22 November 2013

Commonwealth Scholarships

Commonwealth Academic Fellowships

Commonwealth Academic Fellowships for mid-career academics from developing Commonwealth countries are offered to enable award holders to spend three months at a UK university updating their skills and knowledge. These fellowships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).


The main purpose of Commonwealth Academic Fellowships is to enhance the careers of recipients through the development of new skills and contacts, or through networking and updating knowledge and skills.
Research is not the main aim of these Fellowships and discrete research projects will not be supported. However, we do welcome the publication of joint research which may follow from a Fellowship.
A strong case will have to be made if a Fellowship is requested for a period of more than three months, with the aim of progressing collaborative research already underway between the home and proposed host university.
All applications require an email or letter of support from an academic at the proposed host university in the UK. Any application without such support will be deemed ineligible.


In most instances, nominations for Commonwealth Academic Fellowships are made by specific developing country universities, which are responsible for advertising the fellowships to their staff.
In Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka, nominations are made by the University Grants Commission. In Pakistan, nominations are made by the Higher Education Commission.
Each year, the CSC invites each nominating university/university body to forward a specific number of nominations. Each nominating university/university body is responsible for its own selection process, and in most cases they will set their own closing date, which will be before the CSC’s deadline for nominations (17 December 2013).
The CSC also invites alumni who held Commonwealth Scholarships for PhD to apply directly to the CSC for a Commonwealth Academic Fellowship. All eligible alumni will be sent a letter with details of how to apply.

Terms and conditions and eligibility

Alumni who wish to apply directly to the CSC for a Commonwealth Academic Fellowship must:
  • have been awarded a PhD by a UK institution between 1 October 2002 and 1 October 2011, while holding a Commonwealth Scholarship
  • meet all the standard eligibility requirements
  • be from and be currently employed as an academic at a university in one of the following Commonwealth countries: Bangladesh, Barbados, Cameroon, Ghana, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Trinidad, Uganda, Zambia
Applications are considered according to the following selection criteria:
  • Academic merit of the candidate
  • Quality of the proposal
  • Likely impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country
See Selection criteria for 2014 Commonwealth Academic Fellowships for further details.
Candidates may also find the Feedback for unsuccessful candidates in 2013 useful.

How to apply

All applications must be made through your nominating university/university body in your home country. You must check with them in the first instance for specific advice on how to make an application and for their own closing date. The CSC cannot accept any applications direct from candidates except for those alumni individually invited to apply for an Academic Fellowship.
The CSC expects all Commonwealth Academic Fellowship to have completed an application form using our Electronic Application System (EAS).
Full help on how to apply using the EAS is provided in our guides, which should be read in full before making any attempt to use the EAS.
The EAS will close to applicants on 3 December 2013 and no further applications can be made after that date.
How to access the EAS
Please note that all enquiries about these scholarships should be directed to the nominating university/university body in your home country.