Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

Attaining a Ph.D. from a highly-ranked university is no longer an unattainable dream, especially with the availability of numerous scholarships for Indian students seeking to study abroad. These scholarships play a pivotal role in supporting overseas PhD candidates, alleviating the burden of exorbitant tuition fees and living expenses. You can rest assured, as many renowned universities worldwide extend scholarships to doctoral students, providing access to top-notch research facilities.

Scholarships and their types

There are two main types of PhD scholarships for Indian students, namely fully funded and partially funded scholarships. It is crucial for applicants to thoroughly review the specific details of the scholarships they are applying for.

  1. Fully funded scholarships comprehensively cover all major expenses associated with overseas education. This encompasses tuition fees, living allowances, study materials, travel expenses, insurance, and more.


  1. On the other hand, partial scholarships only cover a portion of the overall study cost. This coverage may be directed towards either the tuition fee or living expenses, and the funding conditions vary among different scholarship programs.

Top 7 Ph.D Scholarships for Indian Students

  1. Commonwealth Scholarship

The UK gives out Commonwealth Scholarships to smart and talented students from countries in the Commonwealth. These students are good at academics, leadership, and thinking of new ideas. Every year, about 800 students get these scholarships. It means they can go to universities in the UK without having to pay a lot of money for the first three years of their studies.


Eligibility Criteria of Commonwealth Scholarship
Citizen or permanent resident of a Commonwealth country, refugee, or British-protected person
Financial inability to study in the UK without the scholarship
Age less than 40 years


  • Amount/Expenses Covered
    • Monthly stipend of €1,236 or €1516 (London metropolitan area)
    • Airfare for first arrival and departure
    • Extra allowances and grants
  • Duration
    • 3 years


  1. Destination Australia Program

PhD candidates enrolled in regional universities in Australia have the opportunity to seek the Destination Australia Program scholarship. Recipients of this scholarship are expected to contribute valuable cross-cultural insights that would benefit Australian society as a whole. In the year 2024, preference will be given to applicants pursuing courses that align with the priorities outlined in the Australian Government’s National Skills Priority List.


Eligibility Criteria of Destination Australia Program
Studying in a regional institution in Australia
No other sponsorships


  • Amount/Expenses Covered
    • $15,000 per year
  • Duration
    • Maximum 4 years


  1. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship is designed for doctoral candidates specializing in Health Research, Natural Sciences, Engineering, Social Sciences, and Humanities. Eligibility is restricted to scholars who demonstrate outstanding academic achievements, exceptional research capabilities, and documented leadership skills. Prospective beneficiaries must submit their applications through the institution where they are currently enrolled.


Eligibility Criteria of Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships
Institution’s nomination and Exceptional academic merit, research potential, and leadership skills


  • Amount/Expense Covered
      • The annual sum of CAD 50,000
  • Duration
    • 3 years
  1. Friedrich Naumann Foundation

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation Scholarship is designed for researchers enrolled in German universities, providing financial support for those with compelling and innovative research projects. Each year, approximately 150 students benefit from this scholarship, establishing its credibility within the international research scholar community in Germany. Key selection criteria include the project’s relevance to the discipline, the applicant’s academic excellence, and the candidate’s demonstrated financial need.


Eligibility Criteria of Friedrich Naumann Foundation
Must be an international student
Relevance of the research proposal, academic merit, and financial necessity


  • Amount/Expenses Covered
    • €800 to €1200 per month
  • Duration
    • Up to 3 years
  1. AAUW International Women’s Fellowship

The AAUW International Fellowships are designed to assist women pursuing doctoral studies in U.S. universities. Originating in 1917, these scholarships require recipients to showcase a deep commitment to their research and a dedication to improving the status of women and girls in their home countries. The selection process places significant emphasis on the relevance, quality, and practical applicability of the research work undertaken by the candidates.


Eligibility Criteria of AAUW International Women’s Fellowship
Women scholars of non-US citizenship
Full-time availability for the fellowship
Intention to return to home country after studies
Underprivileged candidates preferred


  • Amount/Expenses Covered
    • $50,000 for a year
  • Duration
    • 1 year
  1. Fulbright Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowship

The Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowship is a program that supports Indian scholars in pursuing studies in the United States. This fellowship financially assists selected doctoral students from Indian universities, enabling them to conduct research at a host institution in the U.S. for a duration of 6 to 9 months. What sets this program apart is its unique feature allowing beneficiaries to audit non-degree courses and gain practical work exposure in the U.S.

According to a message from the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) dated February 02, 2022, the Fulbright program is dedicated to fostering the relationship between the U.S. and India. It achieves this by providing opportunities for personal, academic, and professional growth for Indian students, thereby enhancing mutual understanding between the two nations.


Eligibility Criteria of AAUW International Women’s Fellowship
Recommendation letter from the supervisor
Ongoing researchers only
Registration for PhD on or before Nov 01, 2021


    • Amount/Expenses Covered
      • J-1 Visa support, monthly stipend, round trip economy class travel, allowances, and affiliation fees
  • Duration
    • 6-9 months 
  1. DAAD Scholarship Germany

The DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) research grants are designed to support doctoral research projects. Selected candidates for these grants are eligible to receive a monthly stipend of euros 1200 for a maximum duration of 6 months. Additionally, the grant includes health, accident, and personal liability insurance coverage for the recipients. Notably, there are 25 DAAD scholarships available for Indian students each year.


Eligibility Criteria of DAAD Scholarship Germany
Two years of work experience
Academic merit
German language requirements


  • Amount/Expenses Covered
      • Tuition fees, travel allowance, health insurance, accompanying spouse/child allowance
  • Duration
    • 1 year

Ph.D. scholarships for Indian students play a pivotal role in fostering academic excellence, research innovation, and international collaboration. These opportunities not only provide financial support for doctoral studies but also contribute to the overall development of scholars by offering exposure to diverse academic environments and cutting-edge research facilities.

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