Commonwealth PhD Scholarship for Developing Countries
Commonwealth Scholarship: The application is open for the 2024/2025 Commonwealth Fully Funded PhD Scholarship for Developing Countries. Commonwealth PhD scholarships help Commonwealth countries meet their development needs by funding research with a developmental impact.
Table of Contents
- About the Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships
- Brief Program Details
- Full Benefits of the Commonwealth Scholarship
- Eligibility Requirements for the CSC Scholarships
- Required Documents
- Selection Process and Criteria
- How to Apply
About the Commonwealth Ph.D. Scholarships
The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) of the United Kingdom (UK) administers the UK government scholarship program that is guided by worldwide development goals.
Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are available to applicants from the Commonwealth’s least developed nations and fragile states, as defined by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), for full-time doctoral study at a UK university.
The CSC’s work combines sustainable development with UK national interest and provides opportunities for international partnerships and collaboration by attracting individuals with outstanding talent and identifiable potential from all backgrounds and supporting them to become leaders and innovators upon their return to their home countries.
Brief Program Details
Sponsor(s): Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC)
Type: PhD Scholarship
Benefits: Air Ticket | Tuition Fees | Accommodation | Living Stipends
Eligible Fields: All fields
Eligible Countries: Developing Countries
Application Deadline: 17 October 2023
Full Benefits of the Commonwealth Scholarship
Each scholarship provides:
- Approved airfare from the Scholar’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 an 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 has no children: a 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).
- Family allowances, as follows (rates quoted at current levels):
- If a Scholar is accompanied by their spouse and children: a 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: a 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.
The CSC’s family allowances are intended to be only a contribution towards the cost of maintaining a Scholar’s family in the UK. The true costs are likely to be considerably higher, and Scholars must be able to supplement these allowances to support any family members who accompany them to the UK.
Eligibility Requirements for the CSC Scholarships
To apply for this scholarship, applicants 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 2024.
- By September 2024, hold a first degree of at least upper second-class (2:1) honors standard, or a lower second-class degree 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 their home country before September/October 2024.
- Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship.
- Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format.
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.
Applications will be considered ineligible if any of the required documentation is not included by the closing date.
Selection Process and Criteria
Applications will be considered according to the following selection criteria:
- Academic merit
- Quality of research proposal
- Potential impact on the development of the candidate’s country
For further details, see the Commonwealth Scholarships selection criteria.
How to Apply
Applications to the CSC must be made using the CSC’s online application system.
The CSC is unable to accept any applications or documentation 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.
As well as applying to the CSC, applicants must apply to a nominating agency.
There are three types of nominating agencies for PhD 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
Nominating agencies put forward scholarship candidates to the CSC for consideration. The CSC does not accept direct applications for these scholarships.
Each nominating agency oversees its own selection process and may have additional eligibility criteria. Applicants must check with the nominating agency for their specific advice and rules for applying, and their own eligibility criteria.
Visit the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) Official Website for More Information