Type of grant

Study grant


Master, Doctoral

Sectors and field of study

All subject areas.


Programme description

Estonian government supports the masters and doctoral studies at foreign universities with the aim to increase the number of professionals with masters and doctoral degree in the Estonian public and private sector.

Therefore, this call for application is open to individuals beginning or continuing their studies at the PhD and master’s level at a recognized university abroad and willing to work in Estonia after graduation. Both full and part-time doctoral and master’s studies can be supported. The scholarship for degree studies abroad cannot be applied to study in Estonian universities. The grantee will be required to defend the MA or PhD thesis at the selected university and to work 3 years after graduation in a professional capacity where a PhD or MA degree in the relevant field is required. The work period in Estonia may be replaced by an assignment abroad that benefits Estonia directly. In case the requirement is not fulfilled, the half of the paid scholarship shall be returned.


The scholarship is paid until the end of the standard period of study, but not more than for 48 months for doctoral student and 24 months for master’s students. If by the moment of allocation of scholarship, the grantee has already begun her/his studies at the university abroad, only the period remaining until the end of the standard period of studies can be financed.

Financial terms

The scholarship includes living and travel allowances based on fixed unit prices. The exact amount of living allowance depends on the cost of living in the destination country. Living allowance is paid 12 months per year. The amount of travel allowance depends on the distance to the destination city. The travel allowance is paid once in every six months. The tuition fee can be reimbursed in well-founded cases and reasonable amounts. The justifiability of the tuition fees is evaluated together with the overall scholarship application and this decision cannot be changed at the later stage. Additionally, and on the basis of individual need, the scholarship may include the cost of health insurance, monthly allowance for dependent children, travel allowance for dependent children and one-time participation in a conference. More information at

Grant funded by

Archimedes Foundation, an independent body established by the Estonian government with the objective to coordinate and implement different international and national programmes and projects in the field of training, education and research.

Eligibility criteria

Nationality.ies – Profile

The scholarship can be applied for by the Estonian citizens and the persons who live here with long term residence permit, who as of the time of submitting the application have been admitted to the doctoral or master’s programme of a university abroad or have a confirmation from the respective university that they have submitted the documents required for admission. The applicant must be able to speak Estonian on a communication level. The grant can support both full-time and part-time doctoral and master’s studies at the university abroad.

Level of study required

Master or PhD level.  

Additional terms and conditions

The grantee is obliged to start or resume her/his doctoral or master’s studies at the university indicated in the application and to defend her/his thesis there, if not impeded by health, family or other circumstances independent of her/him. The deadline for completion of studies depends on the standard period of studies at the selected university and on the intended study load.

Within 90 days after the graduation from the university, the grantee shall provide the Foundation the documents verifying the graduation (e.g., a copy of the diploma or a letter of confirmation of the award of the degree) and summary of thesis in Estonian.

The grantee is obliged to return the received scholarships in full amount, including the tuition fees paid for her/him, if s/he fails to fulfill the obligations undertaken with the acceptance of the scholarship.

The grantees have a right to apply for academic leave and for the extension of the term for defending their doctoral thesis.

The deadline for defending the doctoral thesis can be extended by a maximum of two years, in master’s one year, without the extension of awarded scholarship. In such case, the grantees shall submit a relevant application indicating the reasons and including renewed schedule of completion of studies.

The grantee will be obliged to apply for a post corresponding to their specialty and qualification in Estonia within three years from graduation, and if selected for the post, to work 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 grantee is not selected, she/he shall, each year by February 1, submit evidence showing that they have applied for vacant posts in Estonia corresponding to her/his specialty and qualification, or that no suitable calls have been published (certificates from the corresponding institutions). The number of certificates will be agreed upon with the Foundation individually for each student.

A grantee is obligated to work on the relevant post after graduation for at least three years, even if they already had a valid employment contract with the institution during the time of graduation.

The deadline for taking up the employment in Estonia can be extended if the doctoral student wishes to pursue doctoral or 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.

The Foundation has the right to review allocation of scholarship and demand full or partial refund of the paid scholarship if:

  • reports are not submitted in a timely manner;
  • the study and research results do not meet the requirements of the study load established in the contract;
  • it appears that the doctoral student has stayed in Estonia without approval from Archimedes during academic year;
  • it appears that the scholarship has been misused.

Additional terms for doctoral students studying full time: During their studies, a student must be attending the university abroad 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. 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 programme at an Estonian university during the studies abroad is not allowed.

Application process

How to apply

The application with all the required annexes shall be submitted electronically. The web-based application can be found at

The applicant must submit the following documents by the deadline:

  1. Application, including the letter of motivation, form to be filled out at the application system;
  2. Overview of last thesis or latest research project (e.g. published or submitted article);
  3. Initial timetable for studies;
  4. Letter of recommendation from the last supervisor (may be submitted electronically by uploading a scanned original document into the application system);
  5. Letter of consent from Estonian co-supervisor (only doctoral studies) (in justified cases it is possible to apply for a scholarship without the Estonian co-supervisor);
  6. Confirmation of admission from the university abroad, or
  7. confirmation from the university that all the documents have been submitted for admission (may be submitted electronically by uploading a scanned original document into the application system);
  8. Confirmation from the Estonian institution of higher education (with the signature of the head of the institute/department) or any other organization (with the signature of the CEO) stating that the organization would benefit from hiring someone with the relevant qualification

Documents certifying the level of required tuition fee (to be uploaded to the application system).

Documents uploaded to the application system should be in the pdf-format, if possible.

The requested amounts may be adjusted by Archimedes on the basis of fixed unit costs.


This year application deadline is April 1st, 2021.

Selection Process

The submitted applications are evaluated by academic experts in the field. Each doctoral studies application shall be examined by three experts. Master`s studies application shall be examined by at least two experts. Before making a decision, the candidates receiving a highest grade from the experts will be interviewed. The Interviewing Committee determines among other things whether carrying out part-time studies is justified. Allocating the scholarship is decided by the Kristjan Jaak programme board based on interviewing committee`s recommendations. The duration of the evaluation procedure is about two months as of the date announced as the deadline for applications. All the applicants will be informed of the result as soon as possible, the results will also be published on the website.


Kristjan Jaak's contact person for study abroad at the Education and Youth Authority is Ms Kadri Kaldre (e-mail:, tel +372 6 999 397).