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International Student Office


The Smuts Memorial Fund was established after the death of Jan Christiaan Smuts, Prime Minister of South Africa and Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, to support the advancement of Commonwealth Studies. A range of funding opportunities are available to both staff and students for this purpose including research grants, PhD scholarships and library grants. A number of Fellowships across the University are supported by the Fund including the Smuts Visiting Research Fellowship.

The Fund is managed by a Board of Managers, which meets termly. The International Student Office supports the Board of Managers in administering the fund.

 More information on the work of the Smuts Fund can be found on these webpages.

On this page:

Cambridge Scholarships

The Smuts Fund and the Cambridge Commonwealth, European & International Trust annually fund up to two international students on PhD courses.

A successful applicant:

  • may be a citizen of any country outside the EU
  • must be liable for fees at the overseas rate (see Your Fee Status)
  • must apply to study a PhD at the University of Cambridge and be offered admission (see Prospective Graduate Students)
  • must complete Section B of the application form to indicate that s/he wishes to be considered for scholarship funding, and must submit the completed application by the published deadline (normally at the start of December in the year before the start of the PhD)
  • must propose a PhD research topic that is specifically related to a Commonwealth country or countries (excluding the UK), normally in the fields of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Each scholarship will be awarded for three years, and will pay the University Composition Fee and an annual stipend sufficient for a single person. The scholarships are tenable at any College within the University of Cambridge.

For further information please contact either the Fund Administrator [] or the Cambridge Trust (email:

Further information

Commonwealth Lecture Series

The Managers fund a biennial series of four lectures offered by a distinguished practitioner, which address topics of interest in Commonwealth Studies. The lectures are organised in conjunction with a department or faculty in such a way as to be integrated into that institution's own teaching plans.


The Smuts Managers contribute towards the funding of the Royal Commonwealth Society/Centre of South Asian Studies Librarian. Rachel M. Rowe is the current Smuts librarian.

Further information

Library Grants

A select number of Cambridge libraries are invited to apply for funding of up to £1000 for purchases in the field of Commonwealth Studies. The deadline for applications is 1st October.

Further information

Professor of Commonwealth History

The Chair has been held by a number of distinguished academics. The current Smuts Professor, Saul Dubow, took up his position in January 2017

Research Grants

The Smuts Managers consider applications for research grants termly with the deadline for applications being 1st October, 1st January and 1st March. Research Grants are available to departments conducting projects in the field of Commonwealth Studies, and graduate students and senior members of the University who would like financial assistance when carrying out research or study that contributes to the advancement of Commonwealth Studies.

Further information

Research Associates

The Smuts Managers contribute towards the funding of Research Associates in the Centre of African Studies and the Centre for South Asian Studies. These are three year research posts which are advertised by the Centres when the posts are available.

The current Smuts Research Associate at the Centre of African Studies, appointed in 2012, is Dr George Karakwaivanane.

The current Smuts Research Associate at the Centre for South Asian Studies is Dr Edward Anderson.

Further information

Visiting Fellowship in African Studies

For information about the Smuts Visiting Fellowship in African Studies, please see the Centre of African Studies website.

Further information

Visiting Research Fellowship

The Smuts Memorial Fund elects a Smuts Visiting Research Fellow each year, in association with a Visiting Research Fellowship, to come to Cambridge to carry out research for 9 months.

Further information

Awards and Stories

This page provides information on how some of our award recipients and research fellow's have utilised their Smuts funding for research, fieldwork and events.

Further details can be found here