November 5 is a start date of a competition for research internships programs in laboratories of the world. This year, Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation provides an opportunity to 17 undergraduate students, graduate students and current research workers instead of 10 to spend quality summer at the world’s best universities.
We talked to the Foundation’s program manager, Roumisa Bashaeva, to ask several questions.
— First of all, how did the Foundation come to increase the number of scholarships, given the fact that on average one scholarship costs it about 7 thousand dollars, which means you faced a significant increase in the budget?
— This became possible because we decided to combine our three research scholarship programs in laboratories – for undergraduate students (10 grants), for specialists (2 grants) and the UK (5 grants). The selection process and goals of all these programs are identical, only the target audience differed. Therefore, we decided that it would make sense to combine them into one program.
— Do you have an internal breakdown of these 17 grants, or may it become that all of them will go, for example, to undergraduate students?
— We decided that 10 scholarships should be allocated to 2-3 year undergraduate students, while the other 7 grants should be given to senior undergraduate students, graduate students and current researchers. In the selection process, we will not compare graduate candidates with bachelors, and vice versa. Each candidate will be evaluated under their scholarship category. But we reserve the right to redistribute scholarships, depending on the results, which participants will demonstrate at the second stage of selection (selection through training). So it may well be that 11 bachelors and 6 undergraduates or researchers will be the winners. Participants at both stages will be evaluated by an expert council led by a member of the board of trustees, Eldar Akhmetgaliyev, a graduate of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and Caltech, a doctor of science and a startupper working in the USA.
It should be noted that from 2013 through 2018 the competition of the research scholarship program of Yessenov Foundation was attended by 529 applicants. For 5 years, 49 contestants became winners of the program, they all had the opportunity to work in the best laboratories and with the best professors of universities in Japan and the USA, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, Sweden and Korea, Australia and Singapore.
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