Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are for candidates from high-income Commonwealth countries, for full-time doctoral study at a UK university.
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The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC) provides these scholarships jointly with UK universities to support world-class research.
The CSC 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
More scholarship opportunities are ongoing in countries across Europe, the United States and Canada. Check out some selected opportunities below:
Table of Contents
- Host Country: United Kingdom (UK)
- Study Abroad: Study in UK
- Category: Postgraduate Scholarships | PhD Scholarships
- Eligible Countries: Commonwealth Countries
- Reward: Full Scholarship | £1,347 – £1,652 per month | Airfare Tickets
- Deadline: September 1, 2023
- Scholarship Alerts: To receive Scholarship Alerts on WhatsApp, Click HERE
Funded by the UK Department for Education (DfE), Commonwealth PhD Scholarships for high-income countries support research that will have impact in a field relating to sustainable development. They also enhance individual teaching and research capacity leading to increased 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.
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.
To be considered for these scholarships, candidates must:
- Be a citizen of or have been granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country.
- Show evidence that they are currently permanently resident in an eligible Commonwealth country. Candidates must have been living in an eligible Commonwealth country for a period of two years prior to the date they submit their application, which must be clear within the application.
- Not be registered for or have started a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD at a UK University prior to the start of the Scholarship and be available to start the Scholarship and academic studies in the UK in January/February 2024 (exact date to be agreed by the CSC). The Scholarship will not be offered to anyone who has already started their PhD in the UK prior to January 2024.
- Hold a first degree of at least upper second-class (2:1) honours standard, or a lower second-class degree and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree) by the time they apply for the Scholarship, with evidence of the degree to be submitted within the application.
- Not have commenced or be currently registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, in their home country or elsewhere.
- Hold an unconditional offer or a conditional offer conditional only on finance for the 2023 UK academic year from all of the UK universities listed on their application, to be submitted as part of the application.
- Provide references from at least 2 individuals, in PDF format, signed and on institution letterhead or an email clearly showing the sender’s details.
- Provide a supporting statement from a proposed supervisor from at least one of the UK universities listed in the application, in PDF format, signed and on institution letterhead or an email clearly showing the sender’s details.
Provisional selection for a scholarship is subject to the agreement of the university for which candidates are selected as part funding for the scholarship is provided by that university.
2O23 ONGOING SCHOLARSHIPS
Scholarship Duration and Reward
Each scholarship provides:
- Approved airfare from the candidate’s home country to the UK and return at the end of the award (the CSC will not reimburse the cost of fares for dependants, nor the cost of journeys made before the 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 £1,347 per month, or £1,652 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 the fieldwork location), where approved.
- Paid mid-term visit (airfare) to the scholar’s home country, unless they have claimed or intend to claim spouse and/or child allowances during their scholarship or have received a return airfare to their home country for fieldwork.
- Family allowances, as follows (rates quoted at current levels):
- If a scholar is accompanied by their spouse but no children: spouse allowance of £290 per month for a maximum period of nine months, if they and their spouse are living together at the same address in the UK (unless the spouse is also in receipt of a scholarship; other conditions also apply).
- If a scholar is accompanied by their spouse and children: spouse allowance of £290 per month and child allowance of £290 per month for the first child, and £143 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if their spouse and children are living with them at the same address in the UK (unless their spouse is also in receipt of a scholarship; other conditions also apply).
- If a scholar is accompanied by their children but no spouse: child allowance of £576.61 per month for the first child, and £143 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if their children are living with them at the same address in the UK.
If a scholar shares that they have a disability, a full assessment of their needs and eligibility for additional financial support will be offered by the CSC.
Applicants must upload the following documents with the application:
- Proof that they are a citizen or have 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. Where any transcripts are missing or do not include all pages, the application will be considered ineligible.
- References from at least two individuals, in PDF format, signed and on institutional letterhead or an email clearly showing the sender’s details.
- A supporting statement, in PDF format, signed and on institutional letterhead or an email clearly showing the sender’s details, from a proposed supervisor in the UK from at least one of the institutions named on the application form.
- An unconditional offer, or an offer conditional only on finance, for the 2023 UK academic year for all institutions named on the application form.
Applications will be considered ineligible if any of the required documentation is not included by the closing date.
Method of Application
Applications for Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (for high income-countries) for the 2023/24 academic year are now open.
The deadline for submitting an application including all documentation is 16:00 BST (15:00 GMT) on 1 September 2023. The scholarships will need to be taken up in January/February 2024.
Applications must be completed using the CSC’s online application system.
The CSC is unable to accept any applications that are not submitted via the online application system.
Applicants 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.