Commonwealth Ph.D. Scholarships 2023/2024 (for least developed countries and fragile states) to Study in the UK (Fully Funded)

Application Deadline:18 October 2022

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.

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC) provides the UK government scholarship scheme led by international development objectives. It 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. By attracting individuals with outstanding talent and identifiable potential from all backgrounds and supporting them to become leaders and innovators on returning to their home countries, the CSC’s work combines sustainable development with the UK national interest and provides opportunities for international partnerships and collaboration.

Purpose: 

Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Commonwealth PhD scholarships contribute to the development needs of Commonwealth countries by supporting research that will have a developmental impact. They 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, and are aimed at those who could not otherwise afford to study in the UK.

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.

Eligibility Requirements:
To apply for these scholarships, candidates 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 2023
  • By September 2023, 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)*.
  • 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 2023
  • Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship
  • Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format

Scholarship Worth:

  • A Commonwealth Scholarship covers fees, approved fares, and personal maintenance. Other scholarships, awards, or bursaries that cover the same costs may not be held concurrently.
  • For the CSC to administer your application effectively and efficiently after you have submitted, it will be necessary to create a record in your name. If you are nominated for an award to the CSC, your details will be kept on file. Basic anonymised demographic data for all applicants will be kept for analytical research. The CSC is committed to protecting your personal information and to being transparent about the information we are collecting about you and what we do with it. To find out more, see the privacy notice.
  • If your application is successful, the CSC will notify you via email that you have been provisionally selected (selected for an award subject to the CSC agreeing your terms of admission to the university)
  • The CSC does not require any candidates to take an IELTS (English language) test. You should note, however, that, as a further condition of your scholarship, you may be required by your university to provide evidence of a particular level of English language proficiency.
  • The CSC will not be able to offer you a scholarship if it would contravene the terms and conditions of another scholarship that you have previously held.
  • When terms of admission to the university have been agreed, the CSC will send you a Notification of Award (formal offer of a scholarship).
  • When all conditions of the Notification of Award have been met, the CSC will send you a formal Confirmation of Award.

Selection Criteria
Applications will be considered according to the following selection criteria:

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

Tenure and Placement

  • Scholarships are tenable at any approved UK university or higher education institution with which the CSC has a part-funding agreement for a specific programme of research for 36 months of full-time study only.
  • Scholarships 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.
  • Scholarships 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:

Candidates must apply to one of the following nominating agencies as well as to the CSC. Nominating agencies will then put forward candidates to the CSC. The CSC does not accept direct applications for these scholarships:

Each nominating agency oversees its own selection process and may have additional eligibility criteria. Candidates must check with the nominating agency for their specific advice and rules for applying, and their own eligibility criteria. Nominating agencies may set their own closing date for applications.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Commonwealth PhD Scholarships 2023/2024

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