DocSGGW – Doctoral School Goes Gladly Worldwide

Program STER





The Project aims to internationalize the SGGW’s Doctoral School (DS) through:

1) improving the quality of education in the DS and the quality of PhD research by developing actions leading to the creation of an international academic environment for PhD’s and professors (participation of foreign students through the incentive system payment of scholarships, mobilities, foreign visiting professors);

2) promotional activities aimed at improving the visibility of the DS on the international arena;

3) adapting the existing curriculum and the DS’s regulations to the needs of foreign PhDs;

4) cooperation with a professional recruitment company, whose goal is to recruit/find the best foreign candidates for studies at the Doctoral School of SGGW.


  • Payment of NAWA scholarships

    SGGW’s goal and mission are to continuously improve education, to increase the potential of scientific and R&D activities. An essential element contributing to the development of the university’s research and teaching potential is to ensure a good research environment to strongly motivate PhD students to actively work in the scientific community in Poland and abroad. Financial support is an essential element to create the right ground for their further scientific development. The Project will provide scholarships for foreign PhD students with the best results and scientific achievements. This financial aid will constitute an incentive for further scientific and researc hdevelopment. Granting and payment of scholarships will be carried out according to the university’s regulations, which will define the method of candidates’ qualification andevaluation as well as the terms of scholarships payment. The scholarship will be open to foreign PhD students who completed the previous year with a GPA of at least 4.0 and demonstrated significant scientific achievements. To obtain high-quality processes implemented under the STER project, the scholarships will be paid out semesterly (each scholarship will be paid for 10 months). The assessment will be made based on the prepared Instructions, available on the Doctoral School SGGW website. Significant achievements of PhD students will cover: authorship or co-authorship of published peer-reviewed scientific articles in journals included in the current: List of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education; authorship or co-authorship of a scientific monograph or a chapter in a scientific monograph, textbooks and scripts; active participation in conferences in Poland orabroad; travel scholarships (PROM Program) and placements – outside the home university; awards, patents, implementations; participation in grants and research projects carried out at SGGW; organizational activities. PhD students will be allowed to receive the scholarship only oncein the course of their studies. This scholarship will be grantedfor 10 months and will replace the government scholarship during that time (STER scholarship is higher and, therefore, it is a better motivation for recruitment to Doctoral School SGGW. The surveys regarding the use of funds from the SGGW’S Rector Fund indicate that they were mainly used for: the participation in international scientific events (conferences, seminars), field classes, translation services, and the purchase of laboratory equipment. Such information implies that the planned scholarship payment for thebest PhD students will directly translate into further scientific and research development of the young scientists. This will, in turn, contribute to strengthening the position of the SGGW in the scientific world, both domestically and internationally.

  • Mobility Fund for PhDs

    Mobility and international contacts are an important element of research work. Internships in foreign research centres allow for broadening knowledge and support career development, provide access to unique research equipment, raise the level of research through the exchange of knowledge and experience, as well as encourage scientific cooperation. SGGW supports international mobilities as well as participation in foreign networks and scientific organizations. Moreover, in order to become a leading research university, it requires world-class research. SGGW looks for incentive systems tailored to the specificity of research activity in a given scientific discipline. SGGW’s departments and units are involved in this process by looking for new opportunities, including EU and ministerial projects as well as within international organizations but also by ensuring access to information for all interested parties and the proper implementation of project activities. The current forms of SGGW’s financing are based mainly on subsidies, project funds and own funds. These forms are not sufficient to cover the growing demand for foreign mobilities of PhD’s. The STER project will enable PhD’s toimprove their linguistic and intercultural competences; communication, interpersonal and organizational skills and the ability to adapt to a new environment, as well as inactivities closely related to their scientific and research, such as operating research equipment, the ability to write abstracts and scientific publications and to present the latest research results in specific fields of science. The Project plans to intensify the mobility of PhD’s in connection with the organization of 3-month internships at foreignuniversities, such as: SLU, WUR, BOKU and CZU. 8 PhD students from SGGW are expected to undertake their mobility to OECD countries for a period of 3 months (in 2022-2, in 2023- 3, and in 2024- 3). They will be awarded a scholarship for accommodation and meals in the amount of 12000 PLN/month, a flat-rate travel grant depending on the distance between the place of residence and the host institution (in accordance with the project regulations) and a one-time settling-in allowance in the amount of 5000PLN.The scholarship will be open to all Doctoral School SGGW PhD’s. Project participants are selected in the recruitment based on the application evaluation, what is executed by the Commission appointed for the Project. The Commission is chaired by the Vice-Rector for Int. Cooperation, who settle its 3-person composition. The Commission carries out an assessmentand establishes a ranking based on: 1) Compatibility of the mobility proposal with the subject of carried out PhD research, 2) Motivation 3) The planned results of the mobility on the participant’s development. An agreement will be signed between the SGGW and the PhD’s for the scholarship period. After the end of the mobility, the PhD’s will sign adocument settling the amount collected.

