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How To Apply

PhD Scholarships -Ciência sem Fronteiras

The Ciência sem Fronteiras UK team are here to support you through the application process, from identifying a potential PhD supervisor in the UK, to the point when you make your application to Ciência sem Fronteiras for funding.  The information below outlines the process for both Sandwich and Full PhD students wishing to apply for a scholarship under the Ciência sem Fronteiras (CsF) scheme. 

Please note: candidates should try to allow up to 3 months to complete Steps 1-8.

If you have any questions, we can be contacted at

Step 1

First check that you meet the eligibility criteria to participate in the SwB scheme and that your proposed research project fits into one of the CsF priority subject areas

Step 2

If you are a Sandwich PhD applicant you must first discuss applying for an Ciência sem Fronteiras UK scholarship with your current supervisor in Brazil. We recommend that you also check if your Brazilian University has any existing collaboration agreements with Universities in the UK in your field of research.

If you would like help in identifying suitable universities for your sandwich PhD year, we can help.

Step 3

If you are a Full PhD applicant, please use the PhD opportunities pages to find PhD opportunities/vacancies at UK Universities. If you cannot find a PhD opportunity that matches your interests on our PhD opportunities page, then we would encourage you to look on Universities' own web pages too. If you would like Ciência sem Fronteiras UK to assist you in identifying a potential supervisor or PhD programme, please click here

Even if you have already identified a supervisor in the UK, please still contact the CsF UK office to inform us of your plans, this is so that we are able to support you in your arrangements.

Step 4

Check that you have the  UKVI minimum English language level required for a Tier 4 (General) visa and for admission on to your chosen PhD programme. Please note: that the English language level required for admission to your chosen UK University, will be much higher than the minimum level required by UKVI for a Tier 4 visa.  

Step 5

Once you have an agreed PhD supervisor in the UK, you will then need to make a formal application to your chosen UK University for a place on a PhD programme, following the University's standard admissions procedures. At this point, it is a good idea to contact the International Office at the University to inform them of your intention to apply as an Ciência sem Fronteiras student, they will also be able to guide you through the University admissions process. A formal letter of acceptance will then be issued to you by the University's Postgraduate Admissions department.

Please note: for sandwich PhD students the Brazilian University supervisor must also support the application.

Step 6

Once you have an unconditional letter of acceptance from your UK University, you can then make your application for funding directly to Ciência sem Fronteiras (CsF).**

As part of your CsF application, you will be required to upload documentation including: Copies of degree transcripts/certificates, a formal letter of acceptance from a UK University (including details of tuition and bench fees payable, not exceeding a total of £20,000/year), your research proposal, English language certificate and the CV of your proposed supervisor.

Full details of the documentos indispensáveis para inscrição can be found on the CsF website here.

Step 7

If your funding application to CsF is successful then you will receive notification from CsF and will be issued with a grant letter ('Carta de Benefícios') to show that you have financial sponsorship.  When you receive your sponsorship letter, please send a copy to SwB UK.

Step 8

Once you have received your 'Carta de Benefícios' from CsF and your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) from your UK University, you can then apply for your visa to study in the UK. PhD students will need to apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa- please see 'visa requirements' page for further details.  It is essential that you contact the International Office of the UK University before applying for your visa, to ensure that you have all of the correct documentation for a successful visa application.

** Conditional offer letters are acceptable if the only condition remaining is that you are successful in obtaining funding, i.e. you should have met ALL academic entry requirements for acceptance on to your chosen PhD programme by this point.

If you have any questions regarding the application process outlined above, please email 


Deadline for applications

Students can contact Ciência sem Fronteiras UK or Universities at any time throughout the year, to enquire about applying for a PhD.  However please bear in mind that the Brazilian funding agencies operate 3 calls per year.  The full calendar of upcoming calls are published here: 

There can sometimes be a degree of flexibility in terms of the exact start date of your PhD but this will need to be agreed by the student, CsF and the UK University.


Additional Information and validation of degrees in Brazil: