Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (Fully-funded)- Apply Now! Application portal is now open for individuals who are interested in applying for this ongoing scholarship. Apply now!
Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are for candidates from least developed countries and fragile States in the Commonwealth, for full-time doctoral study at a UK university.
About Commonwealth Scholarship
The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC) provides the UK government scholarship scheme led by international development objectives. It operates within the framework of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) and offers a vivid demonstration of the UK’s enduring commitment to the Commonwealth. By attracting individuals with outstanding talent and identifiable potential from all backgrounds and supporting them to become leaders and innovators on returning to their home countries, the CSC’s work combines sustainable development with the UK national interest and provides opportunities for international partnerships and collaboration.
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Purpose: Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Commonwealth PhD scholarships contribute to the development needs of Commonwealth countries by supporting research that will have a developmental impact. They also enhance individual teaching and research capacity leading to increase institutional capacity in academic and other sectors in Commonwealth countries, and will contribute to UK higher education and research by attracting high-calibre international candidates and encouraging links and collaboration, and are aimed at those who could not otherwise afford to study in the UK.
Intended beneficiaries: Commonwealth PhD scholarships are for high-quality graduates who have the potential to undertake world-class research of a developmental nature and to become influential leaders, teachers, or researchers in their home countries.
The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC) provides the main UK government scholarship scheme led by international development objectives. The CSC is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for International Development (DFID). The CSC operates within the framework of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) and is a vivid demonstration of the UKï¿½s enduring commitment to the Commonwealth. By supporting innovators and leaders of the future from across the Commonwealth, and by attracting outstanding talent to Britainï¿½s universities, our work combines sustainable development with the UK national interest. We use rigorous procedures to ensure that our programmes promote equity and inclusion, reward merit, and deliver widespread access, especially to those from disadvantaged backgrounds. DFID is our lead department and main sponsor, funding awards exclusively for candidates from low and middle income countries. We also receive financial contributions from the Department for Education (DfE), for scholarships for candidates from high income countries, and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), for fellowships for postdoctoral researchers.
Aim and Benefits of Commonwealth Ph.D Scholarship
Each scholarship provides:
- Approved airfare from your home country to the UK and return at the end of your award (the CSC will not reimburse the cost of fares for dependants, nor the cost of journeys made before your award is confirmed)
- Approved tuition fees: full fees are covered by agreement between the CSC and the UK university, and scholars are not liable to pay for any part of the tuition fee
- Stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,236 per month, or £1,516 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area (rates quoted at current levels)
- Warm clothing allowance, where applicable
- Study travel grant towards the cost of study-related travel within the UK or overseas
- Provision towards the cost of fieldwork undertaken overseas (the cost of one economy class return airfare to your fieldwork location), where approved
- Paid mid-term visit (airfare) to your home country, unless you have claimed or intend to claim spouse and/or child allowances during your scholarship, or have received a return airfare to your home country for fieldwork
- Family allowances, as follows (rates quoted at current levels):
- If you are accompanied by your spouse but no children: spouse allowance of £266 per month for a maximum period of nine months, if you and your spouse are living together at the same address in the UK (unless your spouse is also in receipt of a scholarship; other conditions also apply)
- If you are accompanied by your spouse and children: spouse allowance of £266 per month and child allowance of £266 per month for the first child, and £131 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if your spouse and children are living with you at the same address in the UK (unless your spouse is also in receipt of a scholarship; other conditions also apply)
- If you are accompanied by your children but no spouse: child allowance of £529 per month for the first child, and £131 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if your children are living with you at the same address in the UK.
Requirements for Commonwealth Ph.D Scholarship Qualification
To apply for these scholarships, candidates must:
- Be a citizen of or have been granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country, or be a British Protected Person
- Be permanently resident in an eligible Commonwealth country
- Be available to start academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September 2023
- By September 2023, hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) honours standard, or a second class degree (2:2) and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree)*.
- NOT be registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, at a UK university or in your home country before September/October 2023
- Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship
- Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format
Interview date, Process and Venue for Commonwealth Ph.D Scholarship
Applications will be considered according to the following selection criteria:
- Academic merit of the candidate
- Quality of the plan of study
- Potential impact on the development of the candidate’s home country
Documents Required for Application
Candidates must upload the following documents with the application:
- Proof that the applicant is a citizen or has refugee status in an eligible Commonwealth country: a copy of a valid passport (or national ID card) showing a photograph, date of birth, and country of citizenship
- Full transcripts detailing all higher education qualifications, including to-date transcripts for any courses currently being studied, with certified translations if not in English
- References from at least two individuals on institutional letterhead
- Supporting statement on institutional letterhead from a proposed supervisor in the UK from at least one of the institutions named on the application form.
October 18, 2022
How to Apply
Applications must be made using the CSC’s online application system
Candidates must apply to one of the below nominating agencies as well as to the CSC. Nominating agencies will then put forward candidates to the CSC. The CSC does not accept direct applications for these scholarships.
National nominating agencies – this is the main route of application
Selected universities/university bodies – which can nominate their own academic staff
Selected non-governmental organisations and charitable bodies
Each nominating agency oversees its own selection process and may have additional eligibility criteria. Candidates must check with the nominating agency for their specific advice and rules for applying, and their own eligibility criteria. Nominating agencies may set their own closing date for applications.
Candidates must complete an application using the CSC’s online application system, in addition to any other application required to be completed by the nominating agency. The CSC is unable to accept any applications that are not submitted via the online application system.
Agencies will nominate candidates to the CSC by December 2022.
Candidates are advised to complete and submit applications as early as possible, as the online application system will be very busy in the days leading up to the application deadline.
If any of the required documentation is not provided by the closing date, the application will be considered ineligible.
Candidates can also upload any university admissions letter held for their chosen courses.
The CSC will not accept supporting documentation submitted by nominating agencies or outside the online application system.
Please note that the CSC does not charge candidates to apply for any of its scholarships or fellowships through its online application system, and it does not charge organisations to nominate candidates.
For more details, visit Commonwealth website