EUI Ph.D. scholarships

     
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The European University Institute’s call for 150 full Ph.D. scholarships is open and jobs.ac.uk held a live hangout to engage with the academic faculty and explore these opportunities to find out how to maximize your prospects in accessing them.

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About this video

The European University Institute’s call for 150 full Ph.D. scholarships is open and jobs.ac.uk brings you a unique opportunity to engage with the academic faculty to explore these opportunities and find out how to maximize your prospects in accessing them.

The European University Institute offers fully-funded four-year Ph.D. programmes in the social sciences. There are approximately 150 scholarships available that cover tuition fees and provide a monthly grant.

Based in Florence, the EUI is an international research institution that concentrates exclusively on doctoral programmes, a post-doctoral programme and research in the social sciences. EUI provides well-structured doctoral programmes in: Economics; History and Civilization; Law; and Political and Social Sciences. In the EUI Supervision Assessment Survey 2016-17, 86% of researchers expressed themselves very satisfied or satisfied with their thesis supervision. The EUI call for Ph.D. applications is open from 1st November 2018. You have until 31 January to submit your online application to join the EUI in September 2019.

To help answer any questions you may have about doing your Ph.D. at the EUI, jobs.ac.uk held a free 60-minute live webinar event called ‘EUI Ph.D. scholarships’.

By watching this webinar, you will learn:

  • Why you should choose the EUI for your Ph.D.
  • What an EUI Ph.D. programme involves
  • How to apply for your EUI Ph.D.
  • How to check your eligibility for an EUI scholarship
  • What life is really like for Ph.D. researchers at the EUI

What is a Sponsored webinar?

jobs.ac.uk’s sponsored webinars are live online Q&A sessions with a group of expert panelists where you will be able to gain real insights into what it is like to work or study at the institution, top tips on how to apply for current openings and also have an opportunity to get answers to some of the most pressing questions.

The panel were also kind enough to address questions that weren't answered during the hangout due to time constraints - these can be seen here.

Transcript

 

 

TIME

SPEAKER

AUDIO

00:00.05

Vera

Good morning everybody and welcome to our webinar on the EUI PhD scholarships.  This is a webinar hosted by Jobs AC UK and we will during the hour have the possibility to provide you with information on the PhD at EUI and I’m in the virtual company of professors,

00:00.30

Vera

researchers and administrative staff so that we can reply to all your questions you may have during this hour.  So first and foremost just by introduction I would like to indicate at the EUI, the European University Institute is international organisation who is specialising in teaching and research in at a doctoral and post-doctoral level.

00:01.00

Vera

We are having this webinar now because our call for applications for the PhD programme is open now until the end of January and in order to provide you with information, if you maybe interested in pursing a PhD and if you would be interested to pursue this PhD at EUI, it may be every helpful for you to listen to our comments and to ask questions.

00.01.31

Vera

I would like to introduce the panel members, then I will say something about the way in which you can interact with us.  So we have two researchers with us today, two professors, myself, as a director of the academic service and a staff of the academic service who is the admissions officer.  So I would like to turn to the professors first, Professor Joanne Scott, please if you can introduce yourself.

00.02.00

Prof Scott

Hello, I’m a professor of European Law in the Law department at EUI where I specialise in environmental law and climate change law among other things.

00.02.15

Vera

Professor Regina Graft please can you introduce yourself?

00.02.19

Prof Graft

Hello, my name is Regina Graft, I’m the head of the History department, I am  professor of early modern history and I arrived at EUI five years ago, I worked previously in the US and UK and Spain, Latin America and I’m originally German.

00.02.36

Vera

So this is already a flavour of the international community of scholars that we have at EUI.  Now I turn to Lorenzo, colleague of mine in the academic service.

00.02.46

Lorenzo

Hello, My name is Lorenzo Getze, I’m the admissions officer of EUI and I’m in charge of the PhD recruitment procedure as well as the admissions to the programme.

00.02.59

Vera

Now two researchers who would like to them themselves, Lucas please?

00.03.04

Lucas

Good morning everybody, my name is Lucas, I’m a second year researcher in the economics department and also one of the department’s student representatives.

00.03.14

Vera

Daria?

00.03.16

Daria

Hello, my name is Daria Gucaba, I’m a third year researcher in the [UNCLEAR] department and I come from Russia.

00.03.27

Vera

So now you have met the panellist who can answer questions according to your questions.  Now I read on my paper that if you are watching live today, you can ask questions by posing them in the chat box which you can see on the side of your screen normally, I can see that so I hope you can as well. And you will be able to ask a question if you are signed into YouTube.  If you would not be signed into

00.03.55

Vera

YouTube, then you can Tweet us @jobsacuk but you have to remember to use the #jobsq.  So now I think we are all set to start our questions and answers sessions and the first question that we received is how the EUI PhD programmes are supervised?  I think the best person to answer that question is the professors, so Joanne can I ask you please to

00.04.30

Vera

Give some indication on the supervision which is done at EUI?

