By | November 18, 2023

Getting a Ph.D. is a big deal, and the Commonwealth Ph.D. Scholarships 2024 are a fantastic chance for eager learners. This article breaks down everything about these scholarships, giving you helpful info and making the path to academic success clear.

Commonwealth Ph.D. Scholarships are intended for candidates from the least developed countries and fragile states within the Commonwealth. These scholarships enable recipients to pursue full-time doctoral studies at a UK university. The program is designed for high-quality graduates who have the potential to conduct influential research with a developmental focus. The goal is to cultivate leaders, educators, and researchers who will contribute significantly to their home countries.

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Administered by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC), these scholarships are part of the UK government’s initiative for international development. Aligned with the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP), this program underscores the UK’s lasting commitment to the Commonwealth. The CSC aims to attract individuals with exceptional talent and potential from diverse backgrounds, supporting them to become leaders and innovators upon returning to their home countries. This initiative combines sustainable development with the UK’s national interests and fosters opportunities for global partnerships and collaboration.

Eligible Countries for Commonwealth Ph.D. Scholarships 2024

Only candidates from the following eligible countries can apply for Commonwealth Ph.D. Scholarships (for least developed countries and fragile states) in the academic year 2024/2025:

  • Bangladesh
  • Cameroon
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Rwanda
  • Sierra Leone
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tanzania
  • The Gambia
  • Togo
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Zambia

Eligibility Criteria for Commonwealth PhD Scholarships

To apply for these grants, candidates must:

1. Be a citizen of an eligible Commonwealth country, have been granted refugee status by one, or be a British Protected Person.
2. Be a permanent resident in an eligible Commonwealth country.
3. Be available to start academic studies in the UK by September 2024.
4. By September 2024, have a first degree with at least upper second-class (2:1) honours, or a second-class degree (2:2) along with a relevant postgraduate qualification, usually a master’s degree.
5. Not be enrolled in a PhD or an MPhil leading to a PhD at a UK university or in your home country before September/October 2023.
6. Cannot afford to study in the UK without this scholarship.
7. Provide all required supporting documentation in the specified format.

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Benefits of Commonwealth Ph.D. Scholarships

Each scholarship provides the following:

  1. Approved Airfare: Covered for your journey from your home country to the UK and return at the end of your award. (Note: The CSC will not reimburse costs for dependents or journeys made before your award is confirmed.)
  2. Approved Tuition Fees: Full tuition fees are covered by an agreement between the CSC and the UK university. Scholars are not required to pay any part of the tuition fee.
  3. Stipend (Living Allowance): A monthly stipend of £1,236 or £1,516 for scholars at universities in the London metropolitan area.
  4. Warm Clothing Allowance: Provided if applicable.
  5. Study Travel Grant: Offered to cover the cost of study-related travel within the UK or overseas.
  6. Provision for Fieldwork: Support towards the cost of fieldwork conducted overseas, including the cost of one economy class return airfare to your fieldwork location, if approved.
  7. Paid Mid-term Visit: An airfare to your home country is provided 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.
  8. Family Allowances:
    • If accompanied by your spouse but no children: spouse allowance of £266 per month for a maximum of nine months.
    • If accompanied by your spouse and children: spouse allowance of £266 per month, child allowance of £266 per month for the first child, and £131 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16.
    • If accompanied by your children but no spouse: child allowance of £529 per month for the first child, and £131 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if they are living with you at the same address in the UK.
  9. Disability Support: If you have a disability, a full assessment of your needs and eligibility for additional financial support will be provided by the CSC.

How to Apply for Commonwealth PhD Scholarships

Candidates must complete their application using the CSC’s online application system, in addition to any other application required by the nominating agency. The CSC cannot accept applications that are not submitted through the online system.

It’s important to note that candidates need to collect references and supporting statements from referees and proposed supervisors in the UK. These should be on institution letterhead or in an email that clearly shows the sender’s details. Candidates must then upload these documents in PDF format to the application system along with other supporting documentation. This is different from previous years when referees and supervisors received a separate email requesting their statements.

All references and supporting statements must be uploaded to the application system by the application deadline. The CSC cannot accept them through any other means or after the deadline.

Applicant must apply before the end of December 2024.

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Required Documents

Candidates must upload the following documents with the application:

  1. Proof of citizenship or refugee status in an eligible Commonwealth country: a copy of a valid passport (or national ID card) displaying a photograph, date of birth, and country of citizenship.
  2. Full transcripts listing all higher education qualifications, including current transcripts for ongoing courses, with certified translations if not in English.
  3. References from at least two individuals on institutional letterhead.
  4. Supporting statement on institutional letterhead from a proposed supervisor in the UK from at least one of the institutions mentioned on the application form.

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General Conditions

Several conditions apply, including coverage details, thorough checks, and compliance with UK immigration regulations. Scholars are required to live in the UK throughout their award period and are not allowed to engage in concurrent paid employment. The scholarship does not cover a study period at the home country university.

For more detailed information, applicants are advised to refer to the current Handbook for Commonwealth Scholars and check for any updates or changes.


To learn more about the Commonwealth Ph.D. Scholarships 2024, kindly visit:

Official Website

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