Selecting your host institution and supervisor is a life-changing event – from any aspect of your personal and professional life.
The supervisor has a central place in your fellowship application. You will have to write about your supervisor in your proposal, so why not consider the same points when choosing the person to work with? And by the way, if you have more than one supervisor (outgoing phase in Global Fellowship or secondment), you have to keep the following descriptors for all supervisors:
- Reputation in research field (# publications, books, patents, etc. )
- International collaborations
- Intersectoral collaborations
- Other research projects
- Supervision of other PhDs and postdocs?
- Do they have time available?
How to find your supervisor
This is one of the most frequently asked questions. Be proactive and show initiative – contact them with an enthusiastic and personal message, your research vision and how you see yourself fitting into their group. Most of the supervisors will respond. Of course, there are a few that won’t. Shake it off and move on to the next!
Is well-known institution the best option?
If this is your only concern, then forget it. The name of the institution should not be the deciding factor in your decision-making process. In your fellowship application you must be able to explain your choice from the following points:
- Is sufficient infrastructure available?
- Experience in hosting international researchers?
- Can you get the training not only in technical skills but in transferable skills?
In other words, MIT might be a very appealing choice but if your research is about polar bears, University of Alaska could be a more logical option!
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