A study plan is one of the documents that a scholarship committee can ask from you to get an idea of how you have planned to execute and achieve your next academic goals.
The study plan basically outlines what you want to study under a particular scholarship program and the reasons for choosing a certain program. It can be a bit difficult to write especially if you are new to it and if you don’t know where to begin.
If you are a doctoral degree scholarship applicant then you need to submit a research proposal instead of a study plan.
Study Plan for Scholarships in Germany
Therefore this guide is all you need to help you write an effective and compelling study plan for a scholarship. Follow the steps below to get the scholarship of your dreams.
- Figure out Your Research Objectives:
First of all, start with identifying what your research objectives or goals are. What is your research supposed to do? Once you have your research objectives, you will be able to develop your research questions. A scholarship committee will expect you to develop research questions, variables that the research will undertake as well as the challenges that your potential research poses. Keep the focus of your research narrow to show that you are serious and passionate about it.
- Identify your Research Challenges:
A rough sketch of potential challenges in carrying out the research will also be required. These challenges may include financial constraints, difficulties in the collection of data, unavailability of previous literature on the research that you are undertaking, and/or time constraints. Keep in mind your research question and then adequately list down your research challenges. It will also be easier for you if you know the challenges that you are going to face ahead of time.
After talking about the challenges, mention how you plan to overcome them. How will you acquire the required funding or how will you effectively collect your data.
- Viable results of the Potential Research:
It is also important to identify what your research outcomes can be. Will it succeed or will it fail. If there is a huge chance that you will face a dead end in the research, you can steer the direction of your research at the right time. it will save you time and cost. Going ahead with a research proposal that has no potential will just be a waste of resources will look unimpressive in front of the decision-makers.
- Set a Time Frame:
For each step of the research, set aside a realistic time frame. You should be able to get your work done in the allotted time. The time allocation should undertake your research obstacles and challenges and should be realistic and achievable. It is vital for carrying out the research smoothly.
- Establish your Research Methodology:
If you are a Ph.D. applicant, you have to be more precise about your study plan. You will also have to talk about the methodology that you will use in carrying out your research. It will help the scholarship committee in understanding your potential as a researcher and your passion for your research proposal. For that, you will have to study the researches done in your area of study previously. Identify what methodologies have been used before and pick the one that you think will work best for you.
- Do a Thorough Literature Review:
By this time you must have done some of the reviews of the previous literature pertaining to your study. A literature review helps you understand how much work has been done previously and what were the results of those researches. It also helps you make practical principles with which you have to stand if you want to do your research effectively. A good literature review holds great importance in front of the scholarship jury.
- List down the Resources that you will Need:
After doing the literature review, you must be able to make a rough outline of the resources that you will need. It can be an instrument, software, human and technical resources. You will identify these resources keeping in mind previous researches. Of course, along the way, you will have to make slight modifications as per the requirements of your research objectives.
- Funding Methods:
After identifying what resources you will need for your research, you will know how much financing will be required to fund the research. This financing can be done through educational funds allotted by your university or the academic scholarship that you are applying to. The organizations or sectors that can benefit from your research will be happy to fund your research too. Look for those organizations to overcome the financial obstacles of your research.
- Cite the References:
Cite all the references that you have used. You can use software for that that is easily available to everybody. This software contains a price tag, so, the cost of them must be a part of your financial plan.
- Wrap it up with a Summary:
Summarize everything by reiterating why do you want to get into a particular program and why do you want this scholarship. How getting admission into a particular program and getting this scholarship can help you achieve your academic and career goals.
Keep the study plan as simple as possible. It should be written in layman’s terms. Avoid using the kinds of jargon that are not used as commonly. That doesn’t mean that you should limit yourself to using only generalized terms. Write the plan in a way that a person outside of your subject area can clearly understand.
- Have a Second Opinion:
Once you have everything in place, get someone professional and experienced to check it for you. They will be able to point out your mistakes and you can omit unnecessary details and add something vital under their guidance. For grammatical errors or spelling, you can use software like Grammarly. But don’t just rely upon ready-to-use software as those can’t replace a human mind.