The Research Voucher is one of the funding modalities provided by the UMCG in its Abel Tasman Talent Program for prospective master or PhD students.
Q: What exactly is a Research Voucher?
A: The Research Voucher (RV) is a short research internship at a department of your choice, aimed at prospective master or (sandwich) PhD students. The RV serves a dual purpose: (1) for you to find out whether you feel confident about your decision to study/work at the UMCG and live in Groningen; and (2) for us to see whether indeed you are an eligible candidate for one of our master or PhD programs.
Q: Am I eligible for a Research Voucher?
A: RVs are available to selected students from the UMCG strategic partners and other talented young researchers who are interested in our master and (sandwich) PhD programs. In addition to your academic quality and motivation, we would like to know to which (external) scholarship agencies to fund your master or PhD, should you indeed wish to continue your studies with us.
Q: What does a Research Voucher cover?
A: The RV is a partial scholarship provided by the UMCG that covers living expenses in Groningen for approximately one month. The scholarship is the amount set by the Dutch Immigration Services as a minimum requirement for living in the Netherlands: approximately 900 euros for master and 1200 euros for PhD students (in 2014). You yourself need to cover travel expenses to Groningen, which makes the internship a commitment that works both ways.
Q: How do I receive my Research Voucher funding?
A: The RV will be paid to you in cash upon arrival, you receive instructions for this at the introductory meeting at the Education Office.
Q: I am interested. How do I apply?
- We will check whether indeed you are eligible for a Research Voucher, if yes:
- We will propose to you a number of Principal Investigators (PI) who could host you for your research internship
- You provide us with your Top-3 of favorite PIs
- We will bring you in touch with one of your preferred PIs
- The PI decides whether they can accept you for an internship, if yes:
- Together with the PI you will decide on a suitable period for the internship, taking into account the ideal period of about three months between your acceptance and the start date
- We will provide you with a Letter of Acceptance and bring you in touch with the office that will help you make practical arrangements
- You start your internship on the agreed date. You will receive your allowance in cash shortly after your arrival
Q: Do I automatically apply to the master I am interested in by applying to the Research Voucher?
A: No. The application to the master is a separate procedure, although many of the documents you would need to submit are the same. Also, the RV will of course help you and us decide whether you are admissible to the master. Nevertheless, the admission procedure to the master is a more formal procedure, because we have to fulfill all of the legal requirements set by Dutch law. We would like to keep a very flexible and pragmatic approach to the awarding of RVs. For admission to the master programs please check out our website and/or contact the admissions office.
Q: What if I will not to continue with a master or PhD? Do I need to pay back the Research Voucher?
A: No! The Research Voucher is an instrument that aims to help us identify the best candidates. If, for whatever reason, you decide not to continue after you finished your internship, no problem at all. We are happy that it helped both you and us make the right decision.
Q: How about visa and accommodation?
A: We already mentioned that we need at least three months between when you are admitted and when you can actually start. The main reasons for this are:
- Housing: you need a place to live. The university will guide you in this process, but you yourself are ultimately responsible for finding accommodation. Please allow yourself sufficient time to do so!
- Studying/doing research at the UMCG: in order to work at our University Medical Center you need to fulfill some specific requirements in relation to health in order to keep our hospital environment a safe place for our patients. This means that you will need to be clear of TB and MRSA - our International Office will inform you of the details when relevant.
- Visa: in case you do not have an EU nationality the university you may need to apply to a visa yourself for stays under 90 days. We can provide you with a scholarship letter. If you intend to stay for longer than 90 days, the University needs to do this and you need to collect your visa yourself at the embassy/consulate in your home country.
Our International Service Desk, that arranges all visa matters, has made an instructive Prezi presentation about Moving To Groningen so that you may better inform yourself!