How do I get a PIC scholarship

How do I successfully apply for a scholarship?

Applying for a scholarship takes time and effort; the selection process is also usually lengthy. Nevertheless, you should take the opportunity to receive valuable support for your studies. But how does the application process work? Which documents have to be submitted and what is the best way to proceed? The following tips will help you increase your chances of receiving a scholarship with a convincing application.

What does the application include?

In principle, you apply with a letter of motivation, curriculum vitae, reports and certificates. Sometimes an application form has to be filled out as well. It makes it easier for the selection committee to compare the applications directly with one another. Good to know: Each foundation has a different selection process with different (sometimes changing) deadlines and requires different documents. Therefore, the most important rule is: Find out as early as possible and allow enough time for the application. Don't ponder the big hurdle that lies ahead of you, just start - step by step!

First steps

  • Get an overview: Which organizations for gifted students are there?
  • What do the various foundations stand for, what are their goals?
  • What are your very personal goals, wishes and dreams?
  • Select a maximum of three foundations that match your ideas.
  • Get in touch with current or former scholarship holders and liaison lecturers for tips on how to apply successfully.
  • Find out more about the procedure of the favored foundations: Which documents have to be sent and when? Don't be afraid to give the foundation a call.
  • Start collecting testimonials, letters of recommendation, and references early on.
  • Keep an eye on the application deadlines.
  • If you have any questions or questions: Get in touch with the funding agencies, current or former scholarship holders, university employees or liaison lecturers for tips on how to apply successfully

Good reasons for your application

When applying, you should always put yourself in the perspective of the scholarship provider. For example, he or she would like to find out from your documents why you have decided on a particular subject and the exact reasons why you are applying to this foundation. Therefore, your application for a scholarship should always be well and comprehensibly justified. Outline your path in life and explain your decisions. Furthermore, a potential sponsor would like to use your certificates, transcripts of grades, references and / or reports to assess whether your academic achievements are likely to meet their expectations and whether you are socially committed or have the corresponding potential for it.

Important: Only complete applications will be considered for the allocation of scholarships after the application period has expired. You should therefore plan sufficient time for the application and - depending on the requirements - obtaining references / reports, etc. Send in your documents with all the necessary application documents or upload the documents in good time via the foundation's internet portal.

The most important building blocks for your application

As with an application for a job, when applying for a scholarship, you must first submit a written application. It usually consists of one Motivation letter, one curriculum vitae, one Assessment and Testimoniesn, sometimes also from one Application form. For everyone who has qualified with their written documents, it then goes into the second round: the selection process with interviews and / or presentations. However, one by one!

The letter of motivation

The letter of motivation is the heart of every scholarship application. This is an individual, freely formulated text of usually one or two pages. In it you describe what drives you personally - for example a specific research interest. The selection committee often reads this letter first and then decides whether it should also deal with your other documents. It is therefore particularly important in the selection process. Read here how you can convince with your letter of motivation for a scholarship. By the way: many universities offer workshops on how to write letters of motivation.

Dates of all information events and workshops

A curriculum vitae in tabular form is normally required. It should not be longer than two pages and be clearly structured. Remember that the selection committee wants to find out the most important things about you quickly. At the top is your personal data. This is followed by information on training, internships and personal commitment and hobbies. It is up to you whether you prefer a chronological order or a reverse-chronological one. It is only important that you consistently adhere to the structure you have chosen. Don't forget: the date and signature are part of the resume as a conclusion.

Some scholarship providers prefer a fully formulated curriculum vitae. This is a continuous text that is written in the first person - by hand or on the computer, depending on the requirements. A detailed résumé also needs a clear structure (possibly with subheadings) and is based on the key data mentioned above. It should start with childhood and run chronologically to the time of application. The special thing about the formulated résumé is that you can and should justify your decisions in it. This gives the selection committee an impression of your personality. Finally, briefly outline your goals and future plans; this shows that you have clear ideas.

The application photo

The grantor would like to get an idea of ​​yourself. Therefore, an application photo should also be included in your documents. The application picture should be a maximum of one year old and taken by a professional photographer. Then good lighting and a suitable background are guaranteed. The photographer can also give you tips on posture and facial expressions. Selfies or vacation photos are not appropriate when applying for a scholarship. Choose simple, more elegant clothes, such as a blouse or shirt and possibly a blazer or jacket. You should definitely avoid eye-catching patterns and bright colors. Women should choose subtle make-up, a well-groomed hairstyle rounds off the picture. Whether you prefer a color photo or a black and white picture is up to you.

