of your electronic application form with added date, name and signature on the last page
    • a clear copy of your secondary school leaving certificate
    • a clear copy of your higher education diploma(s), including all transcripts of records, duly stamped and signed by the issuing institute(s). If you have not yet completed your bachelor degree, add the transcripts of records of the years you have completed and a proof of inscription of the year you are currently finishing.
IMPORTANT REMARK: if your secondary school leaving certificate and/or higher education diploma(s) are not issued in English, French, Portugese, German, Spanish or Dutch, then they need to be translated by a certified translator and the original AND translation need to be added to your application.
    • language certificate(s) as described in the application form: a TOEFL certificate, IELTS certificate or document from your higher education institute
    • a copy of your international passport if you have stated your international passport number on the application form. If you do not have an international passport, add a copy of your national ID card
    • two letters of recommendation in case they have not been uploaded
IMPORTANT REMARK about LEGALISATION: should you be academically admitted to the EMBC program, and wish to start in September 2012, then you need to submit a legalised copy of your secondary and higher education diploma(s) soon after the provisional admission to start enrolment procedures.
The legalised copies must bear the original seals and stamps of the Belgian diplomatic authorities (=the Belgian Embassy or the Belgian General Consulate). If no Belgian diplomatic authorities are present in your country, then the diplomatic authorities of Germany, the Portugal, Spain or France can also legalise your diploma(s) and school certificates.
Since the legalisation can take a few weeks or longer in some circumstances, we advise our applicants to start the legalisation at the time of submitting this application. Failure to provide legalised documents in time might result in the withdrawal of an offer of scholarship (if any) or impossibility to enrol in September due to lack of time for completing the administrative procedures.

Application forms are accessible through the following links:
  • For non-European students (CATEGORY A)
    • Step 1: Activate your personal EMBC application application: enter here
    • Step 2: fill in the application form: enter here
  • For European students (CATEGORY B)
    • Step 1: Activate your personal EMBC application application: enter here
    • Step 2: fill in the application form: enter here
Application Deadline:
Deadlines for application:
  • 1 January 2012 for non-EU students
  • 1 January 2012 for EU-students applying for an Erasmus Mundus grant
  • 20 June 2012 for EU students not applying for an Erasmus Mundus grant
Next course starts Sept 2012
Open to International students: Yes

More Scholarship Information and Application

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