Commonwealth Professional Fellowships, UK

Publish Date: Sep 02, 2016

Deadline: Sep 12, 2016

Commonwealth Professional Fellowships

The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) is one of the largest and most prestigious scholarship schemes for international study in the world. Since it was established in 1959, around 30,000 individuals have benefited – 25,000 of them have held awards funded by the UK government, managed by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSC).

This prospectus describes the Commonwealth Professional Fellowships offered by the CSC for citizens of developing Commonwealth countries in 2016. These fellowships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), with the aim of contributing to the UK’s international development aims and wider overseas interests, supporting excellence in UK higher education, and sustaining the principles of the Commonwealth.

For information about the other scholarships and fellowships offered by the CSC, visit For information about Commonwealth Scholarships offered by other Commonwealth countries, visit

The CSC’s Secretariat is provided by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), which is responsible for all matters concerning selection, academic studies, and evaluation. The British Council is responsible for supporting award holders in their home countries before and after their awards.

For mid-career professionals from developing countries to spend a period of time at a UK host organisation working in their field for a programme of professional development.

Purpose: To provide professionals with the opportunity to enhance knowledge and skills in their given sector, and to have catalytic effects on their workplaces.

Intended beneficiaries: Mid-career professionals (with five years’ relevant work experience) working in development-related organisations in developing Commonwealth countries.


Organisations from any sector can apply either to host one or more Commonwealth Professional Fellows within their own organisation, or to nominate one or more Fellows to be hosted by another organisation with which they have links.

To apply for these fellowships, organisations must:

  • Be based in the UK
  • Have set up a programme of activities for the fellowship
  • Have identified a Fellow/Fellows who they wish to nominate, through existing networks or wider advertising
  • Be able to demonstrate the capacity to set up and manage the fellowship(s) on a day-to-day basis To be eligible for these fellowships, candidates must:
  • Be a citizen of a developing Commonwealth country (see page 6), refugee, or British protected person  Be permanently resident in a developing Commonwealth country (see page 6)
  • Have normally at least five years’ relevant work experience in a profession related to the subject of the application, by the proposed start of the fellowship
  • Be available to start their fellowship within prescribed dates as stated on the CSC website
  • Not have undertaken a Commonwealth Professional Fellowship in the last five years
  • Not be seeking to undertake an academic programme of research or study in the UK. Academics are eligible to apply for the scheme, but only to undertake programmes of academic management, not research or courses relevant to their research subject

The CSC promotes equal opportunity, gender equity, and cultural exchange. Applications are encouraged from a diverse range of candidates.


The CSC is keen to encourage creative and flexible applications from a wide range of sectors – professional, charitable, public, and private. Priority will be given to applications with practical relevance in the following broadlydefined areas:

Agriculture / fisheries / forestry

Economic growth


Engineering / science / technology



Public health

Applications for these fellowships must adhere to the following rules:

  • Fellowships should normally be between one and three months in length. Applications for longer periods (up to a maximum of six months) will be considered, but only when a strong case for the additional time has been made. Fellowships should be long enough to enable the serious development of professional skills, so the CSC will not consider applications for fellowships with a duration of less than one month.
  • Applications should include a clear programme of professional experience and exchange for mid-career professionals. Visits to, and periods of experience with, relevant UK organisations are particularly encouraged. Attendance at short courses or conferences during the fellowship is acceptable, providing that this can be justified within the selection criteria and that attendance is not the main focus of the fellowship.
  • Fellowships should be UK-based for their full duration.
  • Organisations can apply to host/nominate up to ten Fellows in one year, with no more than six in any round. The CSC will decide on the actual number of Fellows to be supported.
  • Applications will not be considered from candidates who are undertaking a course of full-time study at the time of application; seeking assistance towards the cost of commencing or completing a formal academic or professional qualification; or wishing to undertake an academic programme or research of any kind in the UK. Applications presenting an academic research proposal or plan will be considered ineligible.
  • Candidates who have previously taken a leave of absence to study or work abroad in a developed country should make an additional case for why they should be considered for a fellowship in the UK and make clear what they have gained from their previous experience.


Each fellowship provides:

  • Approved return airfare from the Fellow’s home country to the UK
  • Stipend (living allowance) payable monthly (or pro rata) for the duration of the award at the rate of £1,580 per month, or £1,959 per month for those at organisations in the London metropolitan area (rates quoted at 2015- 2016 levels). Exceptionally, depending on the programme arranged, a peripatetic living allowance may be payable. Further details if applicable will be given at the time of offer
  • Arrival allowance of up to £887.83 at current rates, including an element for warm clothing and reimbursement of the visa application fee
  • Fixed grant for excess baggage for return travel only, dependent on the airport destination. The Fellow will be advised of the amount close to the date of departure
  • Flat rate contribution of £800 to the costs of the host/nominating organisation relating to the administration and support of the Fellow, setting up of appropriate meetings, any materials required, and incidental travel for the Fellow during the award
  • Reasonable fees up to a maximum of £3,000 will be agreed in the context of the length of the programme, but full justification must be given for the amount being claimed. Such claims can cover:

- Fees for any conferences or short courses attended during the fellowship, provided that these are approved as part of the original application

- Cost of travel for visits to other organisations in the UK, where these form an integral part of the programme

- Other fees, for which the CSC will consider requests on a case-by-case basis

Host/nominating organisations should bear in mind the following restrictions when planning an application:

  • Induction/evaluation programmes must be in scale with the programme.
  • Modest fees including catering, room hire, and facilitator hire for such programmes may be agreed; however, fees for facilitators for evaluation programmes will not be approved.
  • Additional accommodation costs may be recovered from the Fellow’s stipend.
  • Requests for funds for cultural events, mobile phones, laptop hire, professional association memberships, costs associated with visits outside the UK, and contingencies will not be approved.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

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