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International Scholarships

Commonwealth Scholarship Plan - India

Competition: Closed for the 2015-2016 academic year

Who Applies: Canadian students and researchers

Description: The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) offers scholarships for study in India at the Master's or PhD level and offers scholarships to conduct research toward a doctoral program in Canada.


The competition is open to all disciplines including natural sciences, engineering, humanities, social sciences and the arts.

Candidates already enrolled in a degree program are eligible to apply.

The scholarships for study in India are tenable only at universities that are on the following list of University Grants Commission (UGC) Recognized Universities (PDF format).

Scholarship Value

The award includes:

  • airfare to India, for the award recipient only, by the most economical route and return airfare upon completion of the scholarship;
  • personal living allowance;
  • tuition fees;
  • accommodation expenses; and
  • other study and medical allowances.

Scholarship Duration

Scholarships are tenable for one academic year.

For PhD scholars, the scholarship may be awarded for a maximum of five and a half years. The renewal for subsequent years is subject to:

  • the availability of funding;
  • good academic standing during the first academic year; and
  • the confirmation by the academic institution that the renewal period is necessary to complete the program of study for which the scholarship was initially awarded.



  • must be Canadian citizens;
  • must have completed the prerequisite degrees for the proposed program of study at the time of submitting an application;
  • must have a minimum of an (A-) average;
  • must engage in full-time graduate studies or research at a university on the list of UGC Recognized Universities (PDF format); and
  • conducting research towards a doctoral degree at a Canadian university must obtain the approval of the relevant authorities at their home institution.

In addition, applicants:

Priority will be given to candidates who have not previously studied in India.

Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions are as follows:

  • scholars, as well as their spouse and dependants, when relevant, must meet all of the requirements for entry into India, including a medical examination;
  • scholars will be required to sign an undertaking to return to Canada upon completion of the scholarship;
  • scholars must submit their vacation requests for pre-approval. It is important to note that scholarship funding will be suspended during this period and that the scholar will be responsible for all vacation-related expenses;
  • scholar cannot concurrently hold another scholarship or award;
  • scholars must be able to commence their study in India by September 2014 with limited notice of receipt of the scholarship, usually three weeks;
  • scholars will be expected to reside in India throughout the scholarship and to seek prior approval for any proposed visits abroad;
  • scholars must follow the approved course of study and abide by the rules of the host institution;
  • scholars will not be permitted to change the course plan, institution or the value of their scholarship award;
  • scholars may not undertake paid employment during their scholarship nor serve on the staff of the Canadian High Commission or Consulate in India;
  • a scholarship may be terminated at any time for reasons such as a scholar's unsatisfactory progress, conduct or a breach of the conditions of the award; and
  • if a scholar decides to return to their home country early, they must repay all funds received through the scholarship.


The deadline for the DFATD online application form is 11:59 p.m. EDT, February 7, 2014.

The deadline to receive the ICCR application form is February 7, 2014. Applications received late or incomplete by the scholarship administrator will not be considered.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all documents required by mail are received by the deadline. The scholarship program administrator will not accept incomplete files. Supporting documents, other than the ones requested, will not be accepted.

An acknowledgement of receipt will not be provided.


Applicants will be contacted by February 10, 2014 by the scholarship administrator regarding the status of their application.

Applicants must ensure that a permanent email address is included in their application.

Final Selection

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) will notify the scholarship administrator of their final decision. Confirmation on relatively short notice from the Indian authorities is to be expected (about three weeks prior to commencement of studies in India).

Application Process

To be considered for the Commonwealth Scholarship Plan an applicant must complete the following two-step process:

  1. Applicants must first complete and submit the online application form of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) available on this site and provide the supporting documents as requested. This application will be used in the pre-selection process and can be submitted in French or in English.
  2. Applicants must complete and submit the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) application form and provide the supporting documents as requested. This application will be used in the final selection process and must be submitted in English.

Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered.

