Commonwealth Academic Fellowships for Developing Commonwealth Countries

Commonwealth Academic Fellowships

Course(s) Offered: All fields
Course Level: Graduate (research, training)
Provider: UK Govt/DFID
Country to Study in: UK

Scholarship Description
The Commonwealth Academic Fellowships are offered for early career academics from developing Commonwealth countries 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 the Commonwealth Academic 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.

Applications are welcome from the many different races and origins that comprise the Commonwealth’s rich variety of cultures, traditions and institutions.

Commonwealth Academic Fellowships

To apply for a Commonwealth Academic Fellowship, candidates should:
  • 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
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
  • The quality of the proposal
  • The likely impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country.
Eligible groups
Citizen and permanent residents of developing Commonwealth countries. See full list of eligible countries

Participating Institutions
Approved UK universities or higher education institutions. See full list of nominating universities/research institutes

Fields of study
All courses of study are eligible

Sponsorship duration
Awards are tenable for three to ten months

Scholarship benefits
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.
Method of Application
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.

You must make your application using the CSC’s Electronic Application System (EAS). Visit the official website (link to it is below) for complete information and to begin your application.

All applications must be submitted via the EAS by 23.59 (GMT) on 15 November 2016 at the latest. The deadline for nominating universities to submit nominations to the CSC is 13 December 2016.

You must provide supporting documentation (References from at least two individuals, Certificate confirming the award of your PhD, and Supporting statement from your proposed supervisor in the UK) to be received by the CSC by 6 January 2017 in order for your application to be eligible for consideration.

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.

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.

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.

Application Deadline: 15 November 2016
Open to International students: Yes

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