‘DFID’s support for individuals through the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) has been hugely important’, according to the latest report by UK MPs on the Commons Science and Technology Committee.

In its report Building scientific capacity for development, the Science and Technology Committee praised Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships as ‘much-valued’ for their role in providing effective support to early career researchers in developing countries.

The Committee also endorsed the views of its predecessor’s report in 2004, which expressed particular support for the split-site and distance learning scholarships offered by the CSC.

The report’s recommendations included a review by the CSC to assess the potential of offering post-qualification funding, and the introduction of a new early-career scholarship.

The Chair of the CSC, Professor Tim Unwin, said ‘We welcome recognition by the Committee – as in their previous report in 2004 – of the contribution made by Commonwealth Scholarships, and the extent to which these are valued in developing countries. The CSC is already exploring ways through which we can do more to support early career academics. One example is the recent introduction of a specific stream in our Academic Fellowships scheme to provide more support for alumni’.

MPs on the Committee met with Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows at a round table earlier this year, convened as part of its inquiry into science and international development.