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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school



Applicants are strongly encouraged to secure funding for their PhD studies. There are a range of different funding sources available, each with their own eligibility conditions. The main sources of funding are listed below for prospective applicants to view. We recommend that applicants begin planning funding applications well in advance of the deadlines, and familiarise themselves with the specific requirements of the funder. Some funders will require an offer of acceptance on the PhD programme from the University of Edinburgh in advance. Securing this offer can take some time, as it involves writing a proposal that meets our required standards and discussing the proposal with suitable supervisors (See ‘How to apply’). Applicants should leave at least one month for this, ideally more.

In addition, all of the major funding applications are highly competitive and being successful requires a finely honed and carefully thought through proposal. This takes time to produce.

Interested applicants are strongly advised to contact potential supervisors and the PhD in International Development Postgraduate Advisor, Dr Jamie Cross, about suitability for the awards in advance of any applications.

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships: Commonwealth Scholarships for PhD study in the UK are offered for citizens of Commonwealth countries. These scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Please note, you must apply to your in-country nominating body in the first instance. 

- Details on application procedures for scholarships for citizens of low and middle-income Commonwealth countries can be found here. Please note, All applications must be made through one of the CSC's listed nominating bodies.

The deadline for 2020 has yet to be announced. If you are intending to apply, we suggest you contact your listed nominating body as soon as possible.

- Details on application procedures for scholarships for citizens of high-income Commonwealth countries can be found here.

Applications are made direct to the CSC.

ESRC Studentship, open competition:

The PhD in International Development is eligible for studentships funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The application process for ESRC awards has a number of stages and deadlines. Deadlines have yet to be accounced for the 2019/20 competition, but will fall over December/January.

For full details and guidance notes please see the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS) website, which will be updated in due course:  

University of Edinburgh (UoE) funding opportunities

The University of Edinburgh offers a range of different scholarships, each with their own elligibility requirements, conditions and deadlines. A full list of those available to applicants for the PhD Internatonal Development is available here. Interested applicants are encouraged to examine these carefully, noting the following:

- The application deadlines for these scholarships for the coming year have yet to be announced, but will likely be in late January or early February.

- It is possible to apply for more than one of these competitions.

Other funding opportunities

Carnegie PhD ScholarshipsThe scholarships cover tuition fees, maintenance allowance, research and travel allowance. The awards are tenable for three years for full-time study and up to six years for part-time study. Applicants must hold a First Class Honours undergraduate degree from a Scottish University. Students in their final year of an undergraduate degree who are expected to obtain a First-Class Honours degree may also apply,  but they will be required to withdraw from the competition if they fail to graduate with a First. Further details here.

Commonwealth Scholarships for PhD and split-site (PhD) study – developing Commonwealth country citizens: Commonwealth Split-site Scholarships support one year’s study at a UK university as part of a PhD being undertaken in your home country, under the joint supervision of a home country and UK supervisor. You must apply directly to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission using their Electronic Application System (EAS). Further details here.

Graduate Discount: University of Edinburgh graduates receive a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees. The scheme applies to both home and overseas students.

Do also explore other possibilities at the University's Scholarships and Student Finance Office website. The website includes a facility to search by region, with the listing including a range of opportunities for Africa-based students.

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