Application for the MEME cohort of 2015 is now closed. We have received 190 applications that meet all requirements and will enter the second round of selection. All remaining candidates will be notified about the outcome of the second round by the end of March 2015.
After having successfully passed the EU ‘Quality Review’, we are currently (deadline March 6, 2015) writing a proposal for the continuation of funding by the EU. Our prognosis is that we can offer at least 5 (and perhaps up to 10) scholarships per intake for the next three cohorts of MEME students.
The MEME programme was established in 2010 on the basis of an Erasmus Mundus grant by the EU that covered the five cohorts (2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15). To be eligible for continued funding (now under the new Erasmus+ scheme of the EU), all 50 Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Programmes having started in 2010 were invited to participate in a “quality review,” an extensive assessment procedure including a self-assessment of the programme, the assessment of student satisfaction by the EMA (the Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association), and interviews of the programme coordinators with a panel of experts in graduate education. The overall evaluation of the MEME programme was very good. Moreover, MEME is one of the 19 programmes considered to be of such quality to be included in the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree Catalogue. This means that most probably we can count on the continuation of EU funding for an intake of four more cohorts.
During the review process we received various useful suggestions; these will be taken at heart and will undoubtedly lead to further improvements of the programme. In general, however, the satisfaction of students and the EU was very high, as exemplified by the following student statement (EMA Assessment of Student Satisfaction): “I really enjoyed my studies in MEME and I wouldn’t wanna have missed it for the world! Best two years of my life, professionally and personally!
MEME graduate Ricardo Caliari Oliveira (MEME cohort 2010) co-authored the Science publication “Conserved class of queen pheromones stops social insect workers from reproducing” (Van Oystaeyen et al., Science 343:287-290, 2014, doi: 10.1126/science.1244899). Ricardo is currently a PhD student in the Laboratory of Socioecology and Social Evolution, University of Leuven (Belgium).
Homa Papoli’s (MEME cohort 2011) Master’s research project on the evolution of sex chromosomes has been accepted for publication in the prestigious journal Molecular Biology & Evolution (impact factor >10). It will soon be published under the titel: H. Papoli Yazdi & H. Ellegren (2014): Old but not (so) degenerated – slow evolution of largely homomorphic sex chromosomes in ratites. Homa is presently a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig (Germany).
MEME students presenting the MEME flag at the “Roof of the World” in the Pamir Mountains while participating in a National Geographic expedition in the autumn of 2013.
Stefany Moreno (MEME cohort 2011) was the first student ever to graduate “summa cum laude” at the Faculty of Science of the University of Groningen. Moreover, Stefany was awarded the Unilever Research Prize (€2500 and a statue) for her Master’s thesis. Stefany will soon start with her PhD in the Theoretical Biology group at the University of Groningen.