SI Scholarships for PhD studies and postdoctoral research


SI Scholarships for PhD studies and postdoctoral research

The scholarship application call for the academic year 2017/2018 is open from 1 November 2016 to 10 January 2017.

The SI Scholarships for the Western Balkans Programme aims at supporting advanced level studies and research within the field of social sciences in order to forge closer links between the Western Balkans and the European Union, and to contribute to strengthened democracy in the region.

The programme offers about 4 scholarships for the year 2017/2018 for part of PhD studies and postdoctoral research in Sweden.

Who are we looking for?

The SI Scholarships for the Western Balkans Programme is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden and administered by the Swedish Institute (SI). The programme offers a unique opportunity for future leaders to develop professionally and academically, to experience Swedish society and culture, and to build a long-lasting relationship with Sweden and with each other.

The programme aims to contribute to closer relations between the Western Balkans and the EU through the promotion of democratic development in the region. Ideal candidates are ambitious young professionals with outstanding academic qualifications and a clear idea of how a research period in Sweden would benefit their country.

Who is eligible?

The scholarships are intended for PhD students and postdoctoral researchers from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia (FYROM), Montenegro and Serbia conducting part of their studies/research in Sweden within the field of social sciences with a special focus on any of the following thematic areas:

  • democratic accountability
  • gender equality, anti-discrimination
  • human rights, tolerance, minority groups
  • independent media
  • pluralistic civil society
  • rule of law
  • transparency, anti-corruption

Candidates belonging to any of the following categories may apply:

PhD student, applying for a part of his/her ongoing PhD studies to be carried out in Sweden (12 months maximum).
Postdoctoral researcher, with priority given to holders of a PhD degree from 2012 or later (12 months maximum).

A scholarship cannot be granted to an applicant who:

  • has already lived in Sweden for two or more years when the scholarship period is due to begin.
  • already has a Swedish permanent residence permit.
  • has a Swedish work permit.
  • is applying for a scholarship at PhD level but is not enrolled in ongoing PhD studies at a university outside Sweden.
  • is applying for a scholarship at postdoctoral level, but does not hold any PhD degree.
  • has already been awarded three or more grants from SI.
  • has a dual citizenship from countries not listed on the DAC list of ODA recipients.

Selection criteria

Applications are evaluated by the Swedish Institute (SI) and an academic board. The primary evaluation of the application takes into account the applicant’s academic background and personal motivation, research quality and expertise in the project field of the host department. The strength of the research proposal with regards to its scientific quality, originality, methodological approach, and relevance is also evaluated. In the final selection of candidates SI will consider the distribution of scholarships with regards to academic fields, universities, purpose of study, nationality and gender.

Scholarship benefits

The scholarship is free of tax and amounts to SEK 15,000 per month for PhD students and SEK 18,000 per month for postdoctoral researchers and senior scientists. The scholarship cannot be prolonged or extended.


Scholarship holders are insured by the Swedish State Group Insurance against illness and accident during the scholarship period.

SI Network for Future Global Leaders

All Swedish Institute scholarship holders are invited to become members of the SI Network for Future Global Leaders (NFGL), a network that offers unique opportunities during and after the stay in Sweden. Together with other talented people from all around the world, the scholarship holder is able to take part in a variety of events, exchange ideas and create networks that benefit both to career and personal development.

Scholarship limitations

  • the scholarship is designed to cover living costs for the scholarship holder. There are no grants for family members. No funding for bench fees is provided.
  • the granted scholarship period cannot be altered or extended; however, it is possible to apply for subsequent funding through a new call for applications.
  • in case of a postponed arrival date, the scholarship period can be decreased accordingly.
  • there is no travel grant included in the scholarship offer.

Application procedure and key dates

Please read the instructions for more information on the application procedure and to access the online application portal.

The scholarship application call for the academic year 2017/2018 will be open from Tuesday 1 November 2016 to Tuesday 10 January 2017, 24:00 CET.

Scholarship offers will be sent to successful candidates by the end of May 2017 at the latest, and candidates are required to respond to the offer within 14 days. Please note that all decisions are sent by email only.


Please contact sischolarships(a) if you have any questions.

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