Brief Description: The UK Department for International Development (DFID) funds the 2017 Commonwealth Academic Fellowships for mid-career academics from developing countries to spend between three and ten months at a UK academic institution.
Application Deadline: 23.59 (GMT) on 15th November 2016
About the Award: These fellowships 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.
You can apply for a Commonwealth Academic Fellowship to spend between three and ten months at any approved UK university or higher education institution. Applications must include a justification for the length of award requested.
The purpose of this fellowship is to provide early career academics with the opportunity to plan, conduct, or write research, to encourage applications from universities where capacity building is a priority, and to enhance knowledge, skills and contacts in Fellows’ given disciplines.
Eligibility: Early career academics (with no less than two years’ and no more than ten years’ postdoctoral academic experience) working in universities in developing Commonwealth countries.
To apply for these fellowships, you must:
- Be a Commonwealth citizen, refugee, or British protected person
- Be permanently resident in a developing Commonwealth country
- Be employed by a university in a developing Commonwealth country
- Be available to start your fellowship in the UK on 1 October 2017. Any other start date will be permitted only in exceptional circumstances
- Have been awarded your PhD between two and ten years prior to October 2017
- Not have previously held a Commonwealth Academic Fellowship within five years
- Have been awarded your PhD by a UK university while on a Commonwealth Scholarship
- Be in the employment of your nominating university
Selection Criteria: Once received by the CSC, each candidate’s application is first considered by a member of the CSC’s panel of advisers with expertise in the subject area concerned, and then by the CSC’s selection committee in competition with other candidates.
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
Duration of Fellowship: You can apply for a Commonwealth Academic Fellowship to spend between three and ten months at any approved UK university or higher education institution. Applications must include a justification for the length of award requested.
Value of Fellowship: Each fellowship provides:
- 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 usually the cost of journeys made before your award is finally confirmed)
- Research support grant, at a fixed rate according to your subject, payable to your host university
- Stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,594 per month, or £1,977 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area (rates quoted at 2016-2017 levels)
- Grant towards the cost of preparing reports and other written work
- Arrival allowance
- Study travel grant towards the costs of approved travel within the UK or overseas
- If you are widowed, divorced, or a single parent, child allowance of £448 per month for the first child, and £110 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if you are accompanied by your children and solely legally responsible for them. The level of financial support provided through family allowances is under review and subject to change in both eligibility and rate
How to apply: If you have previously held a Commonwealth PhD Scholarship funded by the CSC and meet the eligibility criteria for these fellowships, you can apply directly to the CSC.
Selected universities are also invited to nominate their own academic staff. If you are employed by one of these universities, you must apply via that institution in the first instance. You must check with your nominating university for their specific advice and rules for applying, and for their own closing date for applications. The deadline for nominating universities to submit nominations to the CSC is 13 December 2016.
You must make your application using the CSC’s Electronic Application System (EAS).
Your application must be endorsed by the Vice-Chancellor or Executive Head of the university that employs you. Unless you previously held a Commonwealth PhD Scholarship funded by the CSC, the CSC will not accept any applications that are not submitted via a nominating university.
All applications must be submitted via the EAS by 23.59 (GMT) on 15 November 2016 at the latest.
You are advised to complete and submit your application as soon as possible, as the EAS will be very busy in the days leading up to the application deadline.
You must provide the following supporting documentation to be received by the CSC by 6 January 2017 in order for your application to be eligible for consideration:
- References from at least two individuals (one should be from your PhD supervisor, except in exceptional circumstances)
- Certificate confirming the award of your PhD
- Supporting statement from your proposed supervisor in the UK
Sponsors: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) and UK Department for International Development (DFID).