Vladimir Potanin Scholarship Program. More than a scholarship
Vladimir Potanin Foundation is one of the major private foundations in Russia. It was founded by the entrepreneur Vladimir Potanin in 1999. The Foundation supports the consistent development of education, culture, philanthropy, and sports.
Vladimir Potanin Scholarship Program is the Foundation's oldest project. Over 22 years, they have awarded 27,000 student scholarships, and more than 2,000 grants to university teachers. Since 2014, the program has been focusing on the support and development of Russian Master’s studies. The program unites 75 Russian universities from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad.
Oksana Anistratenko and Natalia Shulgina will tell you about participation criteria and benefits for the contest winners.
The list of program participants is updated annually based on the university ranking compiled by the Foundation. The ranking reflects universities’ performance in the Foundation’s competitions in the previous year, namely participation of Master’s students and teachers in the competition for the personal scholarship from Vladimir Potanin (scholarship competition), the grant competition for Master’s teachers, the professional mobility competition for teachers "Academic Descent," the competition of social importance "Personal Philanthropy and Altruism Practices," and the Foundation School. The current university ranking is published on the Foundation website.
The launch of the program's new season is preceded by the presentation of the ranking and new list of participating universities. The competitions bringing together the greatest number of participants – scholarship and grant competitions (around 6,000 and 1,000 applications annually, respectively) – traditionally start at the beginning of the academic year. You can find the detailed schedule on the competitions page on the Foundation website.
International students and teachers from universities participating in the program can take part in all the Foundation’s competitions on an equal footing with Russian citizens. However, potential participants must have a good command of Russian, a working language of the competitions.
To participate in the Scholarship Competition, you must be a full-time Master’s student at one of the universities participating in the program.
Scholarship Competition. Two selection stages
First, all applicants fill in the applications on the Foundation portal, submitting the following documents:
- Certificate from the university confirming student status
- Bachelor's or Specialist degree certificate
- Letter of recommendation from the applicant’s university
- Transcript (for second-year students)
International students should remember that all documents issued in a foreign language must be translated into Russian. Besides, applicants write several essays where they discuss leadership, volunteering and research, and plans for the future.
Each application is assessed by at least two experts. Following the first stage, 2,000 participants are selected to take part in the second stage.
At the second stage, participants’ soft skills, including teamwork skills, ability to come to an understanding, critical thinking, are tested in the format of business games under the supervision of qualified coaches.
An ideal Foundation scholarship holder is far from being a nerd student. Besides academic results, you should have leadership and creative capacities, strive for changes, be ready to take responsibility for yourself and the people around you.
Following the competitive selection, a list of 750 winners is approved. It is published on the Foundation website.