FIG Foundation - Building a Sustainable Future

2020 FIG Foundation PhD Scholarships


The FIG Foundation will be providing scholarships of up to 4,000 euros plus possible funding for conference travel to  PhD students.

Applicants shall:

  1. be studying for a PhD degree and registered solely in a surveying/geomatics academic programme that teaches surveying[1] in a country listed by the World Bank as a low-income, lower-middle or upper-middle income economy[2],
  2. have had a paper accepted by a peer reviewed international journal based on their doctoral research project; applicants should be the lead author, and the paper should be co-authored with their supervisor,
  3. should not have submitted their final thesis at the application deadline.

[1] See FIG Definition of the Functions of the Surveyor 
[2] See World Bank Country & lending Groups 

To apply, applicants should submit the documents listed below, as well as complete the submission checklist. Successful applicants will qualify for a further grant of up to 3,000 euros to attend and present a peer reviewed paper at a FIG conference.

Applications will be judged on the quality of the application and need. In the event that two excellent applications are judged to be of equal quality, applications from low-income and lower-middle income countries will be preferred. Potential applicants should view both videos on How to Apply for FIG Grants on the FIG Foundation web page under Grants & Fellowships at:

Applications are to be sent to with “FIG Foundation PhD Scholarship Application” shown in Subject Line.  Applicants are not to contact Foundation directors individually. Decisions are final. No correspondence will be entered into during or after the competition.

Deadline 1 February 2020.


Applicants should submit the following set of documents in English as a single file in PDF format using. A4 size paper using 25 mm (1” margins). Each item should begin on a new page. Ensure that you adhere to the requirements to avoid disqualification.

  1. A completed check list – see the end of this document. Note that if one item on the checklist is missing or disqualifies the candidate, the application is unlikely to be considered.
  2. A cover sheet showing the candidate’s personal details and those of his/her institution.
  3. A brief description and argument as to how the applicant’s academic programme addresses the “teaches surveying and graduates surveyors” component of Qualification Criterion 1 above. Provide web links to programme descriptions, course outlines and details of courses.
  4. A 200 word abstract. This should be written in terms understandable to the lay person; similar to a press release and which the FIG Foundation could actually use as a press release in the event of a successful application.
  5. A one page research proposal as per the template below on A4 size paper. Note that the one page limit will be strictly enforced; material that extends beyond one page will be deleted.
  6. A copy of the paper that has been re-submitted to the journal after corrections have been completed.
  7. A letter from the editor of the journal indicating that the paper has been accepted and that the necessary corrections have been completed satisfactorily.
  8. The journal paper’s referees’ reports.
  9. A list of peer reviewed journal publications over the last 6 years using the International Journal of GIS reference list format. Use the following headings: Peer Reviewed Journal Papers, Peer Reviewed Conference Papers, Non- Peer Reviewed Conference Papers, Non- Peer Reviewed Journal  Papers, Books, Book Chapters and so forth. See Notes for Authors on the IJGIS website.
  10. A list of research funding obtained over the past 5 years, indicating which grants are peer reviewed or not.
  11. A description of research compliance, the research account and activity auditing structures and processes in their institution. For example, if a scientist spends money inappropriately, are there structures in place to refund the granting agency? Provide the names and web addresses of the administration departments and official organisation descriptions dealing with research compliance.
  12. A description of the structures and processes in their institution that pertain to research ethics, in particular ethics relating to research involving human subjects, if that is relevant to the grant application. Provide the names and web addresses of the administration departments and official organisation descriptions dealing with research compliance.
  13. A budget indicating how the funds will be spent and a one page justification of the budget. Note that as a general rule, equipment will not be funded. Travel to FIG Conferences to present results and tuition fees may be included in the budget. Per diems for field work will not be funded, but reasonable actual costs of field work are refundable.
  14. A brief letter from the applicant’s PhD supervisor indicating that they have read this document, that they confirm that the applicant has viewed the videos on How to Write Grant Proposals to the FIG Foundation, and that they have read the applicant’s proposal and recommend (or not) that the FIG Foundation Board of Directors consider the proposal.
  15. For transparency purposes, successful proposals, grantees’ final reports and progress reports on their activities and use funds will be published on the Foundation web page, and perhaps elsewhere, where appropriate. Please indicate your consent or otherwise for your proposal(s) and reports to be published. Grantees should provide compelling reasons for these documents not to be published.
In a separate PDF document, provide a comprehensive academic CV.

Grant holders are expected to file a report, co-signed by their supervisor and department head, within a year of receiving their grant indicating how the money was spent. Supervisors of successful applicants will be contacted to confirm that they are prepared to do this before any money is handed over. Supervisors should also indicate that they are aware of point 9 above.

FIG Foundation grants do not pay University overhead or administration assistant costs. Successful applicants will have to seek exemption if their institution requires a portion of research grants for overhead.


Section 1 below, should be a maximum of one A4 page, typed in single spaced Times New Roman 12 point font using the stipulated headings. Any additional pages will be deleted from the proposal. Use layman’s language; evaluators are unlikely to be familiar with jargon.

RESEARCH PROJECT TITLE – new page - (maximum one line Times New Roman 12 point capitals)

Research Objective: State in a sentence or two the central objective of the research.

Significance of the Research / Problem:
Why is this research worth doing? What problem or situation does it address? What are the practical applications of the research? What does it contribute to knowledge?

Current State of Knowledge / Room for Improvement/Gaps:
What is the existing theory in the particular field? What aspects of existing theory are open to challenge or further development?

Research Methodology and Methods:
Describe the theoretical foundation of your work, the primary strategy of inquiry, and the methods of data collection and analysis.

Key Contribution: Describe the key contribution(s) of this research project, both practical (i.e. to society at large) and theoretical.

References – new page -  in IJGIS format.

Suggested Reading – Sources of Useful Information for Writing a Proper Grant Proposal:  

There are a number of articles and videos on the internet on how to write successful grant proposals and “grantsmanship”. Firstly view the FIG Foundation videos on how to write an application to the FIG Foundation which can be found on the FIG Foundation website. Do an internet search on how to write successful Canadian Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) applications.  


Send your proposal by email to:



FIG Office August 2019