Commonwealth PhD Scholarships To Study In UK

Commonwealth PhD Scholarship

The Commonwealth PhD Scholarship is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to enable talented and motivated individuals to gain the knowledge and skills required for sustainable development, and aimed at those who could not otherwise afford to study in the UK.

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are for candidates from low and middle-income Commonwealth countries, for full-time doctoral study at a UK university. These scholarships are offered under six 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

Eligibility For Commonwealth PhD Scholarships

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.
  • Hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) honours standard, or a 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 before application.
  • NOT have commenced and be currently registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, in your home country or elsewhere
  • Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship

Commonwealth PhD Scholarship Worth:

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.
  • Stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,133 per month, or £1,390 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area.
  • 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)
  • If your spouse accompanies you but no children: spouse allowance of £244 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 your spouse and children accompany you, a spouse allowance of £244 per month and child allowance of £244 per month for the first child, and £120 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 your children accompany you but have no spouse: child allowance of £485 per month for the first child, and £120 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

If you declare a disability, a full assessment of your 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 your family in the UK. The true costs are likely to be considerably higher, and you must be able to supplement these allowances to support any family members who come to the UK with you.

Eligible Commonwealth Countries

  1. Antigua and Barbuda
  2. Bangladesh
  3. Belize
  4. Botswana
  5. Cameroon
  6. Dominica
  7. Eswatini
  8. Fiji
  9. The Gambia
  10. Ghana
  11. Grenada
  12. Guyana
  13. India
  14. Jamaica
  15. Kenya
  16. Kiribati
  17. Lesotho
  18. Malawi
  19. Malaysia
  20. Mauritius
  21. Montserrat
  22. Mozambique
  23. Namibia
  24. Nauru
  25. Nigeria
  26. Pakistan
  27. Papua New Guinea
  28. Rwanda
  29. Samoa
  30. Sierra Leone
  31. Solomon Islands
  32. South Africa
  33. Sri Lanka
  34. St Helena
  35. St Lucia
  36. St Vincent and the Grenadines
  37. Tanzania
  38. Tonga
  39. Tuvalu
  40. Uganda
  41. Vanuatu
  42. Zambia

Selection Process

Each year, the CSC invites selected nominating bodies to submit a specific number of nominations. The deadline for nominating bodies to submit nominations to the CSC is usually in December.

The CSC invites around three times more nominations than scholarships available – therefore, nominated candidates are not guaranteed to be awarded a scholarship. There are no quotas for scholarships for any individual country. Just like the Commonwealth Masters Scholarships, Candidates nominated by national nominating agencies are in competition with those nominated by other nominating bodies, and the same standards will be applied to applications made through either channel.

Applications will be considered according to the following selection criteria:

  • Academic merit of the candidate
  • Quality of the plan of study
  • Potential impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country

How To Apply For Commonwealth PhD Scholarships

You must apply to one of the following nominating bodies in the first instance – the CSC does not accept direct applications for these scholarships:

All applications must be made through one of these nominating 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.

Commonwealth PhD Scholarship Application Deadline

The application deadline is usually in November every year at the latest.

For More Information, Visit the Commonwealth PhD Scholarships.