Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are for candidates from least developed countries and fragile states in the Commonwealth, to undertake full-time doctoral study at a UK university.
Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Commonwealth PhD Scholarships enable talented and motivated individuals to gain the knowledge and skills required for sustainable development, and are aimed at those who could not otherwise afford to study in the UK. These scholarships are offered under six development themes:
1. Science and technology for development
2. Strengthening health systems and capacity
3. Promoting global prosperity
4. Strengthening global peace, security and governance
5. Strengthening resilience and response to crises
6. Access, inclusion and opportunity
You must apply to one of the following nominating bodies in the first instance – 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 body is responsible for its own selection process and may have additional eligibility criteria. You must check with your nominating body for their specific advice and rules for applying, their own eligibility criteria, and their own closing date for applications.
You must make your application using the CSC’s online application system, in addition to any other application that you are required to complete by your nominating body. The CSC will not accept any applications that are not submitted via the online application system.
All applications must be submitted with all mandatory fields completed by 16:00 (GMT) on 18 January 2021 at the latest.
You are advised to complete and submit your application as soon as possible, as the online application system will be very busy in the days leading up to the application deadline.
Your application must include all the required supporting documentation, by 16:00 (GMT) on 1 February 2021 in order for your application to be eligible for consideration
You must check the Commonwealth PhD Scholarships 2021 terms and conditions for a full list of supporting documentation that must be submitted in order for your application to be eligible.
- Proof that you are a citizen or have refugee status of an eligible Commonwealth country: a copy of your valid passport (or national ID card) showing your photograph, date of birth, and country of citizenship – uploaded to the online application system
- Full transcripts detailing all your higher education qualifications including to-date transcripts for any qualifications you are currently studying (with certified translations if not in English) – uploaded to the online application system
- References from at least two individuals – submitted directly by the referees to the online application system (referees will be sent an email request to submit online)
- Supporting statement from a proposed supervisor in the UK from at least one of the institutions named on your application form -– submitted directly by your proposed supervisor to the online application system (supervisors will be sent an email request to submit online).
If any of the required documentation is not provided by the dates specified above, your application will be considered ineligible.
To apply for these scholarships, you 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 your academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September/October 2021
- By September 2021, 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 (a Master’s degree)
- NOT be registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, at a UK university before September 2021
- NOT have commenced and be currently registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, in your home country or elsewhere
- Have the support of a potential supervisor from at least one UK university listed in your application form
- Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format
- Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship
The CSC aims to identify talented individuals who have the potential to make change. We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity and non-discrimination, and encourage applications from a diverse range of candidates. For further information on the support available to candidates with a disability, see the CSC disability support statement.
The CSC is committed to administering and managing its scholarships and fellowships in a fair and transparent manner. For further information, see the CSC anti-fraud policy.
The CSC is committed proactively to safeguard and promote the welfare of our beneficiaries, and to protect its staff, Commissioners, beneficiaries and all those with whom the CSC comes into contact. The CSC requires staff, members of the Commission, applicants for and recipients of CSC awards and suppliers to act consistently with its requirements for safeguarding. Applicants should note the CSC’s Safeguarding Policy which sets out the obligation for staff, members of the Commission, applicants for and recipients of CSC awards and suppliers to act consistently with its requirements for safeguarding. Any safeguarding concerns should be reported to the Commission at: [email protected]
- 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 usually the cost of journeys made before your award is finally confirmed).
- Approved tuition fees.
- Stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,084 per month, or £1,330 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area.
- Warm clothing allowance, where applicable.
- Study travel grant towards the costs of study-related travel within the UK or overseas.
- Provision towards the cost of fieldwork undertaken overseas (usually 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.