00.04.33

Prof Scott

Okay, so I think supervision arrangements are different between different departments so Regina will have some different information to give you but in the law department, when a student arrives, the student is allocated a provisional supervisor based on the topic that the student will be researching, will be studying.  Over the course of the first weeks,

00.05.00

Prof Scott

the researcher can and in fact is encouraged to talk to other professors in the department in order to make the best possible fit between the researcher and the professors.  After a period of several weeks, the final choice will be made about supervisor.  The researchers in the law department will only have one supervisor but they will be encouraged to speak regularly to other members of the department as well in order to gain the insights that they can offer.

00.05.30

Prof Scott

I think I’ll leave it there and if people have more precise questions I can come back.

00.05.35

Vera

Okay, Regina can you please say something for the history department?

00.05.40

Prof Graft

Yes of course.  So as you have already seen we have law, we have sociology and politics and we have economics and history and in history, like in law, you come with a provisional supervisor and you see if that relationship works for you.  I think what is important to understand is that

00.06.00

Prof Graft

you come with your own topic, so PhD students at EUI are normally not meant to support a professor’s ongoing research but rather we, professors, are meant to, are here for the sole purpose of advising PhD students in your chosen field of research, so you set the research agenda and we are here to support you in that.  Once you have been matched with a supervisor,

00.06.30

Prof Graft

you would decide which courses to take in terms of methods, in terms of thematic fields, in terms of research skills but also maybe languages that you might have to work on for your research.  You get feedback in seminars from other professors but they are small so you will see your individual supervisor, in history we have two supervisors, very regularly and

00.07.00

Prof Graft

then of course the kinds of themes you will talk about change over time from developing your research to actually doing your researcher to actually finding a job after you’ve done your research.

00.07.07

Vera

Thank you very much, there are a number of questions coming in to my chat box, so I will try to follow them but maybe, I don’t know whether Lucas or Daria would like to come in on their own experience on how they have been supervised or what they think the supervisor feedback, one of them would like to come in?  Lucas?

00.07.29

Lucas

Maybe I can give a, quickly add to this from the economics perspective.  So in economics in the first year you do a structured course programme, it’s quite common in PhD programmes in economics, so actually you have a provisional supervisor who is someone who is supposed to guide you through this programme during the first year and then actually only in the beginning of the second year you have to make your final choice who is going to be your supervisor during the PhD.  This gives you

00.08.00

Lucas

ample opportunity to talk to other professors and also make sure that you get the best fit that you can possibly have.

00.08.04

Vera

Daria, would you like to say something?

00.08.06

Daria

Yes, I can also say I think for this department, it is also possible, you get the provisional supervisor of course and you see how the relationship develops but if you come with your own topic, you can also then change your topic maybe during the year, so it’s not that you come and then you are dead set with one particular topic and if your interests change or

00.08.30

Daria

if somehow your research develops in a different direction, you can always talk with your supervisor or with other professors at the university and see how it can go.

00.08.41

Vera

Thank you very much.  I will go to the second question now which is about the PhD structured programme.  And here, just before I give the floor to various people, I would like to indicate that indeed the difference between our PhD programme and the PhD programme or the PhD that you can have in other universities is exactly that it’s a programme.

00.09.10

Vera

And the programme means that there is also a large training competence which is included in the PhD programme which is four years and that’s the main difference between the PhD that you can do in another university, in another country or that you do at EUI because it’s

00.09.30

Vera

covering a number of issues which maybe you will not get in other universities, be that the fact what was already alluded by the professors and the researchers that you can of course engage with the community that you are part of.  That is with other researchers, with other professors who may have an interest in your topic who may advise you on your topic, which is not so common in other universities because it’s a large university, we are quite small

00.10.00

Vera

and flexible, so there is a lot of discussion and dialogue ongoing between the various researchers, post-doctoral fellows, professors and staff.  So this is already something which is quite different and also, you will by doing so of course be confronted with other scholars with other backgrounds, other cultures, other ideas who can bring something to your project and

00.10.33

Vera

maybe gain a wider view on your topic by talking to people from other disciplines but also, what we are trying to do is to provide also possibilities to the develop your skills, your professional skills during your PhD at EUI.  So we provide a number of seminars and courses on issues in order to provide you with the

00.11.00

Vera

necessary skills before you go on the job market and that maybe provision on academic writing, presentation skills, how to prepare for a grant application, publication, data and so forth.  It is much more than writing a PhD, it’s being part of a programme and of course depending on your interest and on your personality, something that you can gain a lot from by speaking to other people and by engaging with other departments and other

00.11.31

Vera

disciplines.  Now the last thing and then I give the floor to the professors, is that it is structured and free at the same time, so the structure of the PhD programme, which is four years, you go from year one to two to three to four, gives you a certain certainty, a certain feeling of, a good feeling because you know what is expected and you know what you’re supposed to do.  But on the other thing, you

00.12.00

Vera

have the freedom to talk and to navigate in that research community of scholars and try to get the most of it.  So this combination is really something which I wanted to clarify before giving the floor as I said before to Professor Scott and Professor Graft so that they can come in on the PhD programme because of course they are much more involved in it that I am.  Joanne?

