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Commonwealth PhD Scholarships 2024/2025

Application for the 2024/2025 edition of Commonwealth PhD Scholarships is open for eligible scholars. The scholarships are for applicants from least developed countries and fragile States, as classified by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), in the Commonwealth, for full-time doctoral study at a UK university.

The Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are  provided by the UK government scholarship scheme under the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC), UK. 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. This, it does 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 Commonwealth Scholarship Commission’s work combines sustainable development with the UK national interest and provides opportunities for international partnerships and collaboration.

Apply for IOE Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships.

The scholarship is aimed at enhancing individual teaching and research capacity leading to increase institutional capacity in academic and other sectors in Commonwealth countries. It contributes to UK higher education and research by attracting high-calibre international applicants and encouraging links and collaboration, while supporting those who could not otherwise afford to study in the UK.

Host Institutions of Commonwealth PhD Scholarships

All accredited UK universities. Check here for the list.

Scholarship Benefits

Upon being enrolled into the Commonwealth PhD Scholarship scheme, you will be entitled to the following benefits:

  • Approved airfare from the Scholar’s home country to the UK and return at the end of the award.
  • Approved full tuition fees.
  • Stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,347 per month, or £1,652 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area (rates quoted at current 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 the fieldwork location), where approved.
  • Paid mid-term visit (airfare) to the Scholar’s home country, unless they have claimed or intend to claim spouse and/or child allowances during their scholarship or have received a return airfare to their home country for fieldwork.
  • Family allowances, as follows (rates quoted at current levels):
    • If a Scholar is accompanied by their spouse but no children: spouse allowance of £290 per month for a maximum period of nine months, if they and their spouse are living together at the same address in the UK (unless the spouse is also in receipt of a scholarship; other conditions also apply).
    • If a Scholar is accompanied by their spouse and children: spouse allowance of £290 per month and child allowance of £290 per month for the first child, and £143 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if their spouse and children are living with them at the same address in the UK (unless their spouse is also in receipt of a scholarship; other conditions also apply).
    • If a Scholar is accompanied by their children but no spouse: child allowance of £576.61 per month for the first child, and £143 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if their children are living with them at the same address in the UK.

Scholarship Duration

36 months of full-time study only and no other course of study may be undertaken at the same time.

Eligible Countries

The Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are available for qualified applicants from the following least developed and fragile countries: Bangladesh, Cameroon, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, The Gambia, Togo, Tuvalu, Uganda and Zambia.

Applicant Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for this scholarship, 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 academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September 2024.
  • By September 2024, hold a first degree of at least upper second-class (2:1) honours standard, or a lower 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 or in their home country before September/October 2024.
  • Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship.
  • Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format.

Required Supporting Documents

  • List of all undergraduate and postgraduate university qualifications obtained.
  • At least 10 publications and prizes.
  • Details of employment history and explain how the experience gained supports and is relevant to the programme to be undertaken in the UK.
  • Names and positions of three referees who are qualified to comment on both their capacity to benefit from the proposed Scholarship in the UK and their ability to deliver development impact afterwards. One of the referees must be a current employer (if applicable) and at least two references must be included with the application.
  • Proof of Development Impact statement in four parts.

See Approved Universities for Commonwealth PhD Scholarships.

Selection Process and Criteria

This scholarship is competitive and selection is determined by:

  • Academic merit
  • Quality of research proposal
  • Potential impact on the development of the candidate’s come country

How to Apply

Applications for the Commonwealth PhD Scholarships must be made using the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission’s online application system.

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) is unable to accept any applications or documentation not submitted via the online application system.

We advise applicants to complete and submit their applications as early as possible, as the online application system will be very busy in the days leading up to the application deadline.

Application Deadline

17:00 hours BST (16:00 GMT) on 17 October 2023.

Official Website






DISCLAIMER: Applicants are advised to note that Scholars Guide is not a scholarship agency, and as such may not have any link with the scholarship provider(s). Though we only advertise genuine and verified scholarship opportunities, we urge interested persons to kindly visit the scholarship official website above for more information and application as Scholars Guide will not be liable for damages incurred and or responsible for benefits derived from applying for the Commonwealth PhD Scholarships.

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