Scholarships and Student Funding

Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP)

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSC) is responsible for managing Britain’s contribution to the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP).

The CSC supports over 800 awards annually. Awards are funded by the Department for International Development (for developing Commonwealth countries), and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Scottish Government (for developed Commonwealth countries), in conjunction with UK universities. The CSC also nominates UK citizens for scholarships to study in other Commonwealth countries under the CSFP.

The CSC makes available seven types of award:

  • Scholarships for PhD research
  • Scholarships for Masters study
  • Shared Scholarships with UK universities in support of Masters programmes
  • Academic Fellowships for staff serving in developing country universities
  • Split-site Scholarships for PhD students to spend up to one year in the UK
  • Professional Fellowships for mid-career professionals in developing countries
  • Distance Learning Scholarships for developing country students to study UK Masters degree courses while living in their own countries


To be considered for the Commonwealth PhD 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 at the University of Edinburgh 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 an offer conditional only on finance for the 2024-2025 academic year from the University of Edinburgh.
  • 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 the University of Edinburgh, in PDF format, signed and on institution letterhead or an email clearly showing the sender’s details.

Provisional selection for a scholarship is subject to the agreement of the university for which candidates are selected as part funding for the scholarship is provided by that university.


The Commonwealth PhD scholarships are for study in the UK beginning in September/October 2024.

Applicants must have applied for admission to an eligible programme of study at the University of Edinburgh and hold an unconditional, or a conditional offer only on finance, at the time of the application.


Applications for submitting the Commonwealth PhD scholarships has now closed as the deadline of 27 February 2024 has now passed.


Applicants can expect to hear the outcome by July 2024 from the CSC.

The CSC will contact all applicants by email and applicants 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.

Further Information

Commonwealth countries

For more details please contact:

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission

  • The Association of Commonwealth Universities

Contact details



Woburn House
20-24 Tavistock Square

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