International Master in Rural Development scholarship

25 02 2009

Are you a Bachelor/Master interested in Rural Development and Agricultural Economics ?
Interested in a multi-disciplinary and mobile training in Europe, on a EU scholarship ?
Are you seeking a further specialisation through an International Masters Degree ?
Then this is the opportunity for you !

The joint International Master in Rural Development (IMRD), part of the European Erasmus Mundus program, offers the opportunity to study the European vision on rural development in its diversity of approaches and applications.
The objective is to train specialists in integrated rural development, focussed on socio-economic and institutional aspects, not only from the European Union but also from developed, developing and transition countries outside the European Union through a 2 year master program (120 ECTS) jointly organised by seven European leading institutes in agricultural economics and rural development.
The Master program is offered by Ghent University (Belgium), Agrocampus Ouest (France), Humboldt University of Berlin (Germany), the University of Cordoba (Spain), in collaboration with Wageningen University (The Netherlands), the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra (Slovakia) and the University of Pisa (Italy).
The methodology consists of a combination of basic and specialised training in technical, economic and social sciences, a case study of one month, an individual master thesis and a high extent of student and scholar mobility.
Objective
One of the Erasmus Mundus programme’s objectives is to encourage and enable highly qualified graduates and scholars from all over the world to obtain qualifications and/or experience in the European Union. Therefore scholarships are granted to highly qualified third-country scholars (definition see below) to carry out teaching and research assignments and scholarly work in the institutions organising the International MSc in Rural Development.
Erasmus Mundus and IMRD consider as Third country nationals NOT from the 27 EU Member States, the EEA-EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), or the candidate countries for accession to the EU (Croatia, Turkey and FYROM) or people who have NOT resided or carried out their main activities (studies, work, etc.) for more than 12 months over the past five years in any of the above countries.
Selection Criteria for scholars
For the academic year, 3 places for third-country scholars were granted a scholarship within the framework of the IMRD. The duration of the visit of the scholar is maximum 3 months. In order to ensure a geographical balance across third-country scholars but without prejudice to the respect of high academic standards, each selected third-country scholar should come from a different country.
The selection of grantees is a competitive process based on the academic performance and credentials of the candidates, in order to guarantee the selection of high-quality scholars. Only third-country scholars who have outstanding academic and/or professional experience are eligible for a scholarship position within the Erasmus Mundus framework. They will be selected on basis of an existing match between competences offered and needed, within basic and specialised modules on offer in each institute. The scholars should agree on terms of reference stipulated by the international management board.
Grants
The Erasmus Mundus program of the European Commission made grants available to IMRD for an average of three third-country scholars per year, for a maximum period of 3 months. For the moment there is no guarantee yet that grants will be available for the academic year. Scholars can apply. When the confirmation from the Erasmus Mundus program commission at the EU reaches IMRD, the decision will be communicated to the scholars.
Scholarships are paid through the IMRD consortium and after arrival in Europe. The fee for scholars in the last years was 4000 € per month, and an additional one payment of 1.000 € for travel expenses. The grant covers all costs of travel (to and within Europe), subsistence, insurance, etc. No additional financial support is offered by any of the IMRD partners for travel, accommodation, local expenses, transport etc.
Integration in the programme
Each of the four core partner institutes (Ghent University, Belgium; Agrocampus Ouest, France; Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany and Cordoba University, Spain) invites per year at least one non-EU country specialist in rural development. This interaction is considered very relevant to allow for the diffusion of the European model of Rural Development and to open the possibility of increasing interaction among EU and non-EU countries with respect to research, practices and policies of rural development. The language of work will be English.
The scholar will be integrated in the department organising the IMRD programme at the hosting university, but it is encouraged to visit several institutes during the visiting period. Scholars will assist in the following ways:
  • to lecture IMRD and other students in rural development on a specific topic and during a specific time period to be agreed upon, corresponding to the scholar’s field of expertise and availability,
  • to assist in the preparation, development and/or implementation of a practical seminar or case study organised for IMRD and other students in rural development,
  • to conduct a conference or lecture for IMRD students and their teaching staff in any of the seven partner institutes,
  • to explore potential collaboration between the IMRD consortium and the home university of the scholar,
  • possibly to assist in supervising and evaluating dissertations of IMRD students related to the scholar’s field of expertise.

Applications
Scholars can either apply directly to the IMRD consortium or be invited by a member of the international management board. The scholars should agree on the terms of reference stipulated by the managing board (see ‘integration in the program’ above).

An application consisting of a motivational letter (pointing out the potential contribution to research and education in rural development) and an extensive CV (stating publication records, research activities, etc.) should be sent to the IMRD secretariat (see contact details). The letter should also state the period in which the scholar is available.

The Management Board of the IMRD consortium will select the scholars to be invited, using a competitive process on the basis of the academic performance and credentials of the candidates, their potential contribution to research and education within the IMRD framework, potential partnerships with the home university of the scholar, and a geographical beneficial mix.

Contact
IMRD secretariat
imrd@ugent.be
Ghent University
Faculty of Bioscience Engineering
Department of Agricultural Economics
Coupure Links 653
9000 Gent
BELGIUM

Moreinfo: http://www.imrd.ugent.be/index.asp

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