00.12.24

Prof Scott

So, that was very helpful, thank you and I’ll just add a couple of things to it.  One is, because the programme is structured you are faced with regular milestones, so we keep quite careful tack of your progress from the very beginning of your time at EUI.  Now there will be variations between the departments but for example in the law department we would invite you to participate in our research question

00.13.00

Prof Scott

workshop in the December of your first year where you will receive feedback on your developing research question from professors including professors who are not your supervisor and also from fellow researchers.  Likewise, at the end of your first year or towards the end of your first year, you will be required to submit a reasonably substantial main paper will allow us to evaluate your

00.13.30

Prof Scott

progress.  So I know from my own researchers what Vera said is correct, there is enough flexibility in the programme but the researchers in my experience very much appreciate the fact that they receive quite a lot of guidance and support in the first year, they’re not just abandoned to their own research.  We also, as Vera said, offer a lot of classes and I could talk more about those but I think people don’t want the details for now, it’s sufficient

00.14.00

Prof Scott

Simply to say that the classes can cover different areas of law, in the case of the law department but also different methodological approaches, there is a lot of emphasis place upon developing your skills and methodology and also different theoretical approaches to the study of the subject that you’re involved in.  So yes, people have specific questions, I’m happy to say more.  We can see some of the questions

00.14.30

Prof Scott

flashing up on the screen and this is really just to reiterate what Regina said earlier in response to some of those questions, yes, you choose your own research topic, get help in refining and developing that topic when you arrive at EUI, but you choose your own research topic in the first instance, which is a great thing because you need to be passionate about your topic in order to carry out a PhD.

00.15.00

Vera

Thank you Joanne.  So I would like to ask Regina for her feedback, please.

00.15.06

Prof Graft

Yes, hello.  So maybe as an historian I can just add a few things so the history department at EUI actually specialises somewhat but specialises very broadly in comparative transnational global history from 1450 to yesterday.  So that is what we do and you will find a cohort of up to 30 people coming in with

00.15.30

Prof Graft

you to work on the same theme, so you will both have individual and collective activities, as I think in all of the programmes here, the taught courses in history too for the first two years and once a year the two supervisors and the student get together and take stock of where you are, where you have to go next and what

00.16.00

Prof Graft

you need in order to bring a PhD to successful end.  Now in history it’s a bit special because language matters much more in history than in some of the other subjects so it is the one place where we have a liberal policy on which language you write your PhD in, so if you go to the webpage of the history department, you will see that our graduates have written mostly in English but some have done their PhDs in

00.16.30

Prof Graft

French, in Spanish, in German or in Italian because sometimes that is actually the right choice for the research you want to do.  We also obviously, as historians, spend more time in the archive than some of our colleagues elsewhere, so we have the possibility to support PhD students twice a year to go on research missions and like Joanne alluded, we keep you going from the start, so you will start writing right in year one, you have the first paper to

00.17.00

Prof Graft

hand in before Christmas and you will go on every year to write bits and pieces, so you will, rather than doing all the research and then writing up, you will be writing and researching at the same time.  So, maybe that’s a little bit of the special flavour of the history programme to add.

00.17.21

Vera

Thank you very much, I would just like to, before we go to the next question, answer some questions which came up on the screen and one of the things is that, one question was if you can do a PhD part time, the answer is very simple, no, you cannot.  It is a full time programme, so you have to be full time available and in residence.  Apart from what both professors

00.17.50

Vera

said about research, the research topic that can be freely chosen is absolutely right and also one of the questions I would like to answer that, you can look at the website of EUI, especially if you go to the page on the PhD, where all the disciplines and the departments are represented, you can go to the website of your department and you can look at the research areas currently being researched because one

00.18.21

Vera

of the things that I would recommend is to look at the areas which are currently being done in the various departments so that of course also, the fact that the professors have to supervise you is very important, so there has to be a match somewhere, not necessarily very specific but you need to have a professor who can supervise your topic, that’s absolutely important.  Having said that, I would also like

00.18.55

Vera

to mention that during the application, researchers are expected to provide a research project but what we see is very often that the research project that was originally proposed can also be more focused, can slightly change during the first year and also during the interview.  This is sometimes already the case so that people who really propose their research proposal when they applied to the

00.19.25

Vera

PhD can come up with a different research proposal when they are admitted and when they have had the chance to talk to their supervisor.  So this all very flexible and I wanted to mention that in order, not to forget this.  So now I would like to go to the third question that I had, which is about the scholarships, now we know a bit about the structured programme, we know how

00.19.55

Vera

supervision is done in general, now we can go to the, if I would be interested, what are the criteria to be considered for admission?  So I will turn to my colleague, Lorenzo Getze, who is the admission officer and who can tell you something about the main criteria.

