Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom

Commonwealth Academic Fellowships

Commonwealth Academic Fellowships are offered to early career academics from developing Commonwealth countries, to enable them to spend between three and ten months undertaking research and updating their skills at a UK university. These fellowships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Purpose and tenure

The purpose of Commonwealth Academic Fellowships is to provide an opportunity for Fellows to undertake a period of research, network, and update knowledge and skills related to their academic subject and responsibilities.

Awards are tenable at any approved UK university or higher education institution, for between three and ten months. Justification must be given within the application for the length of award requested.

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.

There are two routes for application:

1. Direct applications (CSC PhD alumni only)

You are invited to apply directly to the CSC for a Commonwealth Academic Fellowship if:

  • You were awarded your PhD between two and ten years prior to October 2015 by a UK university while on a Commonwealth Scholarship
  • You are currently employed as an academic at a university in Bangladesh, Barbados, Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Zambia OR at the University of the South Pacific

You must also meet the standard eligibility criteria as stated in the Commonwealth Academic Fellowships 2015 prospectus.

2.  By nomination

Nominations for Commonwealth Academic Fellowships are invited from specific developing country universities in sub-Saharan African countries for candidates who have completed their PhD between two and ten years prior to October 2015.

These universities are responsible for advertising the fellowships to their staff and selecting candidates to be nominated to the CSC.

Each year, the CSC invites each nominating university to forward a specific number of nominations. Each nominating university 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 2014).

Universities in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are not being invited to nominate candidates for Commonwealth Academic Fellowships in 2015. However, if you are from one of these countries and were awarded your PhD by a UK university while on a Commonwealth Scholarship and meet other eligibility criteria, you can apply directly to the CSC (see above).

Terms and conditions and eligibility

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 2015 Commonwealth Academic Fellowships for further details.

You may also find the Feedback for unsuccessful candidates in 2014 useful.

How to apply

Except for direct applications from alumni, applications must be made through a nominating university 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.

All Commonwealth Academic Fellowship candidates must submit their 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 all applicants on 3 December 2014 and no further applications can be submitted after that date.

How to access the EAS

Please note that enquiries about these fellowships should be directed to the nominating university in your home country, unless you are an alumnus of the CSC, in which case you should use the Contact form.

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