The University of Pretoria is a research-intensive university. Hence, it is seeking candidates for doctoral studies who will make significant contributions to its research endeavours. As part of South Africa’s contribution to the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan, the University of Pretoria has made funds available for three doctoral scholarships for students coming from Commonwealth Countries (excluding South African students). This scholarship is known as the University of Pretoria Commonwealth Doctoral Scholarship and will be awarded on a competitive basis. 

Eligibility Requirements

  • The UP Commonwealth Doctoral Scholarship will be awarded to applicants who are citizens of Commonwealth countries, except South Africans. 
  • Applicants must conduct their studies at the University of Pretoria and commence in 2025.
  • Applicant must have submitted an application to study at UP for the 2025 academic year. 
  • Each Applicant must have identified a potential supervisor. 
  • Each Applicant must have submitted academic records to the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA). 
  • Applicants must have completed their postgraduate/Masters degree no less than two years prior to applying to UP for admission for the 2025 academic year. 
  • Applicants who are older than 40 years of age do not qualify for this scholarship. 
  • PhD and Masters students currently registered or who previously studied at the University of Pretoria are not eligible to apply. 

Value of Doctoral Scholarship 

The value of this Doctoral Scholarship will be R184 000 p.a. 

This amount must be used to cover the following student costs: 

  • Accommodation and living costs. 
  • Fees p.a. 
  • Medical Aid. 
  • Books/Stationery. 


The scholarship does not cover research running costs. 

Additional costs covered by the University: 

  • • Flight ticket to RSA from home country on proof of study permit. 
  • • Return flight ticket to home country at the end of the completion of the programme as confirmed by the faculty. 
  • • Shuttle service on arrival in South Africa from OR Tambo International Airport to Pretoria and return from Pretoria to OR Tambo International Airport on completion. 
  • • UP application fee, medical aid fee and study visa costs which will be refunded to the Applicant based on proof of receipts upon arrival at UP 

Costs not covered by the University: 

  • • Family expenses. 
  • • Additional baggage expenses. 

Supplementary Funds 

The Commonwealth Scholarship holder may hold supplementary external bursaries/grants/scholarships with a maximum total value of awards, including this scholarship, of R300 000.00 p.a. The UP PhD Commonwealth Scholarship must be the primary award. 

Method of Application

In order to be considered for this scholarship, candidates must submit the Application form of the UP PhD Commonwealth Scholarship to the University of Pretoria with the following documentation attached: 

  • • The UP Online application Ref “T” number or 2025 student number provided to the Applicants by UP on their UP Portal. 
  • • A written motivation from the prospective Doctoral supervisor that you have identified from UP. The said motivation must confirm the availability of research funding. 
  • • An outline (one A4 page) of the proposed research work. 
  • • Curriculum Vitae (CV) – no more than 3 pages. 
  • • Proof that study leave will be granted if the scholarship is awarded (if applicable) by your place of current work, 
  • • Copy of a valid passport. 
  • • Full academic transcripts of all qualifications obtained (not certificates). 
  • • Two completed reference forms from two different academics/supervisors who have current knowledge of the Applicant’s academic performance (Reference form attached). 

The above documents should be sent as a single pdf document to with a 

Subject Heading “UP Commonwealth 2025”. 

For More Information,

Visit the Official Webpage

Application Deadline: 11 September 2024