2021 Commonwealth Fully Funded PhD Scholarships in the UK

Filed in Education and Scholarship by on December 20, 2020 0 Comments

The yearly commonwealth PhD Scholarships are designed for applicants from least developed countries and frail states in the Commonwealth, to commence full-time doctoral study at a UK university.


These commonwealth PhD Scholarships are funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and gives young skilled and motivated people to acquire knowledge needed for sustainable development with the purpose of assisting those categories of people who cannot afford to study in the UK. The scholarships are awarded under six development topics as follows:


  1. Development under Science and Technology
  2. Capacity building in health systems
  3. Global prosperity promotion
  4. Bolstering worldwide peace, security and governance
  5. Bolstering resilience and response to crises
  6. Accessibility, inclusion and opportunity


Criteria for Eligibility


To be eligible to submit application, candidate must:


  • Be a native of or have been given refugee status by a qualified commonwealth country, or be a British Protected Person
  • Be living permanently in a qualified commonwealth country
  • Be available to commence an academic programme in the UK by the commencement of the UK academic year in September/October 2021
  • Holds a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) honours standard, or a second-class degree (2:2) by September 2021 and a relevant postgraduate qualification (a Master’s degree)
  • Be NOT enrolled for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, at a UK university before September 2021
  • NOT have commenced and be currently registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, in your home country or elsewhere
  • Have the support of a potential supervisor from at least one UK university listed in your application form
  • Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format
  • Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship


Commonwealth countries of Eligibility


  • Bangladesh
  • Cameroon
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Rwanda
  • Sierra Leone
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tanzania
  • The Gambia
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Zambia


Candidate Benefits


Selected scholarship provides:

– Authorized airfare from your country of residence to the UK and return at the end of your award (the CSC will not reimburse the cost of fares for dependants, nor the cost of journeys made before your award is confirmed)

– Approved tuition fees

– Living allowance (stipend) at the rate of £1,116 per month, or £1,369 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area (rates quoted at 2020-2021 levels)

– Warm clothing allowance, where applicable

– Grant towards the cost of study-related travel within the UK or overseas

– Provision towards the cost of fieldwork undertaken overseas (the cost of one economy class return airfare to your fieldwork location), where approved

– Fully-funded mid-term visit (airfare) to your home country (unless you have claimed (or intend to claim) spouse and/or child allowances during your scholarship, or have received a return airfare to your home country for fieldwork)

– Family allowances, as follows (rates quoted at 2020-2021 levels):


If you are accompanied by your spouse but no children: spouse allowance of £240 per month for a maximum period of nine months, if you and your spouse are living together at the same address in the UK (unless your spouse is also in receipt of a scholarship; other conditions also apply)


If you are accompanied by your spouse and children: spouse allowance of £240 per month and child allowance of £240 per month for the first child, and £118 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if your spouse and children are living with you at the same address in the UK (unless your spouse is also in receipt of a scholarship; other conditions also apply)


If you are accompanied by your children but no spouse: child allowance of £480 per month for the first child, and £118 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if your children are living with you at the same address in the UK

If you declare a disability, a full assessment of your needs and eligibility for additional financial support will be offered by the CSC.


Awarding procedure


Selected nominating agencies are invited yearly by CSC to submit a specific number of nominations. The last date for nominating agencies to submit nominations to the CSC is 1 March 2021.


Applications will be considered according to the following awarding criteria:


  • Candidate academic merit
  • Quality of the plan of study
  • Potential impact on the development of the candidate’s home country


Method of Application


You must apply to one of the following nominating bodies in the first instance – the CSC does not accept direct applications for these scholarships:



Nominating agency is incharge of its own awarding process and may have additional eligibility criteria. You must check with your nominating agency for their specific advice and rules applicable to applicants, their own eligibility conditions, and their own deadlines for applications submission.


Your application must be enrolled through the CSC’s online application system, in addition to any other application that you are required to submit by your nominating agency. The CSC will reject any applications that are not enrolled through the online application portal.


All applications for the scholarship must be submitted with all compulsory fields completed by 16:00 (GMT) on 18 January 2021 at the latest.


You are encouraged to complete and submit your application as soon as possible, as the online application system will be very busy in the days leading up to the application deadline.

Your application must include all the mandatory supporting documentation, by 16:00 (GMT) on 1 February 2021 in order for your application status to be eligible for consideration


You must check the Commonwealth PhD Scholarships 2021 terms and conditions for the complete list of supporting documentation that must be submitted in order for your application status to be eligible.


  • Proof that you are a citizen or have refugee status of an eligible Commonwealth country: a copy of your valid passport (or national ID card) showing your photograph, date of birth, and country of citizenship – uploaded to the online application system
  • Full transcripts detailing all your higher education qualifications including to-date transcripts for any qualifications you are currently studying (with certified translations if not in English) – uploaded to the online application system
  • References from at least two individuals – submitted directly by the referees to the online application system (referees will be sent an email request to submit online)
  • Supporting statement from a proposed supervisor in the UK from at least one of the institutions named on your application form -– submitted directly by your proposed supervisor to the online application system (supervisors will be sent an email request to submit online).

If any of the required documentation is not provided by the dates specified above, your application enrolment will be considered ineligible.


Application Deadline: 18 January 2021


Submit Application Here


For Additional Information concerning the scholarship:


Visit Commonwealth PhD Scholarship Portal


Need help writing your PhD proposal, Click Here

Related post: 2020/2021 Postgraduate and Undergraduate Federal Government Nigerian Scholarships Award

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