All inquiries regarding this scholarship should be directed to:

Step One: DFATD Online Application


  • Must enter data in all mandatory fields marked by an asterisk (*);
  • Upon completion, verify the content prior to submitting the application form;
  • To obtain a hard copy for their records, prior to submitting, may print the form using the print function of your browser; and
  • SUBMIT to provide your application electronically to Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE).

Supporting documents

The following documents must be uploaded and attached to the online application form in one of the following formats: .pdf, .jpg, .doc, .docx, .txt or .gif. Each document must be smaller than 5 Mb in order for the application to upload successfully.

  • Certificate of admission: certificate of admission from the host institution or copy of correspondence testifying that the applicant has requested admission or will have access to the facilities needed to complete the proposed research project.
  • Curriculum vitae: the Curriculum Vitae should not include photographs or any personal information such as a date of birth. (maximum four pages)

Step Two: ICCR application

Applicants must complete the ICCR application form and certificate of physical fitness and provide the supporting documents as requested. This documentation must be submitted by mail to the following address:

Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE)
Attn: Commonwealth Scholarship Plan – India
220 Laurier Ave. W., Suite 1550
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5Z9

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that these documents are received by the scholarship administrator (CBIE) by the deadline.

It is recommended that applicants post this documentation in a sealed envelope and send it to CBIE by a method which will provide a confirmation of its delivery, such as courier service or registered mail.

If applicants are unable to collect all the required supporting documents, please ensure that referees and institution(s) issuing transcripts submit the documents directly to CBIE. The name of the scholarship program should be visible on all documentation sent to CBIE.

Supporting Documents

The following documents must be submitted to the scholarship program administrator by mail:

  • ICCR application form: six copies of the application form, each with original signatures.
  • Study plan: Applicants applying for doctoral studies must include a synopsis of the proposed area of research.
  • Certified copy of transcripts: a certified transcript of all post-secondary studies to date (complete academic record(s) including colleges and CÉGEPs) with the cumulative grade point average (GPA) for each degree or certificate. Applicants currently enrolled in a program of study must submit the most recent transcript.
  • Certified copies of degree diplomas: a copy of diplomas notarized by a Notary Public or stamped by the institution of origin. The copies should include undergraduate and graduate degrees. If the degrees are in a language other than English, they must include a translation in English by a certified translator.
  • Certificate of physical fitness: this form is included in the ICCR application form.
  • Letters of recommendations: two letters of recommendation from people who are well acquainted with the applicant’s scholarly work. Each letter must be signed by its referee and submitted by the applicant in a sealed envelope together with the application package.
  • Photographs: six copies of a passport size photograph taken within one year from the date of the application. The applicant’s name should be written on the back of the photographs for identification purposes.
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship: copy of a birth certificate, citizenship card or passport; a baptism certificate is not accepted as proof of Canadian citizenship.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) English language test official test results (if applicable);
  • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) official test results (if applicable); and
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) official test results (if applicable).

In addition, applicants wishing to conduct research in India as part of their Canadian doctoral program must submit:

  • Confirmation letter from their Canadian university: an original letter from the Canadian university on official letterhead agreeing to accept the Indian supervisor as a co-supervisor and to give consideration to the grades given by the Indian supervisor for the research done under their guidance.


All decisions made by the host country are final and are not open to appeal.

Applications submitted directly to the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) will not be considered. Documents submitted to the scholarship administrator will not be returned.

These scholarships are subject to the availability of funding provided by the Government of India.


The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) was established in 1959, with the first scholars selected in 1960. The Plan was suggested in an influential speech in September 1958 by Sidney Smith, a former President of the University of Toronto and later Canadian Minister of External Affairs. The goal of the Plan is to nurture educational links among Commonwealth countries and to strengthen the ideals upon which the Commonwealth was founded. Over 25,000 Commonwealth citizens have held awards - many going on to reach the very highest levels within their profession.

The chief contributors to the Plan are Canada and the United Kingdom (UK), with 20 other member countries having offered awards over its 50 year lifespan. The CSFP is managed in India by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

Annually, India awards 54 scholarships, of which two are offered to Canadian scholars.


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