Level: Masters, PhD
Course: Any Masters course and any PhD programme except those in Medicine and Dentistry
Value: Up to $50,000 over 2 years
No. of awards: 3 PhD awards and an unlimited number of Master's awards.
Deadline: 28th February
Queen Mary has partnered with Colfuturo since 2015. COLFUTURO is a Colombian non-profit foundation that was established in 1991 with the support of the National Government and some of the most important companies of the private sector in the country at that time. Its main objective is to provide financial support and increase the possibilities of Colombian citizens to access high-quality postgraduate study programs abroad.
The financial support model we use is a Scholarship-Loan. COLFUTURO offers each student up to US$25,000 per year for a maximum of two years. In total, the foundation offers loans of up to US$50,000. Students may be awarded scholarships for 50% of the loaned amount, provided they accomplish these three requirements: (1) be awarded their postgraduate degree, (2) return to Colombia, and (3) remain in the country for three to five years. Students may also obtain an additional 10% discount if, upon returning to the country, they engage in employment for one year in the public sector, or as teachers or researchers in public or private institutions. Those pursuing Masters’ degrees in management or MBA programs are awarded only 25% scholarship of the loaned amount.
Applicants must make two separate applications: 1 to Queen Mary for admission, and 1 to COFUTURO for the scholarship. Those who are successful in securing the scholarship and hold an offer for admission to Queen Mary will automatically be granted the co-funding discount.
The COLFUTURO application form and terms and conditions can be found at www.colfuturo.org
The scholarship selection process considers three main criteria: academic quality of students, the quality of the study program, and the comparison amongst all applicants, maintaining each student’s anonymity. The academic quality of students is assessed with three aspects: undergraduate GPA (Grade Point Average), ranking position within their graduating class and an essay.
COLFUTURO scholars coming to Queen Mary for a Master's degree will receive a 20% discount. All on-site, full-time Master's courses (MA, MSc, MRes) are eligible. From 2018, course in Medicine and Dentistry are also included in the agreement.
COLFUTURO scholars coming to Queen Mary for a PhD will receive a full tuition fee waiver for up to 4 years. The COLFUTURO scholarship-loan money should be used to cover living expenses and should be carefully managed to last the 3-4 years required to complete a UK PhD programme. This can be supplemented by personal savings and possible teaching work but this should be discussed and agreed with the academic department before the student begins the programme.
There are 3 PhD tuition fee waivers available per year. Queen Mary and COLFUTURO will jointly decide on the allocation if more than 3 applicants are sucessful.
Esteban Gomez Cifuentes, MSc Bioinformatics
Esteban is studying a Master’s in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences thanks to a COLFUTURO scholarship. Before coming to Queen Mary is studied for a BSc Biological Engineering and then worked for the Functional Biology Research Group at Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
Esteban was attracted to the MSc Bioinformatics at Queen Mary due to the strong expertise in genomics bioinformatics. The lecturers on the course have a wide range of specialisms including tropical bats and insects, cancer and diabetes, and genome sequencing and plant genetics.
He’s pleased he made the decision to apply for the scholarship and move to London. He writes “Queen Mary is a recognized university around the world and been a student here will open you the doors to other places, not only in the UK. I have had the chance to participate in PhD interviews which I do not think I would have been invited to had I not been here. Also, I think that when I come back to Colombia, I will have more job opportunities.
“Colombia has all the tools to be a knowledge centre. Our problem is that we don’t believe that we are good enough and we can't compete with the rest of the world. Being here gave me the opportunity to see that we do have what it takes and I can use my knowledge to support the growth of Colombia.”
Esteban’s top tip for future applicants is to not underestimate the cost of living in London. It is a very expensive city, especially for accommodation and you may need personal savings in addition to the scholarship. If you are short of money, the stress can affect your studies so it’s best to plan and budget well.
Marco Martínez, PhD Electronic Engineering
Marco came to Queen Mary in 2016 to start his PhD in the Centre for Digital Music, which is one of the largest research groups in music technology in Europe. His research is on deep learning architectures for audio processing in the context of audio mixing and digital audio effects.
Marco was attracted to the PhD programme due to the hands-on research experience and he loves the collaborative academic atmosphere within the wider Media and Arts Technology research group.
Before coming to Queen Mary, he studied for an MSc Digital Signal Processing at the University of Manchester and a BSc Electronic Engineering at University of Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. He is also an electronic music producer and mixing engineer.
Upon returning to Colombia with his PhD, Marco hopes to compete for the top jobs in applied music technology research. He says “on gaining sufficient experience, eventually, I aspire to excel in my field and return to Colombia in order to guide my own signal processing and music technology research group of skilled, motivated and enthusiastic people.”
His top tip for PhD applicants is to contact the professors or relevant department staff before submitting the application.
Colombian's interested in applying for this scholarship should contact: