2020 Commonwealth PhD Scholarship for High Income Countries: Applications are requested from students who are nationals of high income Commonwealth countries to apply for the 2020 Commonwealth PhD Scholarship for high income countries to study in a full-time doctoral study at a UK university. The scholarship is funded by the UK Department for Education (DfE) to support excellence in UK higher education and sustain the principles of the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) is one of the largest and most prestigious international schemes in the world. Since its inception in 1959, 35,000 individuals have been awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship or Fellowship-27,500 of them being funded by the UK government, through the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSC).


Scholarship Sponsor(s): UK Department for Education

Scholarship to be taken at: United Kingdom

Scholarship level: PhD

Scholarship Worth:  See Scholarship benefits

Subject Eligibility: Courses tenable at eligible UK universities.

Country/Candidate Eligibility: The scholarship is for students from high income Commonwealth nations

Scholarship Eligibility and Selection Criteria: To be considered for the 2020 Commonwealth PhD Scholarship for High Income Countries, applicants are to meet the following criteria:

  • Applicant must 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 continuous period of five years within the last ten years. If the CSC is unable to determine this from your application, you will be contacted to provide further evidence.
  • Be available to start your academic studies in the UK in January/February 2021 (to be agreed by the CSC) 1.
  • 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 you submit your scholarship application.
  • Not have commenced and be currently registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, in your home country or elsewhere.
  • Not be registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, at a UK university before January 2021.
  • 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 in October 2020.
  • References from at least two individuals.
  • A supporting statement from a proposed supervisor at one or more of your chosen UK universities.
  • Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format

Applicants are to note that when applying for the scholarship they should ensure that the have contacted their chosen university/universities to confirm that they are able to secure admission in January 2021. Please be aware that some universities may not offer January 2021 admission for some of their courses.

Application Procedures for the 2020 Commonwealth PhD Scholarship for High Income Countries

How-to-Apply

All subject areas are eligible, although the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission’s (CSC) selection criteria gives priority to applications that clearly demonstrate the strongest potential for strategic impact.

The CSC will negotiate joint funding agreements individually for selected candidates. You should make this clear to your chosen university/universities. You must make your application directly to the CSC using the CSC’s online application system.

The CSC will not accept any applications that are not submitted via the online application system. Information on how to access the online application system is available on the CSC website.

In order for your application to be eligible for consideration, the following supporting documentation must include the following:

  • Proof that you are a citizen 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 listed on your online application form (with certified translations if not in English). All transcripts must be up to date at the time of submitting your application, including any transcripts to date for qualifications for which you are currently reading– uploaded to the online application system.
  • References from at least two individuals – submitted directly by the referee to the online application system (referees will be sent an email request).
  • A supporting statement from a proposed supervisor at one or more of the UK universities named on your application form – submitted directly by your supervisor to the online application system (supervisors will be sent an email request).

Applicants must note that if any of these documentations are not provided by the dates specified above, their application will be considered ineligible. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that their referees and proposed supervisor(s) are able to complete the references and supporting statement(s) by the deadline and that they receive the reference requests.


Scholarship Benefits:

  • 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 dependents, 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 (rates quoted at 2019-2020 levels).
  • Thesis grant towards the cost of preparing a thesis or dissertation, where applicable.
  • 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 (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.
  • Family allowances, as follows:

If you are accompanied by your spouse but no children: spouse allowance of £239 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 £239 per month and child allowance of £239 per month for the first child, and £117 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 £478 per month for the first child, and £117 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.

Application Deadline: 17:00 (BST) on 20th July, 2020

Visit the Official Website for more Details

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