Starting this year, students wishing to get their Master’s degree at ITMO University can participate in a new scholarship competition and win the chance to enroll in the university’s programs on special terms.

“The competition’s goal is to attract the most talented students to our university,” says Oleg Ermakov, a researcher at ITMO’s Faculty of Physics. “Winners are invited to join our programs and can expect greater financial opportunities during their first year of studies.”

How to participate

The competition is designed for all fourth-year Bachelor’s students, regardless of their university and country of origin, who are planning to apply for Master’s programs at ITMO’s Faculty of Physics. 

The event will be repeated several times: the first one concluded in late April, and the second will take place on May 14-15 as part of the Demo Days event. Another stage will be held right before the entrance exam period for Master’s programs. Participants of Demo Days need to register on the event’s website, while others can fill out this form by submitting their CV, listing their scientific interests, and briefly describing their current activities. International students can join the event only remotely.

Competition procedure

On the day of the competition, a series of physics problems will be published on the event’s website. The tasks cover the wide range of subjects studied at ITMO’s School of Physics and Engineering, including photonics, solid-state physics, condensed matter physics, quantum physics, optics, radiophysics, materials science, and physical chemistry.

Depending on the chosen format, applicants have several hours or an entire evening to complete the tasks. While all students are free to use books, journals, and the internet, Demo Days participants can also take advantage of relevant lectures provided by the authors of these assignments, namely the School’s researchers.

“Demo Days allow applicants to become Master’s students for two days. They study, listen to lectures, attend classes together with real Master’s students, and do assignments. This year, those students who will successfully complete the tasks will also win a scholarship,” explains Oleg Ermakov. 

Demo Days for Master's programs at ITMO's School of Physics and Engineering
Demo Days for Master's programs at ITMO's School of Physics and Engineering

Students can submit their solutions as text files, scans of hand-written solutions, or in any other convenient format. Within a few hours after receiving the submissions, the jury will select the finalists and invite them for an interview to discuss the contest’s tasks and provide career guidance. 

“It’ll help students choose the right field,” explains Oleg Ermakov. “If they are more interested in electrical engineering, then they should try radiophysics, and those who are more into optical experiments should take a look at nanophotonics and metamaterials. It’s also okay if applicants have no relevant background and studied something different, like astrophysics. Changing majors does no harm and can be a good thing for their scientific career.”

The interviews will help the jury choose those who will win the chance to enroll in a Master’s program and receive a monthly scholarship.

Scholarship requirements

A total of 20-30 scholarship recipients will be chosen based on the results of the competition and Demo Days. Winners will receive 15,000 rubles, runners-up – 10,000 rubles, and bronze winners – 5,000 rubles per month.

The stipend will be provided for the entirety of the first semester as long as its holders receive “good” and “excellent” grades for their interim exams and can be received concurrently with other payments such as state scholarships and more. In total, students who successfully pass the exams may receive up to 40,000 rubles towards the end of their Master's studies.

“The educational process at our faculty goes hand in hand with research activities, so most of our students work at laboratories and have both a salary and a scholarship. They are also often picked as laureates of state and private, domestic and international competitions and grants,” adds Oleg Ermakov.