Zois scholarships are intended for the best secondary school and university students studying in Slovenia and abroad as an encouragement to attain exceptional achievements and thus generate added value in the fields of knowledge, research, development and art.
Zois scholarships are state merit scholarships, first established in 1986. The basic guideline of the system was detection of gifted children and promotion of development of their careers so they would achieve the highest level of education and thus providing the society with the best human potential. The emphasis was on encouraging and motivating the best students from the very beginning of their careers - from the transition from primary to secondary education. This age group is still in the focus receiving the largest part of the available funding for the Zois scholarships.
In the past, the scope of Zois scholarships was governed by the Employment and Unemployment Insurance Act, which allowed only a small possibility of obtaining Zois scholarships later on, meaning in high school or during tertiary education.
From 2008/2009 onwards Zois scholarships are managed by Public Scholarship, Development, Disability and Maintenance Fund of the Republic of Slovenia. The change in regulations expanded entitlement to the Zois scholarship in a manner that this scholarship can be awarded regardless of the level of education.
The Public Scholarship, Development, Disability and Maintenance Fund of the Republic of Slovenia awards Zois scholarships primarily to new recipients, but also to students who obtained scholarships under previous regulations upon their transition to the next level of education.
Call for applications for Zois scholarship is published each year in June. Applications of high school students are due in early September and for tertiary students in early October. Both current scholarship recipients as well as those, who wish to obtain this scholarship for the first time, must submit their application.
To be eligible for scholarship the candidates must meet general conditions as well as special conditions related to the merit criteria (grade average, national exam results, various achievements, etc.). Zois scholarship recipient must only meet the basic criteria. New candidates must go through ranking and only those that show better achievements under special conditions are awarded Zois scholarship.