00.20.15

Lorenzo

Yes exactly, thank you, this is actually one of the most recurring questions that I have.  I would like to take this opportunity to sum up in a very short way how our scholarship opportunities are financed and how the system is actually working.  We do have every year approximately 150 scholarships available, the scholarships are fully funded meaning that they both provide monthly grant together with other allowances and they also cover the annual tuition fees for

00.20.55

Lorenzo

the programmes.  The scholarships are paid, are financed by the grant award authority, it is quite important that you view the terms because it is really recurrent in the website but also on the application form itself.  The grant awarding authorities are generally the EUI contracting states, the 23 EUI contracting states plus Norway and Switzerland which are associate member states and they award scholarships in the framework of an association

00.21.30

Lorenzo

agreement.  We also have special programmes, all the details are indicated online such as the one from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, which is awarding grants to a selection of non-EU countries and EUI itself has grants programmes reserved to candidates who are coming from non-EU countries and are not eligible for any

00.22.00

Lorenzo

other programmes.  So the first piece of information that you should indeed have before consulting the applications guide that we have online is the information related to the grants, all the details are available online but just let me give you a piece of advice because as you will be able to see the selection, the eligibility criteria for the grants are set not by the EUI but by directly the grants awarding authorities, so the member states, and the criteria are

00.22.30

Lorenzo

different so some of them maybe related to your nationality, some others to the residents, some others to the degree and the type of award, so it’s really important that you check the information on the website not only for the country of your nationality but also for a country where you have studied or the country where you are currently residing.  This is really important because you may be actually

00.23.00

Lorenzo

eligible for more than one programme and the application portal will give you the possibility of selecting up to three grant awarding authorities.  Of course your eligibility will be then checked during the recruitment process but please, check the information online, they are very detailed and quite defined I have to say but you can of course contact the admissions office for any specific questions you may have,

00.23.30

Lorenzo

we will be more than happy to guide you through the process.  The last piece of information that I want to give you is that the applications to EUI in the greatest majority of cases is automatically an application for the grant, so you just have to apply to EUI, select the relevant grant awarding authority and if you are selected, you will automatically receive the scholarship.  This is not valid for a number of countries, they are indicated online, such as

00.24.00

Lorenzo

Spain, Portugal and UK because those grant awarding authorities, they require a separate application procedure, it’s something quite simple to be honest, that you just have to file correctly and we can provide information and advice on the separate application procedure.

00.23.15

Vera

Okay, thank you Lorenzo.  So don’t be afraid about the application process, it is much simpler than you may think.  First of all because as Lorenzo indicated, all the information is available online, Lorenzo will be there, I’m not saying 24 hours a day but nearly to answer your questions.  The main thing that I would like just to repeat is that nobody is accepted to EUI without a grant and the grants, as Lorenzo

00.24.45

Vera

said, come from the member states of the European Union, most of them, there are also some other issues that I would like to indicate because there was a question also related to if you are not from the European Union, what do you do?  Of course, I’m just repeating that Italy gives grants to a number of countries who can apply for grants and then of course, you can

00.25.15

Vera

also be admitted or considered for admission with an external grant if you can prove that this grant can be provided for the duration of four years.  So nobody at EUI is admitted without a grant, so the admission is on the basis of merit and the merit is decided and considered by the professors, so on academic grounds, on academic grounds and on your research

00.25.45

Vera

proposal.  So there is one part which is first the eligibility criteria from what Lorenzo mentioned and if you pass that then you will be considered based on the academic grounds.  I will go to the next question, but there were first two questions which relate in fact to the eligibility criteria and one is, is there an age limit?  There is I think one country which

00.26.15

Vera

still has an age limit, if I’m not mistaken it is Spain.

00.26.20

Lorenzo

Yes indeed there are a few countries actually, a couple of them, yes.

00.26.25

Vera

Which is not fine, so we try to communicate to them that there cannot be a discrimination on the basis of age but normally there should not be any discrimination on the basis of age.  There was another question on residence, yes you need to be a resident.  Of course there is some flexibility of course in the programme, there some submissions foreseen, there are some teaching placement foreseen, there are

00.26.50

Vera

research missions foreseen.  In the fourth year, there is no residence requirement anymore but most of the researchers that are here, of course are very keen to be here because this is the specificity of the programme is to engage with people and the scholars which are in Florence at campus and which is exactly the beneficial issue of the programme.  The start of the programme is the registration at the end of

00.27.20

Vera

August and the first two weeks of September are induction, so you will be acquainted with the department, with your supervisors, with social activities and also with one another.  So the first two weeks are really an induction to the programme and to the various services.  There is another question on Brexit but I will come to that later.  So those are the questions that I could see coming up on my screen and

00.27.50

Vera

which we were fitting into the request with scholarships.  Now there is again a question which will be replied by Lorenzo because this is about the application process and the selection process.  So Lorenzo if you could give some information on the timeline here, we know that the application is open now until the end of January, the application is an online application which is quite straight forward but Lorenzo will give you some more details.

