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Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (for high income countries)

Subject areas:

These scholarships are offered under six CSC Development themes.

Funding type:

Tuition fee. Bursary. Bench Fees / Research Training & Support Grant. Travel.

Awarding body:

UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office.


Anguilla. Antigua & Barbuda. Australia. Bahamas. Barbados. British Virgin Islands. Brunei. Canada. Cayman Islands. Cyprus. Malta. New Zealand. Seychelles. Singapore. Trinidad and Tobago. Bermuda. Brunei Darussalam. Falkland Islands. Gibraltar. St Kitts and Nevis. Turks and Caicos Islands.

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships support candidates from high income countries for full-time doctoral study at King's College London.

Award details

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are for candidates from high income countries for full-time doctoral study at a UK university.

Funded by the UK Department for Education (DfE) and the host university, Commonwealth PhD Scholarships for high-income countries support research that will have an impact in a field relating to sustainable development.

These scholarships are intended to enhance individual teaching and research capacity, leading to increased institutional capacity in academic and other sectors in Commonwealth countries, and will contribute to UK higher education and research by attracting high-calibre international candidates and encouraging links and collaboration.

The scholarships are considered to support scholars who cannot afford to study in the UK without additional financial support. Applicants from traditionally marginalised or under-represented groups and those who have overcome significant disadvantages or other barriers in their educational journey so far will be given priority when making selections.

Please note the eligibility requirements include that candidates must hold an unconditional offer, or an offer conditional only on finance, for their chosen university at the time of application and be ready to commence their studies in September/October 2024.

Please note that the application closing date for applications is Tuesday, 27 February 2024, at 16:00 (GMT).

Full details are available on the Commonwealth PhD Scholarships website . Please check the Commonwealth Scholarship website for any update.

Eligibility criteria

To be considered for these scholarships, candidates must:

  • Be a citizen of or have been granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country.
  • Show evidence that they are currently permanently resident in an eligible Commonwealth country. Candidates must have been living in an eligible Commonwealth country for a period of two years prior to the date they submit their application, which must be clear within the application.
  • Not be registered for or have started a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD at a UK University prior to the start of the Scholarship and be available to start the Scholarship and academic studies in the UK in September/October 2024 (exact date to be agreed by the CSC). The Scholarship will not be offered to anyone who has already started their PhD in the UK prior to September 2024.
  • Hold a first degree of at least upper second-class (2:1) honours standard, or a lower second-class degree and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree) by the time they apply for the Scholarship, with evidence of the degree to be submitted within the application.
  • Not have commenced or be currently registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, in their home country or elsewhere.
  • Hold an unconditional offer or a conditional offer conditional only on finance for the 2023 UK academic year from all of the UK universities listed on their application, to be submitted as part of the application.
  • Provide references from at least 2 individuals, in PDF format, signed and on institution letterhead or an email clearly showing the sender’s details.
  • Provide a supporting statement from a proposed supervisor from at least one of the UK universities listed in the application, in PDF format, signed and on institution letterhead or an email clearly showing the sender’s details.

For more information please read over the candidate eligibility . 

Award conditions

For a full list of conditions please check the Commonwealth website.

Application process

Candidates must:

The CSC is unable to accept any applications or documentation not submitted via the online application system.

Applicants are advised to complete and submit applications as early as possible, as the online application system will be very busy in the days leading up to the application deadline.

Applicants can expect to hear the outcome by July 2024. We will contact all applicants by email and they should ensure all folders of their email accounts are monitored, including junk mail and spam folders. A scholarship offer may be withdrawn if an applicant is emailed but does not respond within a specified time.

Please check the Commonwealth Scholarship Committee webpage for more information on the application process.


Selection process

Applications will be considered according to the following selection criteria:

  • Academic merit.
  • Quality of research proposal.
  • Impact potential.

Academic year:


Study mode:

Postgraduate research

Application closing date:

Contact us for details on when to apply