2020 marks the eleventh year of the Bakala Foundation Scholarship Program, which over the past decade has enabled 147 students from the Czech Republic to study at universities abroad. Applications for the 2020 scholarship will be accepted until April 20th. Following a two-round selection process, a panel of experts will select this year’s recipients in September. The Bakala Foundation will provide financial aid to the selected students for the duration of their bachelor’s or master’s degree studies.
Together with the electronic application form (available here), each applicant must submit an essay, written in English and no more than 600 words in length, on one of three pre-selected topics. The first option asks the applicants to think about the potential benefits and challenges that artificial intelligence might bring to their field of interest. The second possibility is to describe how a local project that has had a sizable positive impact on society has inspired the applicant. The third choice challenges applicants to present themselves as they would within the context of a TED Talk, in which they would be speaking to the public about the most burning issue in their field.
Scholarship applicants must be 33 years of age or under, and either Czech citizens or legal permanent residents of the Czech Republic. The selection committee focuses mainly on the applicants’ academic results to-date, as well as on their level of financial need.
Applicants are free to choose their field of study, as well as the institution and country where they’d like their studies to take place. Over the past few years, students have been interested primarily in European universities such as Cambridge, Oxford, and ETH Zürich. However, the Bakala Foundation is also providing financial aid to students studying in the USA, France, and the Netherlands. Natural sciences and engineering have traditionally been the most popular fields of study selected by scholarship recipients, followed by social sciences, humanities, and the arts.
“There are currently 47 talented, young Czechs studying around the world. It is a great pleasure for Zdeněk and I to track their results and their determination to succeed within the environment of prestigious universities. At the same time, we always look forward to hearing the stories and hopes of other students dreaming of being educated abroad, and to the opportunity to select our next round of scholars,” says Michaela Bakala, Chair of the Bakala Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
The Scholarship Program is the flagship of the Bakala Foundation. Through this prestigious award, Zdeněk and Michaela Bakala have provided more than 115 million Czech crowns toward the studies of talented young people over the last decade.