00.28.18

Lorenzo

Yes, correct.  The applications portal has been open since the 1 November and it will remain open until 31 January 2019 at midnight.  We will start screening the applications orderly after the deadline but this doesn’t mean that you cannot already register your application now, actually this something that I would personally, strongly encourage you to do since

00.28.50

Lorenzo

the application portal will allow you not only to register your application but also to save it, to edit and to make changes until the deadline.  We strongly recommend candidates to already open an application because to do that you just required to select your grant programme, so can, as discussed earlier, already consult the information regarding the grants online and nominate the academic referees who are

00.29.20

Lorenzo

supposed to provide a reference letter for you.  This is only of course something that an academic referee can do and you want to give your professor, lecturer and so on, enough time to submit a reference letter on your behalf.  This is something that they will do automatically through our automated system but of course it is important that you don’t register your application so close to the

00.29.50

Lorenzo

deadline because you need to ensure that your referees are submitting the reference letter on time by the applications deadline.  Once again I want to provide details regarding the required documents and the application process itself because everything is published on the website and again, we are available and really happy to guide you through the process.  What I would like to mention is briefly the selection process

00.30.20

Lorenzo

and shadow, this is already available online as well so we have mentioned the applications deadline is 31 January, then we will take approximately one month to screen the applications.  EUI will do the academic screening while the national grant awarding authorities will check your eligibility for the grant.  By mid-March, pre-selected candidates

00.30.50

Lorenzo

will be invited for an interview at EUI.  So the interviews will take place from 1 April to 4 April, in each invitation I will provide you with precise timeslots for your interview, the date, the time and building.  And of course information regarding the travel reimbursements that we provide, so to make sure that all candidates, were possible, able to attend the interview in person.  Then the

00.31.22

Lorenzo

process is quite fast in terms of responses that you will get because approximately after ten days, up to ten days after your interview, you will receive a written communication regarding the result.  So if you are going to be selected and admitted to EUI this will mean that automatically you will receive an offer with a grant, with a fully funded scholarship and the academic year will start on 1 September

00.31.52

Lorenzo

every year, so online you can also find the selection criteria which are more or less the same for all the departments with the exception of the department of economics because there you also have to submit a GRE score and the last information that I would like to point out since we somehow different from other universities around the world is that we have a policy for you not to contact potential

00.32.20

Lorenzo

supervisors.  We want to make sure that the selection process is transparent and fair to all candidates so we don’t want candidates to contact supervisors, potential supervisors to fine tune their research proposal.  We do that because all the relevant information that you should have in order to produce a relevant research proposal are indicated online. So

00.32.45

Lorenzo

you can find all the research themes, the curriculum, all the publications, the seminars, everything about all professors is publicly available online and you should refer to these pages to provide a research proposal which can be supervised at EUI.

00.33.05

Vera

Okay, thank you.  I’ve seen other things coming up here, so I would like to answer some of the questions and then I will go to the professors for some questions, specific questions.  So the first one is that, yes the interview is face to face, so you will be invited to EUI and you will have a panel of professors asking you questions about your research topic.  So that’s the first answer to a question which came in.  The reference

00.33.35

Vera

has to be an academic reference because the purpose of the reference is to know, is to have some feedback on people who know the academic qualities of yourselves.  And the last thing is about EU and non-EU applicants, so if you have a double nationality, we will definitely encourage you to apply for the European Union national because depending on of course what other nationalities you have, but if you would

00.34.05

Vera

be eligible for any other grant, for example for a grant from the European Union, then you have to apply for that because you would not be eligible for the grants given by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs because that’s only for people who are not eligible for any other grants.  So having said that, I would like to turn to Joanne and Regina because there were two questions

00.34.30

Vera

which I think should be answered by them.  The first one is, what are the professors looking at when they look at an application, is it mainly the research or what is it that you are really, that is really deciding to put a person on the shortlist?  And the second question is about changing the topic of your research.  So I will first turn to Regina now with PhD applications and also the change of the topics please.

00.34.58

Prof Graft

Yes, thank you very much.  Now what first we look at is first and foremost the project that you will present, the preparation that you have to actually do that project and the feasibility and the possibility that this research can be carried.  Now having said that, of course we’re all very aware that these projects are always in a very early stage, so very few projects that people

00.35.30

Regina

apply with are really realised in the exact shape and form that they have been proposed.  What we want to see in your application is the potential to do an interesting research project and of course also, your academic record to see that you have a good preparation to that proposal.  And I think that already this answers the second question a bit, of course PhD projects change, they do all the time, some

00.36.00

Regina

change a little bit, many change quite a bit and a few change altogether.  That’s fine too and that happens and I don’t think that is a problem.

