Minor Field Studies
Conducting fieldwork abroad for the purpose of collecting data for a degree project gives you valuable practical experience. It is also good preparation for working in a global context.
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About the grant
If you are coming to the end of your studies and wish to acquire more in-depth knowledge of global development issues, you can apply for a grant to conduct fieldwork abroad.
Minor Field Studies – MFS – is a grant programme to enable for fieldwork in a developing country, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The grant gives you the opportunity to collect data for a Bachelor's or Master's degree project.
You can apply for the grant regardless of the faculty at which you are studying. Applications are open for three periods each year.
Note that only few international students meet the eligibility requirements because of Swedish language requirements as well as requirements in connection with citizenship/residence status (see below).
If you are not eligible for MFS, the Crafoord Foundation travel grant may be relevant for you instead.
- 15–30 January 2023
The return journey for MFS in spring 2023 is to be completed by 4 June 2023 at the latest.
After that, the MFS programme will be discontinued, owing to SIDA’s budget having been restricted.
Around the time of each application period, the University holds a meeting where you are given information about the opportunities the MFS grant provides. We also go through the application and appendices, as well as what the current pandemic means for MFS.
The previous information meeting was held in October 2022.
MFS grants can be applied for by students from all academic disciplines. You can be awarded the MFS grant several times during your studies, but the grant cannot be applied for retroactively.
Please note that Lund University no longer accepts applications from other higher education institutions.
The field study is to be informed throughout by one or more of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals adopted by member nations through Agenda 2030.
About the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – un.org
The degree project is to be written in English (or in the language of your host country if this approved by your supervisor).
In order to be able to apply for the grant, you must also
- be registered as a student at Lund University at the time of the application or have been granted a leave of absence from your studies by your faculty and be registered on a degree project course at Lund University during your time in the field.
- have strong proficiency in English and understand Swedish.
- have strong proficiency in the language of your host country, if your supervisor has approved you writing your degree project in that language.
- be a Swedish citizen or hold a permanent residence permit in Sweden.*
- undertake the field study as part of a Bachelor's, 60-credit Master’s or 120-credit Master’s level at Lund University.
*Please note that permanent right of residency for EU citizens is not equivalent to a permanent residence permit. Students from other Nordic countries who are not Swedish citizens can be exempted from this requirement. In such cases, you are to have been registered as living in Sweden for at least one year by the time of approval.
You may not
- have begun doctoral studies
- have been awarded any other UHR-financed or SIDA-financed grant for the field study period in question.
Rules for outward and return travel
Your journeys to and from the host country must take place at the start and end of your field study. Departure from the Nordic countries can occur only when you have fulfilled certain requirements before your outbound travel.
Outbound travel for MFS in autumn 2022 can take place on 29 August 2022 at the earliest.
The return journey for MFS in spring 2023 is to be completed by 4 June 2023 at the latest.
On studera.nu you can see in which countries you have the opportunity to apply for MFS grants:
Minor Field Studies – studera.nu
Please note that if the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has issued advice against travel, MFS grants cannot be awarded for field studies in that country/part of country. This applies both to advice against all travel, and advice against non-essential travel.
Countries subject to a Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs travel advisory warning (in Swedish)
The grant of SEK 27 000 partly covers expenses during the period in the field. It is normally necessary to supplement the grant with student support.
The field study is to continue for at least eight consecutive weeks (56+ days).
How to apply
A well-prepared application acts as preparatory work for your study, and is something that will serve you during your time in the field. When your application is assessed, great weight is given to the feasibility of the study. Your challenge is to convey this through your application.
You should have an idea yourself about how you want to conduct your field study. In consultation with supervisors or other contact persons, you develop a feasible project.
Various organisations can also offer project proposal outlines. External Relations can assist with potential contacts.
Concretise and state the following:
- What you are going to do
- Where you are going to do it
- How it will be implemented (method, theory)
- Who is going to help you (contacts in the host country?)
- Demarcate your study. Remember that two months pass quickly, especially in a new environment.
- Choose a subject that relates to development issues.
- Remember that it is a field study. For that reason, choose a subject that requires you to be on site and not a desk-based study.
- Consider your choice of method. Remember that your study must be feasible.
- If you are going to use an interpreter, consider what this might mean for your results. Consider what bearing it may have if the interpreter is male or female, someone known to you or a stranger, familiar with your subject or not, official or unofficial, local or not local. If you are not going to use an interpreter and the interview is conducted in a language other than the respondents’ native tongue, consider how this might affect responses and interpretation of answers.
Application step by step
The application is completed online. It is to be written in good English and contain seven appendices (see below).
- Register in the application database
- Prepare the appendices for your application. All application materials are to be in English.
