Ventspils University College announces an international competition for doctoral scholarship


Ventspils University College (hereinafter – VUC; announces an international competition for a four year 1420 €/month doctoral scholarship award in astrochemistry resulting in a completed doctoral thesis.

The research efforts are to take place in the VUC Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Center (VIRAC;, while the PhD studies – in the University of Latvia or one of world’s leading universities. The research will include (theoretical) astrochemistry with VIRAC’s leading researcher Dr. phys. Juris Kalvāns as thesis supervisor in VUC. Besides, the student will have the opportunity to use freely VUC VIRAC’s 32 m and 16 m radio telescopes.

The competition is open to any applicant that fulfils the following requirements:

  • The applicant’s qualifications shall comply with the requirements of the doctoral studies.
  • A planned or approved PhD thesis topic shall correspond to the particular research area of radio astronomy or astrophysics chosen by VIRAC for year 2017, namely, astrochemistry.
  • The applicant conforms to at least one of the following criteria:
    • has a master’s degree from a university which, according to the latest Thomson Reuters rank, is among the world’s top 400 universities or is among the world’s top 200 universities in the fields of physics or astronomy;
    • submits a letter of recommendation from an internationally recognized astrophysics or astronomy scientist holding a position of Professor or a senior researcher in one of the 400 best universities represented in the Thomson Reuters rank. Astronomy must be amongst the university’s research areas;
    • during the last five years the applicant has at least three astrophysics-related scientific publications included in the Thomson Reuters Web of Science data base, published in journals with impact factor greater than 1.

The applicant shall submit the following documents in Latvian or English:

  • copy of a valid passport or an ID;
  • a document confirming a qualification which, in accordance with the Regulations, allows access to doctoral studies (the originals are to be presented if the copies are not notarized);
  • Curriculum Vitae in the Europass CV template (;
  • a letter of motivation;
  • an annotation describing the student’s envisaged research endorsed by the potential supervisor. The student may contact the VUC supervisor J. Kalvāns about the annotation before submitting the official application. In this case, his eligibility for the scholarship must be demonstrated;
  • a list of publications (if any);
  • letters of recommendation (if any).

Documents or their copies in Latvian or English shall be submitted (a passport or an ID is to be presented) on workdays 10:00 – 16:00 at Ventspils University College, Inzenieru 101, Ventspils, LV-3601, Latvia before July 30, 2017. Scanned copies may also be e-mailed to with the originals or notarized copies supplied if the scholarship is awarded. The VUC is not responsible for any technical problems or malfunction of e-mail services. The results will be announced before August 15.

VUC has the rights to require additional information from the applicants in the form of documents and/or conversation (maybe as teleconferencing) if it is necessary for making decision in this competition. The successful applicant has to be employed by VUC for three years after the completion of the thesis.

The Regulations of the Competition can be found here. The information on this advertisement is only informative. If it is contrary to the Regulations of the Competition, the Regulations apply. Note that the approved version of the Regulations is in Latvian.

Additional information: Juris Kalvāns