How to Win a Fully Funded Scholarship?

by Wajid Ali on April 22, 2024

In the pursuit of higher education, scholarships play a pivotal role in providing students with the financial support they need to achieve their academic goals. Fully funded scholarships cover tuition fees, living expenses, and other educational costs, making them highly sought-after by students worldwide. While the search for scholarships can be daunting, organizations like The Maths Volunteers Foundation are here to help. This organization doesn't offer scholarships directly but serves as a valuable resource hub for students seeking fully funded opportunities. In this guide, I attempt to highlight all the necessary information that you need to win a fully funded scholarship. These are general guidelines and students of any subject or field may use them in their applications.

All the members of the Maths Volunteers team including myself are scholarships winners. Our foundation’s mission is to empower students to pursue their academic and professional careers. Whether you're seeking scholarships for a Masters/PhD scholarship or looking for a funded postdoctoral position, this guide together with guidelines on the Maths Volunteers website would help you every step of the way.  The purpose of this guide is to put together what an applicant may need when applying for scholarships. This guide is aimed at a general audience and I understand that each student's scholarship journey is unique.  Some of the information in this guide would sound trivial but I have mentioned them for completeness purposes. 

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The aspirants of fully funded scholarships need to know

      When do scholarships get advertised?

      Where to find these scholarships?

      What is the eligibility and requirements of these scholarships?

      How to prepare the required documents?

      How to apply for these scholarships?

Typically, scholarship opportunities are advertised throughout the year, with application deadlines varying based on the sponsoring organization and program timeline. Maths Volunteers update a comprehensive list of fully funded scholarships from reputable sources weekly, ensuring that students have access to diverse opportunities. Each scholarship has specific eligibility criteria and requirements, which may include academic qualifications, language proficiency tests, recommendation letters, and personal statements. Maths Volunteers provides detailed information about these criteria to help students determine their eligibility and prepare their applications accordingly.

Maths Volunteers offers guidance on preparing essential documents such as CVs, personal statements, research proposals, and letters, ensuring that applicants present themselves effectively to scholarship selection committees. Maths Volunteers provides step-by-step guidance on the application process, including tips on submitting online applications, meeting deadlines, and following up on application status. By addressing these critical questions, Maths Volunteers equips students with the knowledge and resources they need to navigate the fully funded scholarship landscape successfully. If you are a scholarship aspirant, I suggest the following steps:

Cover Letter: A cover letter is a brief letter that goes along with your CV or resume. Its purpose is to highlight the most important parts of your educational qualification and experience and convince the reader to look at your application.  You need to (a) state the scholarship/position you're interested in and how you found out about it (b) explain how your qualifications match the scholarship [or position] and how you can benefit the company (b) express why you're interested in the university program [or company] and how you would fit in (d) provide supporting examples for your skills (e) request an interview and provide your contact information for follow-up.  Here is a template for a cover letter:


      Personal Statement/Motivation Letter: Your letter of motivation should span between one to two pages, encompassing your academic and professional aspirations alongside your driving motivation and scientific passions. This document serves as a platform to articulate your academic journey and pertinent experiences to establish your suitability for the program for which you have applied. Additionally, it's an avenue to delineate your enthusiasm for your chosen field of study. In crafting your personal statement, aim to address key inquiries such as: 

    What draws you to XYZ University?

    Why this specific program?

  If pursuing career advancement, what are your career objectives and how do your academic pursuits align with them?

To make your statement impactful, focus on: elucidating your enthusiasm and dedication to the subject of your choice, showcasing the breadth and depth of your interest, articulating what propels your continuous pursuit of studies in your subject, and demonstrating your unwavering commitment and potential for excellence. Ensure your statement covers the following aspects:

      Your areas of your areas of interest and their evolution over time.

      What attracts you to these specific fields and your rationale behind them?

      Why do you believe the [this] program is the best choice for your academic journey?

      [If applicable] Your preference for working with a particular faculty member, along with the reasons driving this choice.

        Here is a guideline (you may also use the same header as in the cover letter (more details and external links here):

4. In addition to the mentioned steps, it's important to note that scholarship applications may vary in their submission methods. Some scholarships may require online form submission, while others may prefer applications via email. Be sure to carefully review the application instructions provided by each scholarship opportunity to determine the appropriate submission method. I suggest writing a simple and to-the-point email and putting details in the cover letter. A sample email for applying via email is as follows:

5. This is one of the important steps in scholarship applications. When you prepare your documents (especially letters), ask your friends, and family members, followed by an expert, to review them for you. Maths Volunteers also provide guidelines, so feel free to send them to themathetf@gmail.com for proofreading and feedback.

6. Apply at least a week before the deadline. Apply to as many scholarships as you can. 

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this guide. I extend my best wishes to all of you as you embark on your scholarship journey!


Wajid Ali

Wajid Ali

The author is an early-stage researcher at the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom. The author is also the founding director of the Maths Volunteers Foundation.

Get in touch:  Maths Volunteers - Wajid Ali Khan 

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided above reflects the author's personal opinion and is compiled with the help of various sources. Aspiring applicants need to conduct thorough research on the specific requirements of each scholarship before utilizing these guidelines.