- Proceed to the application, which is open during the relevant application period.
- Upload all the documents in your application and submit online during the application period.
Please note: It is important that your application is complete when you submit it – incomplete applications will not be processed.
You can read below what should be included in each of the seven appendices that are to be attached to your application. The contents are based upon the Swedish Council for Higher Education’s general terms and conditions.
The project description is the most important appendix. It is to communicate that your project plan is well-prepared and that your field study is feasible. It must comprise a maximum of five pages and be written in English. The project description is to include the following:
- Project title, purpose, research question and theory, including
- Method reflection on choice of subject and its connection to development issues, and how the study may benefit the host nation
- Method discussion about selection and how you will gain access to the objects of the study
- Connection to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
- Description of how your field study is to be informed throughout by one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (which the UN’s member countries have adopted through Agenda 2030).
- Plans and backup plans
- A timescale including preparatory work, a preliminary travel schedule and work after your return home.
- A plan for practical implementation on location.
- A description of your “Plan B” – i.e. what your backup plans and alternative arrangements for the study are, should the original plan need to be altered for any reason
- Reflection around risk and security issues. Describe how the field study needs to be adapted to ensure health and safety for you and those you meet, with regard to the current pandemic among other things.
- Reflection on ethical issues
- Source references (this does not need to count towards the maximum five pages that the project description is permitted to be)
The budget including travel costs, possible costs for printing of the essay/thesis, vaccines, daily expenses based on the cost of living in the destination country, potential extra expenses for equipment or technical services, a standardised sum of SEK 1 000 for various other costs (e.g. literature, maps).
If you are applying for grants from several higher education institutions, or from another source of funding, for the same field study period, this is to be stated in your application.
A certificate is needed from a supervisor at Lund University with responsibility for endorsing the planned study’s suitability and ensuring that it is of an equivalent level to other degree projects.
The supervisor is to be well-versed in the method you intend to use, and to have knowledge of field work in general.
If, at the time of your application, you have not been assigned a supervisor, contact your department/program to find out when you are to be assigned one. Upload the written information you receive.
Documents – such as a printed email exchange or a formal invitation – proving that there is a contact person in the country in which the study is to be conducted who will provide assistance with practical arrangements and additional useful contacts throughout your time in the field.
The contact is to be connected to a specific organisation, company or university.
Your contact also needs to briefly describe the organisation/company/university and where in the host country they are located.
Your contact person needs to be in the host country throughout your period in the field.
Approved grant recipients’ contacts will need, at a later stage, to sign a contract and a security declaration.
Result and registration certificates from Lund University can be obtained through your department or via Ladok. Upload these two documents as a PDF.
Your CV is to be no longer than one A4 page. List your qualifications, highlighting any international experience.
Attach a copy of your passport. A population registration certificate containing information about your citizenship is also acceptable.
If you are not a Swedish citizen, you should also attach your PUT document (certificate of permanent residency).
If you are a citizen of another Nordic country, you should attach a certificate from the Swedish Tax Agency that shows you have been registered as living in Sweden for at least twelve months.
After you have sent in your application
Assessment of application
External Relations conduct a first assessment as to whether the basic requirements have been met (see 'Eligibility and conditions' and 'Application step by step'). Afterwards, the application is sent for assessment by the relevant faculty/department.
Based on the faculty’s assessment and in accordance with the Swedish Council for Higher Education’s general terms and conditions, the applications are judged by a central assessment committee, made up of around 4–6 people, who decide upon the distribution of grants.
Notification of grant award
The decision on the distribution of grants is usually given six weeks after the application period has ended.
If you are awarded a grant
Before it is time for departure, there are a lot of things that you need to prepare. We have gathered some useful information here. Please remember that it is not an exhaustive list, and that you are responsible for keeping yourself informed.
Inform the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of your whereabouts
You are to provide your contact details to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs/Swedish Embassy via the so-called 'Swedish list' (Svensklistan). The details you provide are used to contact you if it becomes necessary because of a major crisis in the country. The information is stored only for the period you specify, and is then automatically removed.
Register on the Swedish list via swedenabroad.se (in Swedish)
If the Ministry for Foreign Affairs advises against travel
If the Ministry for Foreign Affairs advises against travel to the country where you are conducting your field study, you are to discontinue your field studies and return to Sweden immediately. If the Ministry issues such advice while you are away, you are not liable to repay the grant. Download the 'Resklar' app and remember to allow push-notifications.
Information about the Resklar app on regeringen.se (in Swedish)
MFS [at] er [dot] lu [dot] se
I wanted to work on a project that helps people, instead of writing a dusty old essay.
Marion, MFS grant recipient