  • Visiting professors

    In order to enrich the Doctoral School SGGWs educational offer’s attractiveness, improve the quality of education and strengthen didactic activity of this scientific unit, it is planned to inviteoutstanding foreign specialists- visiting professors, who will conduct lectures for PhD students and optional classes in the fields requiring support in the internationalization process: in the field of social sciences – the disciplines of economics and finance (the need to attract more PhD students) and sociological sciences (a new discipline that will be launched in 10.2022); in the field of agricultural sciences- the disciplines of veterinary medicine and animal science and fishery; agriculture and horticulture; forestry; food and nutrition technology; and in the field of engineering sciences. The domain approach will enable a larger number of PhD students to use the knowledge of the visiting professors. SGGW will invite as visiting professors the persons who meet the formal criteria specified in the Regulation of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of September 9, 2019 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1838). The professors will conduct classes both in the traditional form and with the use of distance learning methods and techniques, so the task will implement 2 specific Program’s objectives: improving the quality of education and developing activities related to internationalization “at home”.The topics of classes will be directly related to the research and teaching experience of the visiting professor and at the same time will be covered in the established program,complementing the potential of the Doctoral School SGGW. During the project implementation it is planned to invite 3 visiting professors (one for each year of the project) who are experts from 3ELLS Universities (BOKU, WUR, CZU). They will be selected by the Program Council of the DS with the support of the Chairmen of the Discipline Councils and DisciplineCouncils. When selecting a specialist, the “evaluation team” will first of all take into consideration the knowledge and experience appropriate to conduct the classes, received scientific awards, publications in prestigious scientific magazines, membership in associations and scientific organizations and previous cooperation with SGGW. Under the Project, the visiting professors invited to SGGW will receive reimbursement of the costs of foreign and domestic travels as well as the costs of accommodation and allowancesin accordance with the Regulation of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy of 29 January 2013 on entitlements due to employees employed in a state or local governmentunit of the budgetary sphere for a business trip (Journal of Laws item 167, as amended). Payment of remuneration for classes with students will be made in accordance withthe internal regulations of the SGGW (Ordinance No. 64/2019 of the Rector of the SGGW).

  • Information guide

    The global population of foreign students has been growing, according to OECD report (The Impact of COVID-19 on Education). 6% of tertiary students across the OECD areinternational, this share increases to 22% in doctoral programs. Universities compete in attracting foreign candidates, knowing that their acquisition will bring benefits not onlyto the candidates themselves, but also to the institution (extension of the research and HR potential). How to stand out from other Polish doctoral schools? How to reachpotential foreign candidates? The best one? The project working group had conducted a survey among current foreign PhDs. On this basis, it was decided to create attractivepromotional materials in English, which will contribute to the international visibility of the Doctoral School SGGW and SGGW. As a part of the task, it is planned to create a guide that will be asource of essential information, including the rules regarding recruitment to the DS and information about culture and everyday life in Poland and Warsaw. The content of theguide will be prepared in such a way so as to describe Poland and the DS in the most convenient way. The guide will be prepared with the use of modern graphic methods, consistent with the New Visual Identification of SGGW. SGGW plans to prepare paper and electronic versions of the guide. This material will be used during educational fairs and delivered to partner universities and Polishem bassies all around the world. The electronic version, which will be actively used in promotional activities, will appear on the websites of: SGGW, the DS, the International Relations Office and on social media channels. The annual plan of SGGW’s promotion assumes participation in educational fairs as part of the ‘Ready, Study, GO Poland’ and‘Perspektywy’ campaigns. The model of international promotion of SGGW is based on contacts with graduates all over the world. Though, the analyses carried out by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (now: Ministry of Education and Science) show that fairs are not the most effective form of promotion. The most appealing to candidates is direct contact with people who have come into contact with the university’s students/graduates/employees, who are ambassadors of specific units, and assurethe most effective marketing. It is also planned to promote the Doctoral School SGGW directly among MSc students, foreign credit mobility students and also indirectly, by organizing workshops and seminars, both online and physically on the SGGW campus. The prepared guide will be distributed during those meetings, its presentation will be scheduled in the meeting agenda.

  • SGGW’s Doctoral School Days / The PhD Students Week

    An important area of activities aimed at the internationalization ofthe Doctoral School SGGW will be to organize a week of the DS’s presentation via virtual reality platform (Expo IP). During the7day event the effects of the STER Project will also be disseminated. Such an event will allow a virtual visit to the SGGW with the simultaneous active participation of PhDstudents. This will contribute to a safe (COVID free) gathering of participants from different parts of the world. The recruitment rules, the publication achievements, conferenceactivities,doctoral project activities will be presented to a wider group of candidates. The curriculum will be discussed, as well as the DS’s regulations and study conditions. Thanks to a virtual platform, the candidates will be able to visit campus:academic buildings, laboratories, dormitories, sports facilities and scientific units.The event is planned for the end of the project. It will be open to all Doctoral School SGGW’s PhD students, enabling the presentation of research results (the oldest PhD’s) or their scientific concepts (theyoungest PhD’s).The workshops on writing abstract /scientific articles and sessions presenting the results ofthe PhD students’ research results will also be organized(presented by a professor from University of Foggia). Meetings in SGGW’s laboratories will be available, as well as trips to SGGW’s experimental stations(e.g.,Rogowarboretum, farms, green houses, etc.). It is intended to become a platform enabling young scientists from various countries who deal with similar research issues to meet anddiscuss the opportunities of joint research projects (articles, presentations, grant applications). SGGW’s PhD Student Week on the Expo IP platform assumes that thesubstantive tasks (sessions with the presentation of research results) are presented in sections according to the scientific disciplines in which the doctorates have beenprepared.Scientific progress is possible only thanks to work in international teams. That is why project support for the DS’s internationalization is essential. At the end of thePhD Student Week, a festive “PhD Student’s Day” will be organized, during which those PhD students who presented the most interesting work results will be awarded (theywill receive diplomas with distinction for the presentation). The final event’s results- apart from exchanging thoughts, discussions,establishing new contacts and celebratingsuccessful presentations,will also be a film in which the participants of the PhD Student Week will present and promote the results of the STER project, showing the effects ofinternationalization of DS. Such presentation of DS and the STER’s results for an international audience may result in further work on the preparation of joint presentations and project applications by PhD students from various international centers, as well as their constant, long-term cooperation and friendship.