Applications are invited for 2021 Fully Funded Commonwealth PhD Scholarships in the UK. 2021 Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are for candidates from least developed countries and fragile states in the Commonwealth, to undertake full-time doctoral study at a UK university. Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are funded by UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), and the awards 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 development themes:
1. Science and technology for development
2. Strengthening health systems and capacity
3. Promoting global prosperity
4. Strengthening global peace, security and governance
5. Strengthening resilience and response to crises
6. Access, inclusion and opportunity
- Eligible Commonwealth countries: Bangladesh, Cameroon, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, The Gambia, Tuvalu, Uganda and Zambia
- Application Deadline: Application Deadline: 18 January 2021
- Applicant must be a citizen of or have been granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country, or be a British Protected Person
- Applicant must be permanently resident in an eligible Commonwealth country
- Applicant must be available to start your academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September/October 2021
- Applicant must by September 2021, 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 (a Master’s degree)
- Applicant must NOT be registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, at a UK university before September 2021
- Applicant must NOT have commenced and be currently registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, in your home country or elsewhere
- Applicant must have the support of a potential supervisor from at least one UK university listed in your application form
- Applicant must have provided all supporting documentation in the required format
- Applicant must be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship
- 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 £1,116 per month, or £1,369 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area (rates quoted at 2020-2021 levels)
- Warm clothing allowance, where applicable
- Study travels 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 2020-2021 levels):
- If you are accompanied by your spouse but no children: spouse allowance ofv£240 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 £240 per month and child allowance of £240 per month for the first child, and £118 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 £480 per month for the first child, and £118 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.
Each year, the CSC invites selected nominating bodies to submit a specific number of nominations.
- 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
How to apply
Interested candidates must apply to one of the following nominating bodies in the first instance: The CSC does not accept direct applications for these scholarships and the deadline for nominating bodies to submit nominations to the CSC is 1 March 2021.
National nominating agencies – this is the main route of application
Selected universities/ university bodies, which can nominate their own academic staff
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.
- Applicants must complete 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 with all mandatory fields completed by 16:00 (GMT) on 18 January 2021 at the latest.
- Application must include all the required supporting documentation, by 16:00 (GMT) on 1 February 2021 in order for your application to be eligible for consideration.
- Proof that you are a citizen or have refugee status of an eligible Commonwealth country: a copy of your valid passport (or national ID card) showing your photograph, date of birth, and country of citizenship – uploaded to the online application system
- Full transcripts detailing all your higher education qualifications including to-date transcripts for any qualifications you are currently studying (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 email request to submit online)
- 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 to submit online).
Visit Commonwealth PhD Scholarships 2021 terms and conditions for a full list of supporting documentation that must be submitted in order for your application to be eligible.
For more information, visit the official webpage