A scrutinizing look

Everything done, all documents together? Now it's time to take a deep breath and take another look at the application. Check your records carefully for spelling, punctuation and typing errors. If possible, give your application to a family member or friend to proofread before you send the documents. Four eyes see more than two! A flawless application sends the message across to the recipient that you have made an effort and that you are working carefully.

The selection interviews

Was your written application successful? Congratulations - you have overcome the first hurdle! Now you have the chance to convince in the further selection process. Most scholarship providers want to get an idea of ​​you personally. For this purpose, you will be invited to one or more selection interviews. These discussions can have different formats: Depending on the sponsor, individual discussions with experts from your department or employees of the foundation, group discussions with other applicants or with scholarship holders, but also lectures and examination interviews on your specialist knowledge are possible.

Ask your scholarship provider about the format of the interviews and prepare carefully. For example, you should think about the following questions: Why are you applying exactly for the scholarship you are looking for? Why did you choose your subjects? What role does social engagement play in your life? Which current topics have moved you particularly recently and what is your position in the social debate?

To prepare for the selection interviews, use the advisory services offered by the participating universities and take part in the information events and workshops at the universities.

Group discussions and lectures

Group discussions or lectures can also be requested. Find out more from your funding agency after the relevant process.

In a group discussion, the scholarship provider would like to find out how you behave in a group situation, whether you can structure your thoughts and argue convincingly, whether your contributions are productive and what your self-confidence and social skills are. In general: Instead of emotional behavior, objectivity, calm and clarity are required.

To get to know you better, some scholarship providers invite you to give a short talk. In terms of content, it can be about a given topic, but sometimes a self-presentation is also required. The following applies to both: Make sure you adhere to the allotted time. You are allowed to appear self-confident. Use the preparation time to structure your thoughts.

Think about what information about yourself is important for this occasion: Where are the links in your CV to the focus of the scholarship provider? A self-presentation is easy to prepare. Think in advance how you would imagine yourself in this situation. Even if you get a different topic, that is good practice. If you are supposed to give a presentation on a specific topic, the scholarship provider would like to know how well you reflect on it and how convincing you can argue. It is important to proceed in a well-structured manner and to remain objective. You can conclude your presentation with a brief summary.

Waiting for the decision

Now we have to wait and see: the selection process often takes several months, especially for the larger scholarships. With smaller foundations, the selection is usually faster, but you should also include other forms of study financing in your planning: Even if your application for a scholarship was successful, it can take many months before you receive the funding.

Applying for a scholarship - do's and don'ts

• apply early so that any missing documents can be submitted later
• Inform yourself well in advance about the scholarship provider
• Exactly adhere to the formal requirements in the application process
• Align the application with the scholarship provider
• explain why your values, ideas, goals and dreams are a perfect fit for this foundation
• For scholarships that are only awarded for one year: observe the deadline for the extension and carefully compile all the required documents (transcript of records, certificates ...)

What should I absolutely avoid?

• Make false statements in the résumé
• Exaggerate excessively or put your light under a bushel
• omit important information
• Misspellings, incorrect punctuation and grammatical errors in the application

In summary: strategies for your application

  • Find out about scholarships early on. The ideal time to apply for a scholarship is the year before the start of your studies.
  • First check whether you are eligible for one of the major student funding agencies, and then look for smaller scholarship programs.
  • Check the application modalities carefully. Each foundation has different terms and conditions.
  • Clarify exactly who fits in particularly well with the foundation. Analyze the foundation pages and profiles of scholarship holders. If possible, get in touch with the foundation's ambassadors who have received a grant.
  • Check whether you are eligible for a scholarship program. Address people with the right to make proposals.
  • In your application, you should also include supposedly minor activities that show your commitment and interest (work as a mediator, participation in a working group, participation in additional educational events, caring for relatives, etc.).
  • Apply multiple times if you are considering several scholarships. However, write each of your applications specifically for the addressee.
  • Establish a schedule, especially if multiple reviews need to be obtained, and start applying early.
  • Get feedback on the application documents.
  • The selection process itself takes several months, especially for the larger scholarships. In the case of smaller foundations, the selection is usually much faster, but you should also include other forms of study financing in your planning.

Our appeal to all (future) students: Get advice from the advice centers of the universities involved, from the employees of the funding agencies or (if you are already further advanced in the application process) directly from liaison lecturers at your university location and you have you the courage to apply for a scholarship in the Ruhr Metropolis.

We wish you much success!

Your team from Scholarship Culture Ruhr