PhD Commonwealth Scholarships 2019

Commonwealth Scholarships Commission / University of Sussex (2020)

The University of Sussex is accepting applications for Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (for least developed countries and fragile states) for September 2020. Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are for candidates from low income Commonwealth countries, for full-time doctoral study at a UK university Funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Commonwealth PhD Scholarships enable talented and motivated individuals to gain the knowledge and skills required for sustainable development, and are aimed at those who could not otherwise afford to study in the UK.

Type of award

Postgraduate Research

PhD project

These scholarships are offered under six themes:

1. Science and technology for development

2. Strengthening health systems and capacity

3. Promoting global prosperity

4. Strengthening global peace, security and governance

5. Strengthening resilience and response to crises

6. Access, inclusion and opportunity


The award will cover full overseas PhD tuition fees, a stipend, return travel to UK, Research Training Support Grant + fieldwork costs


This year India is not included in the PhD scheme and only citizens of the following countries are eligible to apply:

The Gambia
Sierra Leone
Solomon Islands

To apply for these scholarships, you must also :

  • Be a citizen or have refugee status in an eligible country and be a permanent resident in that country
  • Be available to start your academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September/October 2020
  • By October 2020 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)
  • NOT be registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, at a UK university before September/October 2020
  • Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship


30 October 2019 0:00 (GMT)

How to apply


You will need to apply for a place at the University of Sussex as well as applying to a Commonwealth scholarship.

You will need to apply online for a PhD place at Sussex well before the 30th October deadline for scholarship applications so that your supervisor and the academic School can consider your application and provide the supervisor statement of support.

1. To apply for a place at Sussex please submit a formal application using our online application system at, The following documents must be submitted with your application

  • CV
  • degree transcripts and certificates
  • statement of interest clearly stating the project title and name of the supervisor
  • names of two academic referees
  • valid IELTS certificate

2. To apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship you do not apply directly to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. First you must apply to a "nominating agency" who will shortlist the applications and forward the highest ranked to the Commission for consideration. In most cases this agency will be the  nominating agency in your home country and it will have its own application procedures and deadlines. Some Universities and NGOs also nominate applicants.

Your application must be submitted to and endorsed by one of the approved nominating bodies listed above. The CSC will not accept any applications that are not submitted via the EAS.

In addition to the application to your nominating agency, you must apply online on the Electronic Application System (EAS) by 4pm (16:00 GMT) on 30th October

The following supporting documentation, which must be received by the CSC (uploaded to EAS) by 16:00 (GMT) on 20th November 2019 in order for your application to be eligible for consideration:

  • References from at least two individuals
  • Supporting statement from a proposed supervisor in the UK from at least one of the institutions named on your application form
  • Full transcripts of your university qualifications including certified translations if not in English.
  • Proof of citizenship or refugee status

You will need to be in contact with your Sussex supervisor so that they can support your application and provide a supervisor statement.



Further information on the scheme is here:


Contact us

For queries relating to an application to the University of Sussex please contact: Amanda Britt

For queries relating to an application for a Commonwealth Scholarship please contact the nominating agency in your own country.


There is no deadline for applying to Sussex, but as you will need to upload a Sussex PhD offer and a statement from your Sussex supervisor with your online EAS Scholarship application, you should make contact with your supervisor and apply to Sussex as soon as possible.

All applications, with full transcripts detailing all your higher education qualifications (with certified translations if not in English), must be submitted by 16:00 (GMT) on  30 October 2019 at the latest.

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

You must provide upload the supporting documentation, by 16:00 (GMT) on 20 November 2019 in order for your

The deadline for nominating bodies to submit nominations to the Commonwealth Scholarship Council is 18th December 2019. Nominated candidates will be considered according to the following selection criteria:

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


At level(s):
PG (research)

Application deadline:
30 October 2019 0:00 (GMT)
the deadline has now expired


The award is available to people from these specific countries: