Application handbook for Minor Field Studies

The Minor Field Studies grant is funded by Sida but is administered by the Swedish Council for Higher Education. This application handbook describes how to submit an application for a Minor Field Studies (MFS) grant.

This guide contains some links to external pages. All necessary links can also be found on the start page for MFS. Your planned field study should relate to one of the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

According to MFS regulations it is never permitted to start a field study in a country to which the Swedish Foreign Ministry advices against travel, including non essential travel. It is therefore important that you stay updated on any changes in travel advice by the ministry. Other conditions that need to be met before a field study may start are also, that Uppsala University allows travel for educational purposes, that the host country accepts incoming travellers and that your contact person in the field ensures that the study is locally feasible.

MFS is a grant programme aimed at undergraduate and Master students wishing to acquire knowledge of developing countries and development issues. This is achieved by collecting data for a period of 8 to 20 weeks for a degree project in a country approved (Appendix 1) by Sida/Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR).

An MFS grant includes:

  • SEK 27,000 to cover costs in connection with field studies. This may include travel to the host country, vaccinations, visa fees, accommodation, local transport, etc.
  • Preparatory course in Uppsala for students conducting field studies.
  • Insurance from the Legal Financial and Administrative Services Agency

To apply for an MFS scholarship, you must meet the following requirements

  • The field study should result in a Bachelor’s or Master's thesis at Uppsala University.
  • At a minimum, you must be registered for the equivalent of half a semester's full-time studies (at least 15 credits) at Uppsala University during the semester for which you are applying for Minor Field Studies.
  • You may not have begun doctoral studies
  • You must have a good knowledge of English. Your thesis must be written in English.
  • You must be a Swedish citizen or have a permanent residence permit in Sweden. Students from the other Nordic countries who are not Swedish citizens, must have been a resident in Sweden for at least one year when they are awarded the grant.
  • You may not have been awarded an MFS grant or other Sida funded grants for the same study to which the application relates.
  • You must have a contact present in the country in which you intend to conduct your field study. The contact must be able to help solve practical problems arising during the study, such as arranging transport, help with interpreting and sharing necessary contacts for data collection. No financial compensation can be paid to field contacts.

Applications are made using an online form. The link to the application will be published on the MFS pages. Applications are completed entirely in English.

The application portal is open from the closure of the previous application to the final application date. It is therefore possible to begin and submit an application at any time. By starting an application you can also get information from the Unit for International Mobility about upcoming information sessions, drop-in opportunities, etc.

We welcome applications from groups

The MFS Committee encourages applications from students who apply in pairs. However, it is important that applicants prepare their applications in accordance with the guidelines concerning theses in their respective departments. It is therefore possible for students whose departments require them to write their theses as pairs to apply.

In particular, the MFS committee encourages applications from pairs or groups whose applicants hail from different academic domains (the domains of Humanities and Social Science, Technology and Natural Sciences or Medicine and Pharmacy) at Uppsala University and who study issues that complement each other. Because all applicants must submit their applications individually, it is important that students applying as a pair or group state this in their project plan and in the designated field in the online form.

Five documents must be attached to your online application:

  1. Project Proposal
  2. Approval by Department
  3. Budget
  4. Academic Purpose Statement
  5. A copy of your Swedish passport / passport from Finland, Norway, Denmark or Iceland and written proof of your entry as a resident in Sweden / copy of a permanent residence permit (PUT).

Cover pages including instructions for documents 1-4 can be found in the MFS documents available from the MFS pages.

Field contact

You must also include the name and details of your field contact. This is a person who is able to help with practical solutions such as finding the right people for the study, transport etc.; it need not be an academic contact. Your own department could be an excellent place to begin looking for a field contact. Get in touch with researchers to see if they know anyone who can act as your contact during your field studies.

After the final application date has passed, the following will take place:

1. The Unit for International Mobility will check that the applications are complete and that applicants meet the entry requirements.

2. The Unit for International Mobility will forward all complete and eligible applications to the Uppsala University MFS Committee. The MFS Committee is responsible for assessing applications. To its help the MFS Committee has three reference groups, one each for scientific domain. In its assessment the committee considers the following:

  • the academic foundation of the project plan, its choice of method and overall quality.
  • the feasibility of the application.
  • budget.
  • how well applicants understand how the MFS fits into their future plans.

The MFS Committee decides on the final allocation and reserve list. All applicants are informed of the decision about one month after the final application data.

To facilitate simple management of the MFS grant, the Unit for International Mobility. uses a web-based MFS portal where students can upload the necessary information and documentation. Students are given access to this portal once they are approved for the MFS grant.

In addition to the preparations necessary for the actual enrolment and other private preparations, students who receive an MFS grant need to plan the following:

  1. Participation in a compulsory preparatory course in Uppsala. The course is currently sent out via e-mail and participation is done by answering a selection of course related questions.
  2. All grant recipients must sign a contract with the Unit for International Mobility.
  3. Contact your academic supervisor right away.
  4. Become well informed about what is included in your insurance. The insurance is called Student UT and is provided by the Legal Financial and Administrative Services Agency.
  5. Book transport to the MFS country and inform the Unit for International Mobility of your travel dates.