EMJD programme – General

Q: Do I have to separately apply for an EMJD scholarship?

A: No, you should only apply once using the online submission form. Each successfully selected candidate is awarded with an EMJD fellowship (placement and scholarship).


Q: What would be the value of the fellowship that I would receive for living allowances?

A: All information on available fellowship grants and living allowances can be found in the EM Programme guide.


Q: 3 years is very short for PhD research

A: EM only provides scholarships for 3 years. 4 years is allowed, only not with EM funding.


Q: Do articles published before starting the  PhD research count?

A: Yes, as long as they fit the project.



Selection criteria: Language

Q: Which countries are considered Native English speaking countries?

A: The consortium considers the following countries as “native English speaking countries”:
– The United States of America
– Canada
– The Bahamas
– The United Kingdom
– Australia
– New Zealand


Q: I am not a native English speaker, but have previously studied in English. Is it necessary to have an official qualification in English language in order to be eligible to apply for the EMJD?

A: Even if your previous degrees were taught and assessed in English, if you are not a native English speaker you must be able to provide proof of proficiency in the English language by submitting results of a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with your application, regardless of when this was taken (TOEFL minimum score of 237 (computer based), 580 (paper-based) or 92-93 (internet-based) or IELTS minimal average score of 6.5 without any category below 6).


Q: Can I submit an application if I do not yet have the results of my English language proficiency test?

A:  If you are unable to provide the test result or certificate for one of the above language tests due to time constraints (if the test itself takes place after the application deadline), then you need to upload a proof of registration for one of these tests. You then need to send us the test results by email as soon as you receive them. Note that you will have to prove that you meet the language requirements before we can definitively award you a fellowship. 


Q: Do I need to provide proof of proficiency in English language if I have previously completed an Erasmus Mundus Masters Course (EMMC)?

A: No, if you have previously completed an EMMC then you do not need to provide proof of proficiency in English language.



Application submission

Q: How should the letters of recommendation (references) in support of my application be submitted?

A: Letters of recommendation (references) can only be submitted through the web-based application form. You will therefore need to arrange for two qualified referees (one of which should be your master’s thesis supervisor) to provide you with their letters of recommendation in advance of submitting your application form. Please ensure that the letters of recommendation that you submit with your application have original signatures and contain the contact details of your referees.


Q: How can I submit more than one of my degrees/diplomas with my application form?

A: It is only necessary to upload your latest/most relevant degree/diploma with your application form.


Q: If my expected graduation date of my current master programme is after the deadline for application (8th of  January 2017), what should I do?

A: This is fine, as long as you have obtained your diploma before the start of the programme (1 September 2017). However, upon submitting your application, please provide us with a an official document stating your most current study results.


Q: What should I do if  I want to make a change to my already submitted application?

A:Then you would have to submit your entire application again from scratch. Please also email us at info@transglobalhealth.org to notify us about your latest submission. We will then make sure to delete your prior submission as this one would then be invalid. In any case, your  most recent application submission will be used to assess your eligibility to the programme.


Q: Do I need to submit my CV in a specific format?

A: No, we do not have a preferred format, but you may use for example the Europass format.


Q: I am unable to establish contact with my thesis supervisor, can I ask a different professor to write my letter of recommendation?

A: It is fine if you contact a different professor (or supervisor) to write a recommendation letter for you. As long as each letter contains the original signature and contact details of the referee.


Q: Can I contact one of the potential supervisors in order to fine-tune my proposal?

A: We purposefully decided not to provide the option for contacting the supervisors. We really want to stimulate prospective candidates to entirely design their own proposal based on the short project description. The purpose of requesting that you submit a project proposal is primarily an exercise to aid the programme Steering Committee in the assessment of your writing skills, knowledge and ability to envisage the impact of translation on your chosen topic; your project proposal is part of the selection procedure and will be judged on its innovativeness, its inter-/transdisciplinary approach (though the emphasis can be on one discipline), scientific quality, and societal relevance. 




Q: Will the academic courses be taught in English?

A: Yes, all courses will be taught in English and candidates will be expected to conduct their research in English.


Q: how many ECTS do I get?

A: 30 ECTS in the whole program.


Q: are some courses compulsory?

A: Yes, the inter-and transdisciplinary course at the VU, the ethics course in Antwerp and the advanced research methods course.


Transdisciplinary research

Q: What are the key indicators of transdisciplinary research?

