MFS - Minor Field Studies
Minor Field Studies, MFS, is a Sida-funded scholarship programme. This gives students the opportunity to be in a developing country to collect material for an essay or degree project for a Bachelor’s or Master’s (60 or 120 credits) degree.
The purpose of the programme is to prepare students for working in a global context and to give the HEI an opportunity to enhance and establish international contacts. As a student you can, for at least eight consecutive weeks (a minimum of 56 days), investigate questions of importance to the economic, social, political or educational development in the country you go to. You will develop and formulate the study yourself, together with your supervisor at MDU.
Amount and budget
The MFS scholarship amounts to 27 000 SEK per student and is a grant which is not intended to cover all expenses during the field study period. The grant usually needs to be supplemented with for example a study loan.
Eligibility requirements for MFS
For you to be able to receive an MFS scholarship you must fulfil certain requirements:
- You must devote your MFS study to a Bachelor’s or Master’s (60 or 120 credits) essay at Bachelor’s or Master’s (first- or second-cycle) level and must have completed 150 HE credits before departure. You must not have embarked on third-cycle (research) studies.
- You must not have previously been granted an MFS scholarship or other Sida-funded scholarship for the same type of study as for this application.
- You must be a Swedish citizen or have a permanent residence permit (PUT) in Sweden. Students from other Nordic countries who are not Swedish citizens must have been domiciled in Sweden for at least one year.
- You must have a good knowledge of English. In cases where the host country’s official language is French, Spanish or Portuguese, applicants must have studied the language at upper secondary school level (or have the equivalent knowledge). A condition of being granted an MFS scholarship is that the essay/degree project is written in English or in the host country’s official language if this is French, Spanish or Portuguese.
Contact person and supervisor
As a student you are responsible for:
- informing your academic supervisor at MDU about MFS. The Swedish supervisor has the prime responsibility for the work and must pass the essay.
- finding and contacting a contact person in the field and informing this person of what is expected of them. The contact person in the field may be attached to a university, authority in the country, company, private organisation, or to a Sida- or UN-supported project. The contact person is a support who is there to help you with practical arrangements, contacts, tips about accommodation, transport, safety etc. Describe in your application what role your contact person has.
- Please bear in mind that the contact person does not receive any remuneration for this work, neither from Sida nor from the University. Therefore it is important that you remunerate the person for expenses which you have previously agreed on. Take these costs into account when calculating your budget for the project.
This is how to apply for an MFS scholarship
The application round for the autumn semester 2022 is open from 4 April to 2 May. Notification of the awarded scholarship will be made by 1 June.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, recommendations, and continued uncertainty in the world, you are encouraged to also apply for courses at MDU during the fall semester as an alternative if the field studies could not be carried out.
Mälardalen University does not accept MFS applications from students from other universities.
For your application to be processed it must be complete and contain:
- anapplication form (see application below)
- a description of the project:
- your choice of country: note that an MFS scholarship is not granted for going to a country that the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (UD) advises against. See links below.
- a time plan for the field work of at least eight weeks’ (56 days’) continuous stay in a country of residence. The field study may last for 26 weeks at the most.
- arrangements for the work, method, accommodation, purpose, description of the subject, and also alternative arrangements for both the date of the trip but also for the method for the field study. The alternative arrangements shall account for how you plan to deal with changes if/when they arise, both before and during the trip.
- a plan for the budget (including travel cost, part of the living expenses, any trips within the country of residence, vaccinations, any costs for equipment, printing of the essay)
- a preliminary date of preparatory course
- credits awarded/Ladok extract
- certificate from supervisor at MDU
- a certificate from the contact person in the field
- a copy of your passport or birth certificate showing citizenship
- a PUT document (permanent residence permit), if applicable
- In cases where two students are writing the essay/degree project together, it must be clear from the project description who is doing what during the field study. Please bear in mind that all MFS applications are individual. If there are two of you writing the essay together you apply and are assessed separately.
Selection and decisions
Each application is assessed based on Sida’s guidelines for the scholarship programme and pertains to academic relevance, feasibility, links to the global targets, budget, language level, the security situation in the country, and so on. A decision in writing will be sent by email to all applicants after about one month from completion of the call. The decision may not be appealed against.
What happens if I am granted a scholarship?
- You will receive a letter with practical information, an insurance contract and payment form. The insurance contract and payment form are to be signed and sent to the MFS executive officer. Only when both forms have been sent in can the grant can be paid out.
- MDU will draw up an insurance policy for you with Kammarkollegiet (the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency), a Student UT insurance. It may occur that a supplementary insurance may be needed. Read the insurance terms for Student UT External link. to decide whether the insurance is sufficient or not.
- You will need to apply to MFS’ compulsory förberedelsekurs External link. at least one month before departure.
- Keep yourself updated on the travel recommendations of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs External link.
Final report and essay
On your return you will need to do the following:
- fill in the Swedish Higher Education Council’s compulsory questionnaire, which is sent to your email on your return
- write an essay in English about your work, equivalent to the C- or D-level
- send in a brief travel account/diary of your experiences via the MFS portal.