Commonwealth Split-site (PhD) Scholarships – developing Commonwealth country citizens

The Commonwealth Split-site (PhD) Scholarships offered by the CSC for citizens of developing Commonwealth countries in 2016. 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.

Up to 12 months’ support for 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.

All applications must be submitted by 19 November 2015 at the latest.

How to Apply?

You should apply to study at a UK university with which the CSC has a part funding agreement. Part funding agreements are at the discretion of individual universities. For a list of universities that have already agreed to part fund Commonwealth Scholarships. visit

All subject areas are eligible – although you should note that the CSC’s selection criteria give priority to applications that demonstrate the strongest relevance to development.

You must make your application directly to the CSC using the CSC’s Electronic Application System (EAS) – information on how to use the EAS, including detailed guides, is available at

You are not required to apply via a nominating body for these scholarships.

Click here to check complete process for applying Commonwealth Split-site Scholarship.

Eligibility Criteria

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.
  • Be available to start your academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September/ October 2016.
  • By October 2016, 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.

Selection Process

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 proposal
  • Potential impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country

Selection criteria for assessment of applications for 2016 Commonwealth Split-site (PhD) Scholarships for developing Commonwealth country citizens (funded by the Department for International Development (DFID)) tenable in the United Kingdom.

Additional Requirements

You may be required to take the academic IELTS English language test as a condition of eligibility. If this is the case, you will be notified by the CSC shortly after the closing date for applications. An IELTS test will be considered valid only if it is taken after 1 October 2015 and before 6 March 2016. You must achieve an overall score of 6.5, with no less than 5.5 in each band.

As a further condition of award, you may be required, by the CSC or your university, to provide evidence of a particular level of English language proficiency.

Instruction to Candidates

  • Commonwealth Split-site (PhD) Scholarship covers fees, fares, and personal maintenance. Other scholarships, awards, or bursaries that cover the same costs may not be held concurrently.
  • If your application is successful, the CSC will notify you that you have been provisionally selected (selected for an award subject to the CSC agreeing your terms of admission to the university)
  • The CSC reserves the right to publish the names of provisionally selected candidates on the CSC website. By applying for an award, you are giving your consent for your details to be published in this way if your application is successful.
  • When terms of admission to the university have been agreed, the CSC will send you a Notification of Award (formal offer of a scholarship).
  • When all conditions of the Notification of Award have been met, the CSC will send you a formal Confirmation of Award.
  • You will be required to submit a medical report before your Confirmation of Award can be issued.
  • You will be required to sign an undertaking to return to your home country as soon as possible after the end of your award.
  • You are expected to start your award on the date stated in your Notification of Award.
  • If you require a Tier 4 visa to come to the UK to study, you may be required to take an approved English language test and/or be screened for tuberculosis for your visa application. These regulations are subject to change at any time. You should check the GOV.UK website at for updated information.
  • All UK immigration regulations are set by UK Visas and Immigration and are subject to change. The CSC has no control over these regulations.
  • You are expected to reside in the UK throughout your award, and to seek approval from the CSC in advance for any overseas travel.
  • You must not undertake paid employment during your award without approval from the CSC in advance.

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