Smart specialisation scholarships for PhD students

The smart specialisation scholarships are paid to the PhD students of Estonian universities who conduct a research related to the smart specialisation growth areas. The aim of the scholarship programme is to encourage the PhD studies in smart specialisation growth areas, increase the number of students graduating from university with PhD degrees in these areas, and, as a result, give an incentive to the industries acting in the growth areas, support cooperation between R&D institutions and companies, diversify the career prospects of PhD graduates and contribute to the capacity building of research-intensive industry sector.


The smart specialisation scholarships for PhD students amount to 440 euros per months. Smart specialisation PhD scholarship is paid in addition to the doctoral grant paid by the government. No other costs can be covered. 

New students will not be admitted under this scheme.


The scope of the thesis of the PhD student shall be related to one of the smart specialisation growth areas. These areas have been laid down in the Estonian Research and Development and Innovation Strategy 2014-2020 “Knowledge-based Estonia” and Estonian Entrepreneurship Growth Strategy 2014-2020 and can also be found here. Preference is given to applicants conducting their doctoral research that is:

  • interdisciplinary in nature or forms a part of a wider interdisciplinary research project (interdisciplinary PhD);
  • responsive to the needs of industry, addressing the practical problems of specific sector/company or contribute directly to implementation of research findings in everyday industry practice (industrial PhD). The involved companies may be located in Estonia or abroad. The technology competence centers, R&D and public sector institutions, or hospitals and clinics cannot be considered as an industry for the purpose of smart specialisation scholarships. 


The allocation and payment of scholarships is the responsibility of higher education institutions. For further information on application deadlines and requirements, please refer to the participating institutions. The task of Archimedes Foundation is to distribute the Scholarship Fund between institutions and arrange reporting and surveillance. 


Guidelines and document forms are available on our Estonian website


Last updated: 14.02.2020