In 2011, 43 Danish master students were awarded a field study travel grant offered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and administered by the Danida Fellowship Centre.
By Anna Jeppesen, Administrative Officer
From “The nutritional status of adults in a post-conflict area” to “Hydroelectric energy production”. The range of topics which our master students work with is immense.
Danida Fellowship Centre administrates the travel grants offered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The travel grant is given to master students enrolled at a Danish higher education institution to support their thesis field work.
These field studies are very vital for the students’ work with their thesis.
The DFC staff often read in the field study reports that essential information would not have been obtained if the students had not been on location.
A lesson in cultural teamwork
Tilde Müller studies at the University of Copenhagen and she did her field study in October and November 2011. She is of the opinion that the field study gave valuable experience:
“To me, my time in the Philippines and the collaboration with the Ban Toxics have been highly instructive and I would now be better prepared if I am to work with partners in other countries again.”
Also Bo Hønge from Aarhus University Hospital felt he benefitted a lot from his field study last year:
“In the 11 months I spent in Guinea Bissau, I have worked closely together with the local staff at the Bandim Health Project. I have seen how two widely different cultures can misinterpret each other, and experienced how important it is to communicate. People from different cultures certainly react different in some situations, and some things can be highly offensive in one culture, but not in another.”
Relevance for Danish Development Assistance
Danida Fellowship Centre receives many good and relevant applications for a travel grant, but the competition is hard. On average only about 50% of the applicants are offered a travel grant.
In addition to a number of formal requirements to the application, e.g. that the field study must take place in a developing country and have a minimum duration of one month, the lucky receiver of a travel grant must convincingly argue that the field study relates and is relevant to one or more Danish development programmes/projects in the country of field study. The applicants should therefore be well informed about the ongoing Danish development activities in the country of field study and ensure that their study falls within one or more of these.
43 grants in 2011
The evaluation of the applications for a travel grant is done in the Research Section of Danida Fellowship Centre.
Last year DFC selected 43 students for the grant. They received between 10,000 – 15,000 DKK in contribution to the many expenses they have in connection with their field study.
In March the Danida Research Portal will be expanded and the thesis abstracts submitted by the students will be included.
Check out the portal here
How to get a travel grant?
There are two application rounds each year; March 1st and September 1st. The specific details can be found on the DFC webpage.
In 2011 the application process became fully electronic on efond.dk and is now close to paperless.