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Commonwealth Split-site Scholarships in 2023/24


Funded by the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Commonwealth Split-site Scholarships enable PhD scholars studying at eligible universities across the Commonwealth the opportunity to conduct research at an institute in the UK for 12 months.

Financial assistance

Each Scholarship 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 the cost of journeys made before your award is confirmed)

  • Approved tuition fees: full fees are covered by agreement between the CSC and the UK university, and Scholars are not liable to pay for any part of the tuition fee

  • Stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,236 per month, or £1,516 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area (rates quoted at current levels)

  • Warm clothing allowance, where applicable

  • Study travel grant towards the cost of study-related travel within the UK or overseas

  • If you are widowed, divorced, or a single parent, child allowance of £529 per month for the first child, and £131 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if you are accompanied by your children and they are living with you at the same address in the UK

The CSC’s family allowances are intended to be only a contribution towards the cost of maintaining your family in the UK. The true costs are likely to be considerably higher, and you must be able to supplement these allowances to support any family members who come to the UK with you.

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


Candidates must upload the following documents with their application:

  • Proof that the applicant is a citizen or has refugee status in an eligible Commonwealth country: a copy of a valid passport (or national ID card) showing a photograph, date of birth, and country of citizenship

  • Full transcripts detailing all higher education qualifications, including to-date transcripts for any courses currently being studied, with certified translations if not in English

  • References from at least two individuals on institutional letterhead

  • Supporting statement on institutional letterhead from a proposed supervisor in the UK from at least one of the institutions named on the application form

  • Supporting statement on institutional letterhead from the current supervisor at the home university

Grading system for assessment of applications for FCDO-funded commonwealth scholarships tenable in the United Kingdom 2022:


Primary Indicators:

- Examination results.

- Academic transcripts.

- Tutors’ and referees’ reports.

Secondary Indicators

- Academic prizes or awards.

- Other relevant academic achievements.

Publications, where appropriate.


Primary Indicators

  • Relevance of work in UK to PhD.

  • Evidence of strong research link with UK institution.

  • Clear abstract of what the candidate wants to research

  • Extent to which the work programme has been well researched (including references to key literature); and the extent of engagement with the host supervisor

  • Quality of the research proposal, including innovation and relevance to current research in the chosen field and to development policy

Secondary Indicators

  • Clarity of expression.

  • Feasibility of proposed research

  • Likelihood of completion within three years


Primary Indicators

  • Extent of the need: how the plan of study/research relates to development in the sector and country

  • Expected outcomes, the projected timeframe to achieve them and potential beneficiaries

  • The way and extent to which the candidate proposes to apply new skills and qualifications; how does this relate to development

Secondary Indicators

  • Reference to a national development priority or capacity shortage

  • Reference to the selected CSC theme

  • Extent of the benefit: how the impact of the work might be measured

  • Past demonstrable commitment to ‘development’ agendas through voluntary work.

  • Leading or participating in relevant projects or programmes

Scholarships are tenable for a 12-month period of study at any approved UK university or higher education institution with which the CSC has a part funding agreement (as mentioned previously) for a specific programme of research.

Your final qualification will be awarded by your home country university, not your proposed UK university. This Scholarship will not support your period of study at your home country university. Funding will not be extended to enable candidates to complete a qualification in addition to or higher than that for which the selection was made nor for study towards a PhD at a UK institution. Awards are made in respect of full-time study only and no other course of study may be undertaken at the same time.

Your application must be made in the context of an institutional or departmental link between your home university and your proposed UK university already in operation or currently under negotiation. This link must be greater than simply a collaboration between individuals. It is very important that both your supervisor in your home country and your proposed supervisor in the UK provide supporting statements that highlight current institutional links and collaboration. Applications without both statements will be considered ineligible.

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