Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are for candidates from low and middle
income Commonwealth countries, for full-time doctoral study at a UK
Funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID),
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. These scholarships are offered under six themes:
Science and technology for development
Strengthening health systems and capacity
Promoting global prosperity
Strengthening global peace, security and governance
Strengthening resilience and response to crises
Access, inclusion and opportunity
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 2019
By October 2019, 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 September/October 2019
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
The CSC aims to identify talented individuals who have the potential
to make change. We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity and
non-discrimination, and encourage applications from a diverse range of
candidates. For further information on the support available to
candidates with a disability, see the CSC disability support statement.
Antigua and Barbuda
Papua New Guinea
St Vincent and the Grenadines
You may propose to study at one university for a four-year PhD, but
this must be based in a recognised Doctoral Training Centre. You must
research this option thoroughly (further details can be found on the
websites of the individual UK research councils)
and justify its added value compared with a three-year PhD. As the CSC
will fund only a limited number of four-year PhDs, if you do choose this
option, you are strongly advised to also propose at least one
three-year PhD choice.
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 25 January 2019.
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. 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
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
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.
All applications must be submitted by 16:00 (GMT) on 19 December 2018 at the latest.
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.
Your application must include the following supporting documentation, by 16:00 (GMT) on 4 January 2019 in order for your application to be eligible for consideration:
Proof of citizenship or refugee status – uploaded to the online application system
Full transcripts detailing all your higher
education qualifications (with certified translations if not in English)
– uploaded to the online application system
References from at least two individuals – submitted directly by the
referees to the online application system (referees will be sent an
Supporting statement from a proposed supervisor in the UK from at
least one of the institutions named on your application form – submitted
directly by your proposed supervisor to the online application system
(supervisors will be sent an email request).
The CSC will not accept supporting documentation submitted by nominating agencies or outside the online application system.
Supporting documentation uploaded to the online application system must be uploaded as files which are no more than 5 MB in size and must be in one of the following formats: PDF, .doc, .docx, .odt, .jpg, .jpeg . Files submitted in any other format (including Zip files and PDF Portfolios) will NOT be accepted.
Please note that the CSC does not charge candidates to apply for any
of its scholarships or fellowships through its online application system
and it does not charge organisations to nominate candidates.
Choosing a university/course
You may find the following resources useful when researching your choices of institution and course of study in the UK:
Study UK – British Council website, with guidance for international students and a course and institution search
Postgrad.com – information for postgraduate students, with a course search
Prospects – information on postgraduate study in the UK