Commissioners on the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSC)

Body: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission
Appointing Department: Department for International Development
Sector: Education
Location: The Commission’s Secretariat is based at the Association of Commonwealth Universities, in Tavistock Square, London. Most (but not all) meetings are held in London locations; and events are held throughout the UK.
Number of Vacancies: Five – with terms for three Commissioners to commence from 1 January 2020 and terms for two Commissioners to commence from 1 May 2020
Remuneration: Positions are voluntary and unpaid, although Commissioners receive an honorarium (currently £300) in respect of each selection meeting attended. Travel and subsistence costs are also reimbursed in line with the Commission’s travel policy.
Time Requirements: You will typically attend two scholarship selection meetings per year and 4 full Commission meetings, to feed into the strategy and direction going forward. Commissioners also attend several events; Welcome and Farewell events for Scholars or any other high level events


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Date: 15/06/2020

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    15/06/2020 at 21:00

Vacancy Description

The CSC is a non-departmental public body, responsible for delivering the UK’s contribution to the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan. It achieves this through awarding around 750 scholarships and fellowships for postgraduate study and professional development to Commonwealth citizens each year. The CSC receives funding from the Department for International Development, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Education, and most UK universities.

There are 15 Commissioners (including a Chair), drawn from a range of academic, development and private sector backgrounds. Their main roles are to:
• Select recipients of awards through selection committees
• Provide policy direction and oversight
• Monitor the effectiveness of awards
• Ensure appropriate structures for governance and accountability

Person Specification

The core requirements of Commissioners are to:

• Establish the overall strategic direction of the Commission within the policy and resources framework determined by DFID
• Participate in policy and strategy discussions at full Commission meetings (currently three half days per year)
• Contribute actively to at least one Commission Committee (currently finance, awards policy, evaluation and monitoring, and audit and risk management), and/or take on a ‘Lead Commissioner’ role
• Participate in the selection of award holders though participation in selection committees (typically three to four days per year, plus five to nine days reading and preparation time)
• Attend occasional events with award holders and other stakeholders

Applications are invited from candidates with a range of subject and experience backgrounds who feel they have the skills and experience necessary to select recipients of awards and provide policy direction and oversight. Expertise and interest in higher education and international development issues are essential in the current round and the Commission is seeking to recruit at least two candidates with a background/expertise in STEM. Applicants with experience of increasing/supporting involvement of disadvantaged groups in education and practical experience in the field of international development are particularly encouraged to apply. Specific skills/experience such as engaging with members and partners (such as Alumni), as well as experience of finance and budget management, governance (including audit) and evaluation would also be desirable but are not essential.

Positions are for a term of three years in the first instance, with the possibility of renewal for one further term of three years. In accordance with legislative requirements, Commissioners must be UK citizens.

In addition to the qualities listed above, candidates should have the ability to work well in a team environment, to analyse complex information, and to contribute towards strategy development and implementation. An empathy with individuals from a wide and diverse range of backgrounds is also helpful. The specific skills listed in the full description section above would also be helpful, since these would address specific gaps in the Commission which have been identified but are not the main requirements of the position.

How to Apply

An information pack, which includes the application form, is attached. All forms should be completed and returned to the following e-mail address:

If it is not possible to e-mail, send by post to the following address: C Campbell, Department for International Development, Abercrombie House, Eaglesham Road, East Kilbride, G75 8EA.

Applications should arrive by no later than 19 September 2019 (23.59 BST)

Candidates are also encouraged to find out more about the work of the Commission from its website at

CSC Commissioner Recruitment Information Pack_for update v4 PH DB changes for DFID HR (002)
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