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The Commonwealth PhD Scholarships for the 2024/25 academic year are now open for applications from suitably qualified candidates. These scholarships are specifically aimed at candidates from least developed countries and fragile states within the Commonwealth who wish to pursue full-time doctoral studies at a UK university.

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships 2024/25 for Least Developed Countries

The Commonwealth PhD Scholarships, funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), play a vital role in addressing the development needs of Commonwealth countries. These scholarships support research projects that have the potential to make a significant development impact in various areas.

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Scholarship Sponsor(s): UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)

Scholarship Type: Full Funding

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Host Institution(s): UK Universities

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Scholarship Worth: See Scholarship Benefits (below)

Number of Awards: Several

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Study Level: Postgraduate (PhD)

Nationality: Commonwealth Countries

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Commonwealth PhD Scholarships 2024-2025 | Eligibility Criteria

For prospective applicants of the Commonwealth PhD Scholarships 2024/25, meeting the following criteria is essential:

  1. Citizenship and Residence:
    • Be a citizen of an eligible Commonwealth country, or have been granted refugee status by such a country, or be a British Protected Person.
    • Be permanently resident in an eligible Commonwealth country.
  2. Availability and Academic Start Date:
    • Be available to commence academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September 2024.
  3. Educational Qualifications:
    • Hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) honours standard by September 2024.
    • Alternatively, hold a second class degree (2:2) along with a relevant postgraduate qualification, typically a Master’s degree, by September 2024.
  4. PhD Registration:
    • Not be registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, at a UK university or in your home country before September/October 2024.
  5. Financial Need:
    • Demonstrate financial need and inability to afford to study in the UK without the support of the Commonwealth PhD Scholarship.
  6. Supporting Documentation:
    • Provide all necessary supporting documentation in the required format as part of the application process.

Scholarship Benefits

The Commonwealth PhD Scholarships offer a comprehensive package of benefits to support scholars during their doctoral studies in the UK. Here is a breakdown of the benefits provided:

    1. Approved Airfare: The scholarship covers the cost of airfare from the scholar’s home country to the UK and return at the end of the award. However, this does not include fares for dependents or journeys made before the award is confirmed.
    2. Tuition Fees: Full tuition fees are covered by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) in agreement with the UK university. Scholars are not liable to pay for any part of the tuition fee.
    3. Stipend (Living Allowance): Scholars receive a stipend at the rate of £1,347 per month. For scholars studying at universities in the London metropolitan area, the stipend is higher at £1,652 per month.
    4. Warm Clothing Allowance: A warm clothing allowance is provided where applicable to help scholars meet the additional expenses of purchasing warm clothing.
    5. Study Travel Grant: Scholars receive a study travel grant to cover the cost of study-related travel within the UK or overseas, contributing to their academic and research activities.
    6. Fieldwork Provision: Scholars undertaking fieldwork overseas receive provision towards the cost of one economy class return airfare to the fieldwork location, subject to approval.
    7. Mid-Term Visit: Scholars are eligible for a paid mid-term visit (airfare) to their home country, unless they have already claimed spouse and/or child allowances during their scholarship or have received a return airfare to their home country for fieldwork.
    8. Family Allowances:

If scholars are accompanied by their spouse and/or children, they may be eligible for family allowances:

        • Spouse allowance of £290 per month for a maximum of nine months, if the spouse and scholar are living together at the same address in the UK.
        • 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 the spouse and children are living with the scholar at the same address in the UK.
        • If scholars are accompanied by children but not a spouse, they receive a child allowance for each eligible child living with them in the UK.

See Also: Top 15 Fully Funded PhD Scholarships for International Students

Supporting Documents:

To apply for the Commonwealth PhD Scholarships, applicants must provide various documents and evidence to support their eligibility and candidacy. Here’s a summary of the required documentation:

1. Proof of Citizenship or Refugee Status:

A copy of a valid passport (or national ID card) showing a photograph, date of birth, and country of citizenship.

This document serves as evidence that the applicant is a citizen or has refugee status in an eligible Commonwealth country.

2. Transcripts of Higher Education Qualifications:

Full transcripts detailing all higher education qualifications, including transcripts for any courses currently being studied.

Transcripts must be certified and provide comprehensive information about the applicant’s academic background. If transcripts are not in English, certified translations must be provided.

3. Supporting Statement from Proposed Supervisor:

A supporting statement on institutional letterhead from a proposed supervisor in the UK.

The proposed supervisor should be affiliated with at least one of the institutions named on the application form. The supporting statement should outline the supervisor’s willingness to support the applicant’s research and provide guidance during their doctoral studies.

Application Procedures

  1. Complete Online Application:
    • Use the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission’s (CSC) online application system to complete your application.
    • Ensure that you provide all required information and documents as part of the online application process.
  2. Apply to Nominating Agency:
    • Submit your application to the relevant nominating agency according to their instructions and requirements.
    • Adhere to any additional requirements or deadlines set by the nominating agency.

Application Deadline: 17 October 2023 at 16:00 GMT.

Visit the Official Website for Further Details

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