7 Reasons Why Applicants Fail Commonwealth Split-Site (Phd) Scholarship Interview

7 Reasons Why Applicants Fail Commonwealth Split-Site (Phd) Scholarship Interview

7 Reasons Why Applicants Fail Commonwealth Split-Site (Phd) Scholarship Interview
Every scholarship scheme has its own award winning requirements. Commonwealth Split-Site (PhD) Scholarship is no exception.  To win such an award, you must meet up with its terms and conditions.
This post is to outline the reasons why applicants fail to win Commonwealth Split-site (PhD) Scholarships offered by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC ) for citizens of developing Commonwealth countries. 
Why then are over 80% of the applicants unsuccessful at all times? This is what this article wants to articulate for you.

7 Reasons Why Applicants Fail Commonwealth Split-Site (Phd) Scholarship Interview

7 Reasons Why Applicants Fail Commonwealth Split-Site (Phd) Scholarship Interview

As a matter of fact, the CSC does not provide individual feedback on why an application was unsuccessful. However, there are certain reasons why many of the applications received do not pass through to the next stage.Some of these are:

(1) Eligibility Criteria: 

You must  in the first instance meet up with the eligibility criteria. For you to be eligible for consideration you must obtain:
  •  Supporting statement from your UK supervisor
  •  Supporting statement from your home supervisor
  • Reference from at least one other individual
  • Your transcripts

Therefore, if you do not meet up with these you will not be successful.

7 Reasons Why Applicants Fail Commonwealth Split-Site (Phd) Scholarship Interview

(2) Excellence. 

All of the CSC’s scholarship and fellowship schemes are highly competitive. For the standard PhD and Master’s Scholarships, for example, on average only around 1.5% of the original applications submitted to the nominating agencies are successful. This means that many very able applicants will be disappointed. 
Consequently, only those of you who are outstanding across the board are likely to be successful.

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC) awards over 800 scholarships and fellowships for postgraduate study and professional development to Commonwealth citizens each year.

(3) Failure to follow instructions. 

The selection committee assesses applications using three key criteria (academic merit, impact of the work on development, and study/research plan), and considers all of the information provided on the application form. Given the competitiveness of the schemes, failure to follow the application instructions will seriously disadvantage you.
It is, therefore, essential that you read all of the instructions carefully before starting your application, and then complete all of the questions fully.
The CSC makes its decisions on who receives a Commonwealth Scholarship or Fellowship purely on the basis of the information provided in the applications. There are no quotas for people from different countries, ethnicities, or genders.

(4) Academic merit

Your successes will depend on your academic grade. Successful applicants are those with the highest academic grades. Many  of you have a first-class honours undergraduate degree and a distinction for Master’s degree. Applicants with upper second-class undergraduate degrees or a pass at Master’s level do indeed receive Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships, but you must recognise that the exercise is  highly competitive in terms of academic quality.
However, if there are reasons why you did not  score particularly well in part of your academic career, it’s important that these are explained in the space available for further information.
For PhD Scholarships or Academic Fellowships, many applicants have a good list of publications and conference papers, sometimes in internationally-respected academic journals. It is important, therefore, that you   ensure that you reference these appropriately if you have them.
It is important for you  too,  to identify referees who will provide references that are detailed enough and contain sufficient information to be evaluated. A mere five-line reference is unlikely to provide the level of support necessary.
Absence of full details about the marks/grades gained for particular degrees, in the form of an official transcript, makes it difficult for the selection committee to properly consider an application. You are strongly encouraged to ensure that full supporting documentation is provided at the time of application.

7 Reasons Why Applicants Fail Commonwealth Split-Site (Phd) Scholarship Interview

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(5) Impact of the proposed work on development

This is for those of you from developing Commonwealth countries, like Nigeria.
As a matter of fact,the selection committee places great emphasis on the case made by you for how your  proposed work will have an impact on development when you return home. A mere 50-100 words written in this section is unlikely to be as convincing as a well-crafted argument that uses the full 500 words available spaces.
You must not  focus on how a Commonwealth Scholarship or Fellowship would help you to become rich and successful, rather show how your work can specifically contribute to development in your home country. It’s only such focus  that will provide the information that the selection committee requires.
As you may know, there are many ways in which ‘development’ can be defined, and the CSC does not seek to impose specific definitions on any applicant. However, it is important that you demonstrate how your specific project contributes to development objectives that are relevant for your country and region. It is not sufficient to state that the proposed subject of study is by its nature developmental; you must make the case clearly that what you will go on to do after studying will have an impact on development.

7 Reasons Why Applicants Fail Commonwealth Split-Site (Phd) Scholarship Interview

(6) Research plan

If you  write  vaguely about what you  intend to do you  will score poorly. It’s important that this section is written clearly so that a non-specialist can understand what the aims of the research are and how they will be implemented.
Any applicant for PhD Scholarships who does not provide information about the precise methodology and any sampling strategy to be used in the research does not score highly.
Consequently, all applicants must explain in some detail why they have applied to the courses and institutions listed on their application forms. It’s insufficient simply to say that the universities are excellent, or even that they are ranked nth on a global listing of universities.
In fact, study or research plans must be written by  you, and not by the intended supervisor.
Again, simply cutting and pasting text about a department, course, or institution from a website or brochure is insufficient. Even so, merely listing the options available for a Master’s course is likewise insufficient.

(7) Additional information

In conclusion, recipients of Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships are outstanding individuals. When differentiating between closely-matched applications, the selection committee uses all of the information provided by applicants on their application forms. Where applicants have provided no additional information about, for example, voluntary activities or other such contributions to development, this will not be to their advantage.
You need to complete fully all sections of the form, individually, and originally, not importing text from national or university websites, or from other applications.
In all, you should ensure you leave time to proofread your applications and that they are written in clear English.

7 Reasons Why Applicants Fail Commonwealth Split-Site (Phd) Scholarship Interview

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