Commonwealth PhD Scholarships

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships – DFID Scholarships for Developing Countries; Commonwealth Split-site (PhD) Scholarships are offered for citizens of developing Commonwealth countries.

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These scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), with the aim of contributing to the UK’s international development aims and wider overseas interests, supporting excellence in UK higher education, and sustaining the principles of the Commonwealth.

You can apply for a Commonwealth Split-site (PhD) Scholarship to support up to 12 months’ study at an eligibleUK university as part of a PhD being undertaken in your home country, under the joint supervision of home country and UK academics.

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Purpose of Commonwealth PhD Scholarships

To widen access to UK equipment and expertise for quality doctoral candidates from Commonwealth countries, and to contribute to UK and Commonwealth higher education and research through collaboration and partnerships.

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships – Intended beneficiaries

High-quality graduates who have the potential to become influential leaders, teachers, or researchers in their home countries, and whose proposed research has a developmental and leadership focus.

Your application must be made in the context of a departmental/institutional link with a UK university already in operation or currently under negotiation.

Applications without supporting statements from both your home country supervisor and your proposed UK supervisor will be considered ineligible.

Your final qualification will be awarded by your home country university (not the UK university). The scholarship does not support your period of study at your home country university.

The 12-month period of study in the UK supported by the scholarship can be taken at any stage during your PhD study, providing this is justified in your study plan.

It can be divided into two or more periods, with no more than 12 months elapsing between each award term. If you have not already started your PhD at the time of your application, you will be eligible to spend a maximum of six months in the UK in your first year of study.

All subject areas are eligible, although the CSC’s selection criteria give priority to applications that demonstrate the strongest relevance to development.

You should apply to study at a UK university with which the CSC has a part funding agreement.

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships Eligibility

To apply for these scholarships, you must:


  • Be a Commonwealth citizen, refugee, or British protected person
  • Be permanently resident in a developing Commonwealth country
  • Be registered for a PhD at a university in your home country
  • Be available to start your academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September/October
  • By October preceding the start of your studies, 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)The CSC promotes equal opportunity, gender equity, and cultural exchange.Applications are encouraged from a diverse range of candidates. The CSC is committed to administering and managing its scholarships and fellowships in a fair and transparent manner – for more information, see the CSC anti-fraud policy.Commonwealth PhD Fellowships – Terms and Conditions

    For full terms and conditions, see the Commonwealth Split-site (PhD) Scholarships prospectus – links below.

    Commonwealth PhD Fellowships – Selection Process

    Once received by the CSC, each candidate’s application is first considered by a member of the CSC’s panel of advisers with expertise in the subject area concerned, and then by the CSC’s selection committee in competition with other candidates.

    Applications are considered according to the following selection criteria:

  • Academic merit of the candidate
  • Quality of the proposal
  • Potential impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home countryCommonwealth PhD Fellowships – How to ApplyYou must make your application directly to the CSC using the CSC’s Electronic Application System (EAS).You are not required to apply via a nominating body for these scholarships.

For more information, application details and application forms, see; Commonwealth PhD Scholarships – DFID Scholarships for Developing Countries