Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program for International students

Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program (CCSP)

Course(s) Offered: Any field
Course Level: Graduate (postdoctoral, research exchange)
Provider: Canadian Government (via CBIE)
Country to Study in: Canada

Scholarship Description
Since the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program’s inception in 1959, the Government of Canada has provided scholarships of excellence to all member countries of the Commonwealth. The goal of the CCSP is to promote Canadian values and identity around the world and to help meet the human capital needs of developing countries.

The CCSP provides short-term exchange opportunities for candidates from Commonwealth countries for study or research in Canada at the master’s or doctoral level. The program is open to all disciplines including interdisciplinary programs. Studies or research in science and technology will be prioritized.

  • must be citizens of one of the eligible countries (see below).
  • who have obtained Canadian citizenship or who have applied for permanent residency in Canada are not eligible;
  • already participating in an exchange program in Canada are not eligible;
  • already enrolled in a degree or diploma program at a Canadian university or college are not eligible;
  • must be enrolled full-time at a post-secondary institution in an eligible country and paying tuition fees at their home institution for the full duration of the exchange; and
  • must be proficient in either English or French.
Desired Qualifications:
Priority will be given to candidates:
  • undertaking study or research in science and technology; and
  • who have not previously studied in Canada under a Canadian government scholarship.
Terms and Conditions:
Canadian postsecondary institutions must submit an application on behalf of each candidate. An application submitted which does not meet the following terms and conditions may not be considered for a scholarship.
  • The Canadian postsecondary institution must be accredited by its provincial or territorial government.
  • An inter-institutional agreement is desirable but not mandatory. If there is no existing exchange agreement, graduate applications which involve a new or established collaboration between professors from a Canadian and a student’s home institution university will be accepted.
  • Tuition or academic fees will be waived at the Canadian institution for scholarship recipients, as recipients are registered full-time and paying tuition to their home institution.
  • A Canadian university may submit more than one application and may be asked to rank their applications based on their strategic priorities at the time of the selection process.
  • Applications submitted directly by a candidate or their home institution will not be accepted.
  • A scholarship recipient may not normally hold any other major scholarship granted by the Government of Canada.
  • Scholarship recipients taking courses must be in Canada by September for the fall semester or by January for the winter semester.
  • Graduate students conducting research must arrive in Canada between August 2012 and March 15, 2013. Failure to arrive during this time will result in the cancellation of the scholarship.
  • Scholarships are not renewable.
  • Scholarships are not taxable for either the institution or the scholarship recipient.
  • Financial reporting is not required from the institution or the scholarship recipient.
Eligible groups
Eligible countries are:
  • Asia-Pacific: Bangladesh, India, Kiribati, Malaysia, Maldives, Nauru, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu; or
  • Africa: Botswana, Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia
Participating Institutions
Any publicly funded universities and/or colleges in Canada

Fields of study
Scholarships are for student and research exchanges at the graduate level. Open to all disciplines including interdisciplinary programs. Projects with a scientific research component will be prioritized.

Scholarship benefits and duration
  • $7,500 CAD for graduate students for a period of 4 months of study or research; or
  • $10,000 CAD for graduate students for a period of 5-6 months of study or research
Mandatory and Eligible Expenses:
The scholarship amount must cover:
  • Visa expenses
  • Economy, round-trip airfare
  • Monthly living allowance
  • Required books, supplies, and equipment – not computers
Once the above expenses are covered the remaining amount should be provided to the recipient to cover any additional costs such as: ground transportation to the airport, recipient services fees, telecommunications (long distance) for research purposes and any other related costs.
  • Financial reporting is NOT required from the institution or the recipient.
  • Tuition is NOT an allowable expense; as recipient are registered full time and paying tuition to their home institution.
  • Scholarships are not renewable.
  • Scholarships are not taxable for either the institution or the recipient.
Method of Application
Who Can Apply: Publicly funded Canadian institutions must submit applications on behalf of candidate. CBIE does not accept applications submitted directly by candidate or partner institutions (foreign institutions).

Canadian faculty members who are submitting applications should notify the international relations department of their respective institutions. By doing so, this will assist with central coordination by the institution in the event that multiple applications need to be prioritized.
It is the responsibility of the Canadian institution to ensure that supporting documents are received by the deadline. Supporting documents, other than those requested, will not be accepted.
Canadian institutions are advised to establish an earlier deadline with the student’s home institution to ensure timely receipt of supporting documents.

Student application process

Students interested in this scholarship program should contact their home institution to make their interest known, and to find out if there is an institutional collaboration or exchange agreement with a Canadian institution. The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) provides a database of international exchange agreements which, while not exhaustive, does provide a list of some existing agreements.
An institutional exchange agreement is desirable, however, where no agreement yet exists, research applications by students which may result in a new collaboration between professors from a Canadian and foreign university will be considered.
Candidates doing research must apply for a Work Permit in order to ensure a smooth entry at the Canadian border and to receive the funds.
Interested students may also wish to contact alumni of the program through their home institution for advice and a local perspective on the experience.
Additional questions can be emailed to
For more, please see this page.


CBIE will notify Canadian institutions of their successful and unsuccessful candidates by email. For successful candidates, CBIE will send a Grant Agreement to the Canadian institution detailing the value and conditions of the scholarship. This document should be signed and returned to CBIE within 30 days.
The scholarship administrator is not able to provide feedback for unsuccessful candidates.

Payment procedure

The scholarship will be paid by cheque in one installment to the Canadian institution, not to the recipient, following receipt of these supporting documents:
  • Signed grant agreement by the Canadian institution AND
  • Proof of entry into Canada (copy of passport page with entry stamp, study permit or work permit) AND
  • Proof of international or national medical coverage for the entire duration of the recipient’s stay in Canada.
Mail:Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE)
DFAIT Canadian and International Scholarship Programs
220 Laurier Ave West, Suite 1550
Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA K1P 5Z9
Telephone: (613) 237-4820
Facsimile: (613) 237-1073

Application Deadline: 11pm EST; April 23, 2012
Open to International students: Yes

More Scholarship Information and Application

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