A doctoral student who received a scholarship is obliged to start or resume their doctoral studies at the foreign university indicated in the application and to defend their thesis at the said university, if not impeded by health, family or other circumstances independent of him or her.
The deadline for completion of doctoral studies depends on the standard period of studies at the selected university and on the scheduled study load.
Within 90 days after the graduation from the university, the recipient of the doctoral degree shall provide the Foundation the documents proving the graduation from the doctoral program (e.g., a copy of the diploma or a letter of confirmation of the award of the degree).
The scholarship recipient is obliged to return the received scholarships, including the educational expenses paid for them, if they fail to fulfill the obligations undertaken with the receipt of the scholarships.
During their studies, the doctoral student has the right to apply for academic leave and for the extension of the term for defending their doctoral thesis. Academic leave is granted on the same basis as in the case of the doctoral students conducting their studies in Estonia.
The deadline for defending the doctoral thesis can be extended by a maximum of two years without extension of the awarded scholarship. The doctoral student shall, in collaboration with the supervisor, submit a relevant application indicating the reasons and containing the planned schedule of completion of the doctoral program.
If a doctoral student has not, within two years of the original deadline of graduation, defended the doctoral degree at the foreign university, the Foundation will require the doctoral student to refund half of the amount of the scholarship paid for them, unless the performance of the obligations indicated in the agreement was hindered by certified health or family related circumstances or circumstances independent of the doctoral student.
At least within three years after the graduation from a foreign university, the scholarship recipient must apply for a post corresponding to their specialty and qualification at an institution of higher education, public or private institution of the Republic of Estonia (hereinafter the Institution) and if selected for the post, to work on the post for one election period or in case of an employment contract concluded for an indefinite period, for a total of at least 3 years.
If the doctoral candidate is not selected in the competition for the post corresponding to his or her specialty and qualification, the doctoral candidate shall, each year by February 1, submit evidence showing that they have applied for vacant posts in Estonia corresponding to his or her specialty and qualification, or that no such competitions have taken place (certificates from the corresponding institutions). The number of certificates will be agreed upon with the Foundation individually for each doctoral student.
A doctoral student is obligated to work on the relevant post after graduation from the institution of education for at least three years, even in the case of which they already have a valid employment contract with the institution during the time of graduation from the foreign university.
The deadline for commencing employment in Estonia can be extended if the doctoral student wishes to pursue post-doctoral studies abroad.
In the event of failure to comply with the requirement of the time limit for working in Estonia, the Foundation will require a refund of the scholarship for the time not worked in proportion to the time worked.
If the doctoral student fails to commence employment in Estonia within the required time after receiving the doctoral degree, he or she is obligated to refund to the Foundation half of the amount of the received scholarship and of the tuition fee paid for him or her.
You can learn more about the obligation to commence employment in Estonia here.
- Additional terms for doctoral students studying full time
During their studies, a doctoral student must be attending the foreign university at all times. If due to the specific nature of the studies, it is necessary to perform a limited extent of work in Estonia or any other country, it has to be coordinated in advance with the Foundation and an application explaining the nature of the work has to be submitted.
- Additional terms for doctoral students studying part-time
If a student wishes to study part-time, they must inform the Foundation at the time of application for the scholarship; they will not be able to change their study load during the study period.
The estimated period of stay abroad must be clearly (in months) indicated in the application. On designation of scholarships, preference is given to the studies in those curricula, where the foreign university has created special conditions allowing part-time studies.
Carrying out simultaneous studies at a doctoral program at an Estonian university during the studies abroad is not allowed.
The Foundation has the right to review the decision of allocation of scholarships and demand full or partial refund of the paid scholarship if:
- reports or the original tickets are not submitted in a timely manner;
- the study and research results do not meet the requirements of the study load established in the foreign university;
- it appears that the doctoral student has stayed in Estonia without approval during their academic studies;
- it appears that the scholarship has been misused.