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Commonwealth Fellowship

Commonwealth Fellowships


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.

  1. Commonwealth Academic Fellowships

Commonwealth Academic Fellowships are offered for early career academics from developing Commonwealth countries. This provides mid-career staff in developing country universities with the opportunity to network and update knowledge and skills related to their academic subjects and responsibilities.



  • 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 OR
  • Be in the employment of your nominating university


  1. Commonwealth Professional Fellowships

Commonwealth Professional Fellowships are offered by the CSC for citizens of developing Commonwealth countries. This fellowship offer mid-career professionals from developing Commonwealth countries the opportunity to spend a period (typically three months) with a UK host organization working in their relevant field for a programme of professional development.


Eligibility Criteria

  • Mid-career professionals (with five years’ relevant work experience) working in development-related organizations in developing Commonwealth countries.
  • Organizations from any sector can apply either to host one or more Commonwealth Professional Fellows within their own organization or to nominate one or more Fellows to be hosted by another organization with which they have links.

Key features

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission is keen to encourage creative and flexible applications for Commonwealth Professional Fellowships from a wide range of sectors – professional, charitable, public, and private. Priority will be given to applications with practical relevance in the following broadly-defined areas:

  • Agriculture / fisheries / forestry
  • Economic growth
  • Education
  • Engineering / science / technology
  • Environment
  • Governance
  • Public health


Rules For Application

  • Fellowships should normally be between one and three months in length. Applications for longer periods (up to a maximum of six months) will be considered, but only when a strong case for the additional time has been made. Fellowships should be long enough to enable the serious development of professional skills, so the CSC will not consider applications for fellowships with a duration of less than one month.
  • Applications should include a clear programme of professional experience and exchange for mid-career professionals. Visits to, and periods of experience with, relevant UK organizations are particularly encouraged. Attendance at short courses or conferences during the fellowship is acceptable, providing that this can be justified within the selection criteria and that attendance is not the main focus of the fellowship.
  • Fellowships should be UK-based for their full duration.
  • Organizations can apply to host/nominate up to five Fellows in one year. The CSC will decide on the actual number of Fellows to be supported.
  • Applications will not be considered from candidates who are undertaking a course of full-time study at the time of application; seeking assistance towards the cost of commencing or completing a formal academic or professional qualification, or wishing to undertake an academic programme or research of any kind in the UK. Applications presenting an academic research proposal or plan will be considered ineligible.
  • Candidates who have previously taken a leave of absence to study or work abroad in a developed country should make an additional case for why they should be considered for a fellowship in the UK and make clear what they have gained from their previous experience.


Other Commonwealth Fellowships Include


Commonwealth Rutherford Fellowships

Commonwealth Medical Fellowships

Commonwealth Professional Fellowships


Start here to apply for Commonwealth Fellowships. Feel free to click on any of the available scholarship opportunities on this page.