You want to join us but are worried about costs? We get it. One of the biggest obstacles to anthropological field experiences, especially for younger students, is finding the funds to get abroad and stay abroad for long enough to feel some impact. But the good news is that there is more out there than many people realize! Over the years, we have tried different methods for teaching potential students about opportunities to collect funds ranging from setting up contacts with former grant recipients to compiling a list of different available scholarships and grants. What we have found, however, is that these are more numerous and shifting than we are able to keep up with and that, moreover, students are still searching for how exactly to go about finding similar opportunities and properly applying for them. So, find below a few of our most helpful tips and tricks from our accumulated experience. You will also find our own scholarship call
on this website, which we encourage you to apply for. However, we strongly recommend to look for other funding as well. The advise below seems quite short, but please understand that it is a distilled version of years of practical know-how, compiled by dozens of our own alumni. Please (re-) read it carefully.
- Your first stop – and we can never emphasize this enough – should always be your home department at your university. Often departments have travel funds for faculty and students that are left unused at the end of the academic year and do not roll over. Better to put them to use! Your advisers and department heads will also have suggestions about other sources of grant money and having them in your corner during applications is always helpful.
- Every university has a study abroad office and you should absolutely use it. There are often particular scholarships for students doing abroad experience and funding for individual research projects.
- Anytime you are getting in touch with an office or an individual on your campus who you think might be able to help, go in person! Emails can fall through the cracks and fail to put a name to a face. On the other hand, going in person makes you memorable and lets them know that you are serious about finding funding and expanding your educational horizons through unique opportunities.
- When applying for scholarships and external funding, it is essential to think twice about your phrasing. The nature of our program's research and organization style makes it very versatile, so think about what elements are best to highlight for particular opportunities. For instance, an application for a summer school funding opportunity might highlight our staff to student ratio and workshop opportunities; an application for an independent research grant should center the aims of your own particular project and the resources we set you up with to accomplish your goals; our location and association with other universities makes exchange opportunities a possibility, as well; and finally, the strength of our team's writing and the opportunity to be included in our own journal means that publication grants are also not out of the question. So be resourceful and creative in both your search for new doors and the writing of your applications! This will enable you to reach further than simply traditional summer school funding.
- Sharpen your Google skills! Rather than getting lost in all the random scholarship information out there, focus your search on sources from associations and organizations dedicated either to your research interests, your region of study (Malta), or your region of origin. Often funding is directed to specific aims and goals and your application will be strongest if you find the fund you fit with best. Again, if you think you found an opportunity, it is always best to reach out in person.
- A final big tip that we would like to give you is that when you do apply for a scholarship, make sure that you are properly organized. Many students lose time or even opportunities by not working conclusively. Write down all the necessary information, the amount of the scholarship, what you need to include in the application, the deadline, the format and who it is for. You can do this for all your scholarship opportunities and then prioritize accordingly.