00.36.14

Vera

Thank you very much, Joanne can I ask you for your feedback, please?

00.36.18

Prof Scott

Sure, I don’t think I have very much to add to what Regina has said.  I think academic record is important because that helps us evaluate potential and that’s especially important in light of the fact that of course the research proposals are going to be, as Regina said, at a very early stage.  But although they’re at an early stage, you can help yourself I think a lot by trying

00.36.45

Prof Scott

to write a very clear research proposal.  Sometimes research proposals are very dense, very muddled, very hard to read.  It’s better to write a more straight forward and clear proposal and recognise that if you are admitted to EUI there will be time to develop that proposal further.  So probably ask somebody to read your proposal for you to get feedback about the clarity of your writing.  We also

00.37.15

Prof Scott

expect to see that people are serious, that they’ve take the time to do some reading in the subject matter in which they’re interested in.  Now, your time will be limited, you’re probably finishing another degree or you’re working in a profession and you have a busy life, so we know that time is limited in preparing a proposal but it is I think essential to find some time to familiarise yourself sufficiently with some of

00.37.45

Prof Scott

the academic literature in the area so that we can see that you’d really be willing to make an effort in building your proposal together.  It’s difficult for people who have been out of education for some years because they don’t have the advantage that they can build for example on an MA dissertation that they’re currently preparing and we recognise that when we’re looking at the applications of course.  And for people who have been out of

00.38.15

Prof Scott

education for a long time, who are writing these questions saying, well I haven’t studied for 11 years, how can I ask my professors?  I still write references for people who I taught 20 years ago, so don’t be afraid to go back to a professor, they may not provide a very detailed reference but they will be able to look at your record and they will be able to tell us something about your accomplishments while you were at university.  People change their research topics when they come, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot and all of these things are done in

00.38.47

Prof Scott

consultation with your supervisor and other professors at EUI.  One of the very positive things about EUI is you have a great deal of support from professors when you are here and so it’s a less lonely and maybe less frightening experience than doing a PhD in some other places can be.

00.39.10

Vera

Thank you very much.  I have two questions which I would like to answer now before we go to the next round and this is a question related to the GRE.  So the GRE is compulsory for economics only, so it is not compulsory for history, law and political and social sciences.  And secondly, the elephant in the room, Brexit.  So Brexit, I go back to the beginning of our webinar where we said that EUI is an

00.39.40

Vera

international organisation and the member states who are providing grants for PhD applicants, candidates are members from the European Union of course, you have to be a member of the European Union to join the EUI convention.  So the UK has joined the European University Institute and is providing grants.  The European University Institute is not an

00.40.11

Vera

European Union institution, so even if Brexit or the UK would leave the European Union, it is still a EUI member, so the grants for next year have been confirmed and if, at a later stage something terrible would happen, what we absolutely hope will never happen for EUI, they’re are still committed to pay for the PhDs who have been admitted when they were a

00.40.42

Vera

member.  So everything for us, in other words, remains the same.  Since we were talking about interviews and about research and so on, I would like to ask if the researchers maybe can provide some information on how did they perceive their interview.  So can I ask Lucas?

00.41.06

Lucas

Sure, thank you.  I mean in the end what you should see, especially in the interview, also it is an opportunity to get to know EUI.  Sure on the one hand, this is what the professors expect, you need to show that you are able to develop some research ideas and that you are a suitable candidate for this PhD programme but it also gives us the opportunity to come here, to come

00.41.30

Lucas

to Florence and EUI is actually paying for your flights and for your accommodation.  You can take a look around campus and you can meet people, you can meet fellow students.  In the economics department what happens every year is that we also, the students, take the candidates that come here for interview for a dinner afterwards so that you can also ask questions in a very informal setting to people who actually are in the programme.  To me,

00.42.00

Lucas

this was the moment when I decided actually to come here and to just see the surroundings and see this amazing place and meet the community and be with people.  This is why I would highly encourage you, if you are invited for interview, to actually make it a face to face interview and not try to do it over Skype, even if time is limited because you get some information, you get some impressions that you can’t get over Skype, that are very valuable to decide whether you want to come here.

00.42.32

Vera

Thank you.  Daria, can I also ask you what is your feedback that you can share on the interview?

