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Ferial Chummun Scholarship in Astronomy

The Ferial Chummun Scholarship is intended for female Portuguese students who wish to obtain their master’s (MSc) degree in Astronomy at the University of Leiden and meet all criteria for admission.

1 April (Start programme: September)
Target group
Countries/ nationalities
Portuguese nationals
Scholarship type

For whom
Female Portuguese students who wish to follow, and meet the admission criteria for, the Master of Science programme in Astronomy at Leiden University. 

Eligibility requirements
To be eligible for this scholarship you must:

  • Be a female Portuguese national
  • Lack the financial means to follow the study programme without the assistance of a scholarship.
  • Be highly motivated to follow, and meet the admissions requirements of, the Master of Science programme in Astronomy at Leiden University

The recipient of the scholarship will be expected to agree to a meeting with the benefactors of the fund, and to provide a report on their study progress to the Chummun family.

Scholarship or loan amount*
The Ferial Chummun scholarship is for one year, with conditional renewal for a second year upon successful completion of the first year. For a full scholarship you will receive the full tuition fee (around €2,314 per year, amount is subject to change) and an allowance of up to €11.700 per year for living costs. The scholarship is paid as a monthly allowance.

Application process

  1. Submit an online application for admission to the Master of Science programme in Astronomy and pay the application fee. Don't forget to upload a valid English test result in your application. 
  2.  In your online application, upload a letter of motivation for the Ferial Chummun Scholarship in which you briefly explain: 
    a. your financial situation and why you are unable to follow the programme without a scholarship.
    b. your reasons for wishing to follow the study programme. 
  3. In your online application, upload a Placement Letter wherein you explain that you possess an equivalent level of knowledge, understanding, skills and (research) experience as applicants who are holding a Bachelor’s degree in Astronomy from Leiden University. More information about the Placement Letter can be found on our admissions webpage.
  4. In your online application, upload at least one, but preferably two, letters of recommendation, or have your referees send the letter directly to the University by uploading the letter in the Referee contact form.
  5. After submitting your online application, send an e-mail to the master coordinator at master@strw.leidenuniv.nl, indicating your interest in the scholarship.

Note that your scholarship application will only be processed after you have submitted your application for admission and your scholarship application via Leiden University’s online application portal (uSis), and have paid the application fee.

Selection process
Candidates for the scholarship are selected by the Admission Board of the programme. Scholarship decisions will be announced approximately six weeks after the application deadline.

Ferial Bibi Chummun (1958 – 2017) was born in Port Louis, Mauritius, as the third of five siblings. After graduating from a Mauritian high school she was encouraged by her parents to study electrical engineering in the United Kingdom. At that time, it was in Mauritius still special for a girl like Ferial to engage in engineering, and in her case far away from home. 
Having obtained her degrees she relocated to Canada for her work as a telecommunications engineer. In 1987, Ferial got an offer to work for the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, where she worked as an engineer until the year 2000. During these years she developed a deep bond with the country of Portugal which she visited many times on her travels. 
After her time at ESTEC Ferial moved from the Netherlands to Munich, Germany, where she worked as a freelancer for mobile-telecom companies and providers in the domains of systems engineering and testing. 
Ferial passed away at the age of 59. Those closest to her have decided to instate this scholarship in her honour.  

Further information
For more information about the scholarship, please contact the master’s coordinator Kim Nguyen at master@strw.leidenuniv.nl 

The student is responsible for submitting a complete application for admission to Leiden University before the deadline mentioned above. Leiden University cannot be held responsible for late and/or incomplete applications.

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