Scholarship Application Advice
Below is advice aimed at UK scholarship applicants. Scientists for Palestine aim to develop more advice for other regions in the future. For visa applications, it is recommended to consult the relevant governmental advice. We cannot accept any responsibility or liability from any inaccuracy in any of the material on this website.
Start investigating scholarship options and other sources of funding as early as possible. Good applications take time and last-minute attempts often fail.
Check the eligibility criteria for the scholarship, as different criteria may apply, depending on the country, university and type of course you apply for.
Avoid submitting a generic application. Applications will generally need to be tailored to show how you meet the eligibility criteria. References should be from a teacher or someone else who knows you, who is relevant to the specific application, and who has time to write a good letter for you (contact your letter writers as early as possible!).
Scholarships are very competitive in nature and it is important to make sure your application stands out. Highlight awards, relevant work experience (both paid & voluntary), community service, dissertations and seminars, or papers you may have contributed to. Ask someone else to read the application before submitting. Run the application through a spell-checker before submitting – try to make the language as close to perfect as possible! Scientist for Palestine are currently in the process of setting up a scheme to support Palestinians who are applying for UK scholarships and we will publicise this scheme when it is available.
It is important to make sure you have secured enough funding to pay for tuition fees, living expenses and to satisfy the visa requirements. Living expenses in the UK can be estimated through an online calculator such as here. Students who are partially funded can support their studies through part-time work, provided their visa permits it. Postgraduate students can sometimes undertake paid research and teaching roles.
UK applicants must prove their knowledge of the English language for acceptance on a university course and when applying for a visa. This usually means passing an IELTS language test. Candidates are tested for four language skills – speaking, writing, listening and reading. IELTS test results are reported on a band scale from 1 to 9 (top mark). To compete for a scholarship, it is recommended to aim for a minimum score of 7 before applying.
There are IELTS test centres in four locations in Palestine: Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus and Gaza where tests are run regularly (generally every 1 – 2 months). It is currently recommended that candidates register online at least two months prior to the test date. A fee is charged. All registrations are handled by the British Council Palestinian Territories. Up to date information here.
Immigration & Visa
You should check with UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) and/or the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to determine what category of visa you will need in order to study and/or work in the UK. Typically, students need the Tier 4 (General) Student Visa, which is issued by UKVI. In most cases visa applications must be made prior to entering the UK, within a specifcied time period. You will need to apply and pay for your application online and book an appointment at a centre according to your place of residence to get a biometric residence permit.
Before you apply for the visa online check what documents you’ll need. A fee for the visa application will be charged. Visa fees in the UK can be expensive (> £500) and this cost should be taken into account. You will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.
Up to date details for how to apply are on the UK Visas and Immigration website here. Universities are generally able to offer helpful advice through their immigration student advice services.