00.42.40

Daria

Yes of course.  I couldn’t agree more with Lucas, I think it’s a wonderful opportunity that you can actually come and see EUI and talk face to face with the professors, with the interview committee and in addition, of course, to the students because this is what you can get in an informal setting a lot more, you can get to know a lot more about the institute.  I think when I came for the interview, of course you’re very

00.42.10

Daria

nervous but being among the other [UNCLEAR] you can see how life is like, really hearing how positive their attitude is towards the place, encourages you a lot and I fell in love with the place immediately but then of course you face the fear, the increasing stress of whether you are taken or not but that’s I think in any interview setting.  Again I think it’s one of the very rare opportunities that EUI provides

00.43.40

Daria

because other universities don’t usually have that.

00.43.43

Vera

Thank you very much.  I just want to look at my chat box here and I see that there is a question on, do you recommend students who have just finished their masters to apply for the PhD programme or should they wait and contribute to recent publications?  Well this of course depends on your own career prospects, if you already have any after doing your masters.  But most of our researchers apply to EUI and

00.44.15

Vera

decide to pursue a PhD when they are about to finish their master’s programme, I think this is for the majority of the cases, this is the case, of the applicant cases.  But of course we also have people who have been doing their masters, then they work a couple of years and then maybe with the experience they have gained in their work life, they still decide to apply for a PhD because it can bring them other insights

00.44.45

Vera

because they feel that they would have time to study in order to become better in the job market.  It is really a very personal thing, so there is no recommendation at all that I think we can give you but maybe the professors have another view on that and I will give them the floor immediately.  And then there was another question, if the audience can contact the panellists by email, yes of course but if you have a question which is really specifically to the procedure then I would ask you to contact

00.45.15

Vera

the admission officer and then we can forward the questions if they are more academic to our professors.  So I do not know whether Regina or Joanne would like to come in on what would they recommend to apply for PhD immediately after a masters or later on, if you have any views on that, please come in now.  Joanne?

00.45.50

Prof Scott

I think many of the researchers in law apply when they’re finishing their masters, that’s very much the case in law applications.  We do also have researchers who have been working as research assistants or as teaching fellows in universities, so there is a huge amount of variation.  But nobody listening should think that it is too early to apply when you’re completing your masters, that’s an absolutely fine time to be applying.

00.46.23

Vera

Regina, do you want to come in?

00.46.24

Prof Graft

Well yes, I would entirely agree with that, I think that individual path you take to this kind of training and it’s absolutely I think  the great majority of people do apply directly out of the masters but it is also absolutely okay to decide a few years later that one actually wants to go back.  So I think both paths are okay and there is no preference given to one over the other.

00.46.54

Vera

The last question I see here before we go to life at EUI is if you have already done another PhD prior to this one in a different field would you be excluded?  No, no you would not be excluded, we had some cases of people who did two PhDs, if you are really very gifted to do research for four years, then why not.  The only cavate can be that maybe your member state

00.47.20

Vera

will be, if you already had your scholarship paid for by your member state, maybe they will think that this fine to do it once, to fund it once.  So this is the only cavate but for the rest of course, you can do two and three and four PhDs if you are interested to do that but you have to find the funding of course and this maybe a blocking instance.  So fine, we know a lot about now the programme, we have heard about

00.47.50

Vera

supervision, about the structure of the programme, about a number of issues, practical issues on the research topics and so forth.  So now I would like to turn to the researchers because I think that they can provide some information on how is life at EUI, life as PhD researcher but also life as a human being let’s say.  So Daria?

00.48.13

Daria

Yes, thank you.  I think one of the most important things to know about EUI is that is basically specialised on doctoral, post-doctoral research and therefore it is a very different environment from big universities where there are a lot of bachelors and masters students.  It is very good from the point of how you communicate with the professors because professors have more time for you and the professor student ratio is very good, I don’t know the numbers but maybe someone could

00.48.45

Daria

fit them in.  The idea is that each professor gets several supervisees each year and then you are exposed to them in quite, you meet them, you talk to them much more often than I think you would in a big university where the professor has to also address the teaching for bachelors and masters students.  In my personal experience, life at EUI is basically when you go to the beautiful campus each day and you

00.49.21

Daria

have your morning coffee before you start working with the view of the dormo, it encourages you and it really inspires you to do the work because you are in such a beautiful setting and you can also see the history of the place, it even encourages you even more because there has been a monastery in one of

00.49.45

Daria

the main buildings, there has been a school.  Science has been here for a while now.  For me also one of the best parts is that lunchtime is one of the very community strengthening activities because everyone, mostly everyone, tends to have it at canteen at EUI or at the canteen in the main building or if you in the history, law departments maybe in the other

00.50.17

Daria

building which is also [UNCLEAR].  And then you basically, even if you have some of these down moments, psychologically and you doubt yourself, you can always find someone to talk to and basically find some encouragement, which is very nice and I think it prevents you from feeling that you are alone doing a PhD.  In other big universities I think when you have a cohort of maybe ten people per year who every one

00.50.45

Daria

of them does maybe completely different fields of in my case, political science or social science, then it is a bit difficult and you might not find yourself surrounded by people, like minded people.  Whereas at EUI where there are 100, 120 researchers each year in all departments combined, then you can always find someone who works, maybe not on your topic, but in

00.51.15

Daria

the field that’s close to your topic and then you can also support academic wise.  I found it very helpful.

