Nomination Deadline: 22 December 2021.
Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are for candidates from least developed countries and fragile States in the Commonwealth, for full-time doctoral study at a UK university.
Purpose: To contribute to the development needs of Commonwealth countries by supporting research that will have a developmental impact. These awards will also enhance individual teaching and research capacity leading to increase 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: 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.
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.
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 2022
- By September 2022, 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 (usually a Master’s degree). The CSC would not normally fund a second UK Master’s degree. If you are applying for a second UK Master’s degree, you will need to provide justification as to why you wish to undertake this study
- NOT be registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, at a UK university or in your home country before September/October 2022
- Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship
- Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format
Please note that only candidates from the eligible countries listed below can apply for Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (for least developed countries and fragile states) in 2022.
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 (rates quoted at 2021-2022 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 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, as follows (rates quoted at 2021-2022 levels):
- If you are accompanied by your spouse 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 you are accompanied by your spouse and children: 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 you are accompanied by your children but 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.
Tenure and placement
Awards are tenable at any approved UK university or higher education institution with which the CSC has a part-funding agreement (as mentioned previously) for a specific programme of research for 36 months of full-time study only.
Awards are to obtain one degree; funding will not be extended to enable candidates to complete a qualification in addition to or higher than that for which the selection was made. Awards are made in respect of full-time study only and no other course of study may be undertaken at the same time.
How to apply
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.
Applications for Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (for least developed countries and fragile states) for the academic year 2022/23 will open on 20 September 2021, and will close on 01 November 2021. Deadline to submit supporting documentations is 22 November 2021. Nomination deadline is 22 December 2021.
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.
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