Commonwealth Split-site (PhD) Scholarships 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. For information on other scholarships offered by the CSC, visit our Apply page.
You can apply for a Commonwealth Split-site (PhD) Scholarship to support up to 12 months’ study at an eligible UK university as part of a PhD being undertaken in your home country, under the joint supervision of home country and UK academics.
Purpose: To widen access to UK equipment and expertise for quality doctoral candidates from Commonwealth countries, and to contribute to UK and Commonwealth higher education and research through collaboration and partnerships.
Intended beneficiaries: High-quality graduates who have the potential to become influential leaders, teachers, or researchers in their home countries, and whose proposed research has a developmental and leadership focus.
Your application must be made in the context of a departmental/institutional link with a UK university already in operation or currently under negotiation. Applications without supporting statements from both your home country supervisor and your proposed UK supervisor will be considered ineligible.
Your final qualification will be awarded by your home country university (not the UK university). The scholarship does not support your period of study at your home country university.
The 12-month period of study in the UK supported by the scholarship can be taken at any stage during your PhD study, providing this is justified in your study plan. It can be divided into two or more periods, with no more than 12 months elapsing between each award term. If you have not already started your PhD at the time of your application, you will be eligible to spend a maximum of six months in the UK in your first year of study.
All subject areas are eligible, although the CSC’s selection criteria give priority to applications that demonstrate the strongest relevance to development.
You should apply to study at a UK university with which the CSC has a part funding agreement. Click here for a list of UK universities which have part funding agreements with the CSC
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 registered for a PhD at a university in your home country by the time your awad is confirmed
- Be available to start your academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September/October 2017
- By October 2017, 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. The CSC is committed to administering and managing its scholarships and fellowships in a fair and transparent manner – for more information, see the CSC anti-fraud policy.
Terms and conditions
For full terms and conditions, see the Commonwealth Split-site (PhD) Scholarships 2017 terms and conditions
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 plan of study
- Potential impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country
For further details, see Selection criteria for 2017 Commonwealth Split-site (PhD) Scholarships
You may also find the Feedback for unsuccessful candidates useful.
How to apply
You must make your application directly to the CSC using the CSC’s Electronic Application System (EAS). Click here for full information on how to use the EAS, including detailed guides.
You are not required to apply via a nominating body for these scholarships.
All applications must be submitted 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. We recommend that you complete your application by 31 October 2016.
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:
- Supporting statement from your UK supervisor
- Supporting statement from your home supervisor
- Reference from at least one other individual
Please note that the CSC does not charge candidates to apply for any of its scholarships or fellowships through its Electronic Application System (EAS), and it does not charge organisations to nominate candidates.
Choosing a university/course
You may find the following resources useful when researching your choices of institution and course of study in the UK:
- Education UK (British Council) – British Council website, with guidance for international students and a course and institution search
- Postgrad.com – information for postgraduate students, with a course search
- Prospects – information on postgraduate study in the UK
- Research Excellent Framework 2014 results – results of a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions
- Steps to Postgraduate Study – a guide to asking the right questions about taught postgraduate study in the UK
- UCAS Postgraduate – guidance on how to find and apply for a postgraduate course
- Unistats – the official website for comparing UK higher education course data
- UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) – advice for international students on choosing a course of study