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Thursday, September 11, 2008

USM Fellowship Meeting - article by Tan Chee Seng

This morning IPS organized two meetings for USM fellowship, one is for the new fellowship holders while another for “old” holders. I joined the latter one and I think there is some information that worth to share with you all.
The first thing is that USM fellowship now is open for non USM students. Before that, the fellowship only limited to USM existing full-time research students; however, IPS made a little change. A non USM student can now apply the fellowship 1st then register as a USM student after he or she gets the fellowship. Of course, to do so, the applicant not only has to be outstanding, but also advised to identify a supervisor first. I think with this good news, we should encourage our friend who is interested in doing master or PhD to study in USM.
In addition to USM fellowship, IPS also provides Postgraduate Research Grant Schme. A PhD student can apply up to RM20,000 for his or her research which last for 3 years. Meanwhile, RM 10,000 will be given to master students within 2 years. Well, this is a good news for research students, I supposed. Unfortunately, we are told that this grant can only use for certain expenses. We cannot use the grant in, for example, hiring helpers for collecting data and entering data. I have no idea why we are not allowed to do so; can anyone tell me the reason? Anyway, applicants should take note about these limitations before submitting the application form.
Last but not least, it is about the obligation for a fellowship holder. From the 1st month I got the fellowship, I thought that I have to publish every six months in order to extend my fellowship. Nonetheless, I was told in the meeting that for master student, I only have to publish at least one article during the period (2 years) and PhD students need to publish at least one article every year within 3 years. Please takes note that this is the requirement of IPS but not the school. It is important to note that it is our school, but not IPS, to determine our extension. Therefore, in order to be extended successfully, the IPS officer advised me that I still need to do something to show my contribution even though I have met the IPS requirement. Of course, publishing paper in a high impact journal is the safest way.
That’s all information I can share with you all. Please correct me if I am wrong. Also, if you have any questions about USM Fellowship, you are welcome to post them here. Other fellows and I will try our best to help you.

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