Commonwealth Scholarships for PhD

Level of study
Doctoral research
Subject area
Arts and Law, Engineering and Physical Sciences, Life and Environmental Sciences, Medical and Dental Sciences, Social Sciences
Cyprus, Malta, Australia, Bahamas, The, Barbados, Brunei, Canada, New Zealand, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago
Type of Award
Deadline for applying
Closed 20/07/2020 (Note: competition closed for this year)

Award Description

Commonwealth 2020 PhD Scholarships are for high-quality graduates, from high income Commonwealth countries, for full-time doctoral study at a UK university for awards commencing between January/February 2021.

These scholarships are funded by the UK Department of Education in conjunction with UK universities to support world class research and to contribute to UK higher education and research to help sustain international recognition of the UK higher education system and for the benefit of wider society. The CSC does not offer scholarships to candidates from high income Commonwealth countries who have already started their PhD study in the UK.

Value of Award

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 usually the cost of journeys made before your award is finally confirmed).
  • Approved tuition fees.
  • Stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,110 per month, or £1,362 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area.
  • Thesis grant towards the cost of preparing a thesis or dissertation, where applicable.
  • Warm clothing allowance, where applicable.
  • Study travel grant towards the costs of study-related travel within the UK or overseas.
  • Provision towards the cost of fieldwork undertaken overseas (usually 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).
  • Familly allowances.

Full information regarding the scholarship value can be found on the Commonwealth Scholarships website

Eligibility Criteria

  • Be a citizen of or have been granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country.
  • Show evidence that you are permanently resident in an eligible Commonwealth country. You must have lived in an eligible Commonwealth country for a period of 5 years for a continuous period within the last 10 years. If the CSC are unable to interpret this from your application, you will be contacted to provide further evidence.
  • Be available to start your academic studies in the UK between January/February 2021.
  • 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) by the time of submitting your scholarship application.
  • Not be registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, at a UK university before January 2021.
  • Not have commenced and be currently registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, in your home country or elsewhere.
  • Hold an unconditional offer from your chosen university/universities listed on your CSC online application, at the point of being notified that you have been provisionally selected for an award by the CSC.*
  • References from at least two individuals.
  • A supporting statement from a proposed supervisor at one or more of the UK universities.

*When applying for this scholarship you should ensure that you have contacted your chosen university/universities to confirm you are able to secure admission by January 2021; please be aware that some universities may not offer January 2021 admission for some of their courses.

How to Apply

The online application form, as well as full details of the application process, can be found on the Commonwealth Scholarships website.


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