00.51.25

Vera

Thank you very much.  Lucas, can you also shed your light on life as a PhD researcher and life as a human being at EUI?

00.51.36

Lucas

Yeah, I certainly can.  And first of all thank you Daria, I think I can’t agree more with what you said.  I would like to make a couple of points, from the PhD researcher perspective, and Daria mentioned this already, this is a really unique place in the sense that you get, that it’s small and that professors have a lot of time for you.  If I talk to friends of mine who do PhDs in

00.52.03

Lucas

different universities, I find that I talk to my supervisors far more often than they do to theirs.  I think that’s a great asset, so people have time for you to talk about your research.  The second thing is, it’s true, being a PhD student requires you to spend a lot of time at your desk or in the library but it also matters where your desk is and where your library is,

00.52.34

Lucas

what the view out of the window is and that is really amazing from here.  If you take a break and have a coffee on the balcony and see the [UNCLEAR] in the background.  The last thing, there some more interacting with both life as PhD researcher and life as a human being, the fact that EUI PhD programme works in cohorts

00.53.00

Lucas

means that at every point during your PhD you have 20 to 30 people who are in the exact same situation as you are, who face the same deadlines, who are also new at the same time, who have the same issues and you can talk to them and you will make friends with them, I’m 100% certain because this is what happened for all of us.  This is, I think, a great asset because doing a PhD in general, not particular to EUI, often has something to do with

00.53.30

Lucas

struggling and you will have better phases, you have harder phases where you have to meet a deadline and work really hard or where you get stuck with your project and especially then it’s great to have a couple of people around you who you are friends with and do the exact same thing and who are happy to talk with you about this and actually understand the situation you are in and this is I think also a great benefit of this cohort structure, that you always have people around.  Obviously this also adds to

00.54.00

Lucas

your life as a human being because afterwards you’re going to go for pizza with them or [UNCLEAR] and especially for this EUI community is also providing a lot of other opportunities to spend some time away from the library.  We have a bar on campus where you can hang out in the evening and meet people also from other departments, which is very nice because they come from various backgrounds, it is a very international crowd.  The fact that the grant system works on a

00.54.30

Lucas

national grant authority basis means that each year you also only get a few people per country which means that in the end you have a very diverse community which is very nice.  Yeah, all in all, I think EUI is a pretty good place also because it provides you with some opportunities and some options to stay away from the library for a half a day and it’s also sometimes nice.

00.55.00

Vera

Thank you very much Lucas.  Yes Daria?

00.55.02

Daria

I just wanted to add about staying from the library, I think it’s very important that EUI also provides a lot of extracurricular activities and you can look on the website what clubs and student associations we have.  I personally have tried many of them and if I had more time and could do more I would maybe pick five or six but of course I didn’t, I concentrated on the

00.55.30

Daria

choir for a couple of years and rowing and doing yoga and swimming.  You can really find something that is suitable for you and something that you like to do in your spare time and also I think if you don’t find something that you like, you can join with a group of students and apply for funding from EUI to subsidise some of the activities, so you can basically found a different sports club or theatre club or something like that.  You have to of course

00.56.02

Daria

consult the service for that, I think it’s totally wonderful because it provides you with something right away when you come to Florence before you can maybe even get yourself involved in the activities that happen in Florence.

00.56.20

Vera

Okay, so I have to, we are getting to the end, it’s amazing how fast an hour goes but one thing that I would like to add is that we have gathered a number of experiences from researchers and alumni which are all published on the website, so if you want to hear other people’s views on how they find EUI, then you can look at the experiences on the website.  So there are a number of questions which unfortunately we cannot answer anymore but

00.56.50

Vera

Please be informed that you can really write to the admission officer, everything is online available, so you can do that.  I have three minutes to go, so I have to look at my paper if I have not forgotten to say something.  So if you would like to apply, go the website of EUI and you will see the online application now, so you can do that and I remind you that the deadline is 31 January, start in time to do it because a

00.57.20

Vera

number of documents that have to be uploaded, sometimes there is a double application necessary depending on your grant authority.  You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram and particularly under #myeuiexperience where current researchers talk about their time at EUI.  So I would like to say that this hang out will be available on jobsacuk website if you want to look again and

00.57.50

Vera

on the YouTube channel but we will also have a link on our website.  And now we are getting really to the end so I would like to thank all of you for having participated in the webinar, for your interest in the PhD programme and I would like to thank the panellists for providing answers and for their time and for participating in this webinar.  So I think this will be the end of the webinar and thank you again and I hope that we will get many applications from wherever you are to EUI.  Thank you very much.

 

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