A: In consecutive complexity you can distinguish between  mono- ,multi- , inter-  and transdisciplinary research. Monodisciplinary research has one disciplinary angle, in multidisciplinary research different disciplines are involved who all have their own part in the research. In interdisciplinary research, a team with different disciplines and hence perspectives are involved who integrate their views and results. Finally, transdisciplinary research is participatory research, in which the knowledge of communities, practices etcetera is included and considered as equally relevant as scientific disciplines /knowledge. Often you see both quantitative and qualitative methods in transdisciplinary research, the so called mixed methods approach.


Q: If you did not include relevant stakeholders from the start in your research.  Is there not also change realized by contacting stakeholder with the obtained results?

A: Often the research would have led to different research and outcomes when  relevant stakeholders were consulted from the start. Transdisciplinary research is not a thing of better communication, it  is about fundamental mismatches between the knowledge that is produced and what is needed.


Q: Is research transdisciplinary when you incorporate the needs and desires of ‘others’?

A: Yes, but you should follow certain quality criteria. Transdisciplinary research requires a different way of thinking and doing. Sometimes you can change elements of the design, which makes for example the implementation of the results / innovation easier. Transdisciplinary research can be a component of  a more technical article. When you write a stand-alone article, you need to address a well-defined knowledge question.


Q: I can imaging transdisciplinary research at the level of a department or a research group, but in a single PhD project this is quite a big challenge? Can you truly be transdisciplinary in a single PhD research?

A: Projects closer to the implementation/practice are easier to be made (more) transdisciplinary. Biomedical projects are the most difficult in this respect. With respect to the first cohort, the steering board is satisfied with the interdisciplinary elements of the projects, but their transdisciplinarity is limited.


Q: Laboratory research needs a lot of transdisciplinary research before the phase of implementation is reached. Considering this difficulties, is it not wise to take the lab part outside of the transdisciplinary research?

A: This is the challenge of the program. In lab research, users are your discussion partners, most frequently, to set a research agenda, or to gain insights in the context of application.


Q: As biomedical researchers we understand each other. Together with clinicians and basic researchers we sometimes need to make an effort to understand each other. Some of us aim to put projects together and this effort is challenging to0. Can this also be classified as transdisciplinary research?

A: No, experiential knowledge is the element that makes research transdisciplinary, not different disciplines together, that is interdisciplinary.



Rules & regulations

Q: The rules of the program are strict. If you do not finish answering your question within 3 years,  would there be a plan when you finish the 6 months mobility, you get 1 year to make it completely transdisciplinary?

A: funding is 3 year. Host organization is responsible for the feasibility of the project. When the project is not feasible to finalize in 3 years, they should have a backup plan.  Each institute has a different solution. Students should asap discuss with supervisors when they notice that they will not manage to finalize their research in 3 years.

1)      Initial funding

2)      Additional funding

3)      Alternative: period between handing in manuscript and defending should be covered in a way.


EM program does not allow to continue the research after 3 year under different conditions. If a candidates continues with the research before handing in the manuscript, this should be according to exactly same conditions as before.


Q: Regarding the mobility, what is the minimum amount of time to spend at a partner institute?

A: This is 6 months, but it is possible to do part of the fieldwork when you are stationed at another university.  You can also do course work than.


Q: If I write my papers  at my host institute what about my co-promotor at the partner institute?

A: Your copromotor must be approve/accept with the papers you are planning to write. He/she has not to be part of all your papers,  but should agree with these.


Q: From the 5 articles I need to write, how many should I be first  author?

A: depends on the institute.  For example, VU University requires 4 out of 5 to be first author– check with both supervisors. Take the most strict one as leading.



Double degree & defense

Q: Do you need to defend at two universities in case of a dual (not joint) degree?

A: A joint degree requires agreement between the 2 universities that give the degree. In that case you receive one diploma. You need formal agreement between the universities to allow that to happen.


Q: If I receive a double degree, when ITM is my host or partner institute, where do I need to defend?

A: You probably need to defend two times,  not at ITM but at your degree giving and partner institutes (which can never be ITM).

For Barcelona to be degree giving, at least one tutor from Barcelona needs to be assigned and a course or something similar should be followed. Here there is no compulsory mobility. All students need to register for PhD in Barcelona. Only when ISGlobal is the host institute, candidates will have to pay, in other cases candidates will have a waiver. Anyone has to register for at least 2 years.

For Bordeaux to be degree giving, an additional mobility of 9 months is needed.


Q: Is there someone from TGH at defense someone to judge the transdisciplinary aspect of the research?

A: No. The research design needs to go the SB for approval, but the SB cannot prevent a PhD from happening.