Commonwealth Scholarships for Developing Countries 2016 Now Open for Application

Brief description: Application is now open for the CSC Commonwealth Scholarships for Masters and PhD students from developing Commonwealth countries to study in UK, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Subject Areas: All subject areas are eligible, although the CSC’s selection criteria give priority to applications that demonstrate strong relevance to development.

commonwealth scholarshipLevels of study: Masters and PhD

About Scholarship

Each year, Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD study in the UK are offered for citizens of developing Commonwealth countries. These scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), with the aim of contributing to the UK’s international development aims and wider overseas interests, supporting excellence in UK higher education, and sustaining the principles of the Commonwealth.

Scholarship Offered Since: 1959

Scholarship Type: Masters and PhD Scholarship

Who is qualified to apply?

To apply for these scholarships, you must:

  • Be a Commonwealth citizen, refugee, or British protected person
  • Be permanently resident in a developing Commonwealth country
  • Be available to start your academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September/October 2016
  • By October 2016, 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)

The CSC promotes equal opportunity, gender equity, and cultural exchange. Applications are encouraged from a diverse range of candidates.

Selection Criteria

Applications are considered according to the following selection criteria:

  • Academic merit of the candidate
  • Quality of the proposal
  • Likely impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country

Selection process

Each year, the CSC invites selected nominating bodies to submit a specific number of nominations. The deadline for nominating bodies to submit nominations to the CSC is 17 December 2015.

The CSC invites around three times more nominations than scholarships available – therefore, nominated candidates are not guaranteed to be awarded a scholarship. There are no quotas for scholarships for any individual country. Candidates nominated by national nominating agencies are in competition with those nominated by other nominating bodies, and the same standards will be applied to applications made through either channel.

Number of Scholarships: Approximately 300 scholarships are awarded each year. The CSC invites around three times more nominations than scholarships available – therefore, nominated candidates are not guaranteed to get a scholarship. There are no quotas for scholarships for any individual country. Candidates nominated by national nominating agencies are in competition with those nominated by universities/university bodies, and the same standards will be applied to applications made through either channel.

Duration of Scholarships: 12 months for Masters and up to 36 months for PhD

Eligible Countries: Developing commonwealth countries including African countries

To be taken at: UK Universities

Application Deadline: All applications must be submitted by 19 November 2015 at the latest. Please note that this is an earlier deadline than in previous years.

Offered annually? Yes

How to Apply

You must apply to one of the following nominating bodies in the first instance – the CSC does not accept direct applications for these scholarships:

  • National nominating agencies – this is the main route of application. See link below
  • Selected universities/university bodies, which can nominate their own academic staff. See link below
  • Selected non-governmental organisations and charitable bodies

All applications must be made through your nominating body in your home country. Each nominating body is responsible for its own selection process.

Visit Scholarship webpage for details. Read carefully for guideline.

Sponsors: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) and UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Important Notes: All enquiries about these scholarships should be directed to your nominating body in your home country.

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