I'm looking to pursue my Ph.D. degree in a different country. Currently, I'm working on my Master's thesis. The major challenge for me would be to receive a tuition fee waiver from the University I'm applying to. Moreover, I know that some PostDoc students are sometimes able to receive a scholarship in their home country for the duration of their postdoc. Has anyone heard about similar cases with Ph.D.? is it common?

In my case, my home country is Israel, and the one I'm applying to is Australia.

  • Two important bits of information missing: which country are you from and which one are you considering applying to? However, this is likely to be closed as it depends on personal factors.
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 18, 2019 at 9:09
  • Added the missing info in the post, I'm trying to get an understanding if it's a possibility in general. It's clear to me that the answer depends on many personal factors, but would just be happy to see if it's an option
    – Oleg
    Mar 18, 2019 at 9:12
  • Why does it have to be from the home country and not the host country? Australia has some options for incoming students. Mar 18, 2019 at 9:14
  • As far as I understand, when applying for a University I will also be able to apply to the possible scholarships that exist in it. But I'm also curious to know if I have more options that I should check in order to increase my chances
    – Oleg
    Mar 18, 2019 at 9:17
  • 1
    Australia universities have agreements with many different universities around the world. They include joint PhD programs. Sep 16, 2022 at 7:27

2 Answers 2


Some countries (most notably developing countries, such as Vietnam or Pakistan*) have such grants available. I am not convinced that the same will be true for Israel, but it can't hurt to ask. Your best contact point may be the grant office of the university in your home country. They should be able to point you in the right direction.

Note that such grants often have stringent rules about returning back to your home country after finishing your PhD (i.e., they are sometimes constructed as a "loan", which is only forgiven after you have worked back home for a certain number of years). This may not be what you want.

*These countries offer such grants mainly because they themselves lack internationally well-established research universities to train their own scientific next generation (it's essentially a bootstrap problem). The reason why we don't typically see similar grants in developed countries is because they don't need for their young scientists to be trained elsewhere - they can also just study in their home country to similar effect. Given that Israel has a number of strong universities of its own, I doubt that they provide such a mechanism.

  • I think this is correct. It is, however, more common to find stipends that can cover a shorter period (usually up to a year). Such opportunities could still be worth looking into, as it can help fund the initial move, or a research visit somewhere.
    – Anyon
    Mar 18, 2019 at 11:19
  • 1
    +1. Just to add a few countries as examples: very common in Arab Gulf countries, quite common in Latin America (at least Brazil and Mexico). Overall it's quite common, in my institution I'd say about 10-20% of the PhDs are funded by the country of origin.
    – Erwan
    Mar 18, 2019 at 11:27
  • @Erwan Yes, in my old alma mater we also had a few such students, typically from Pakistan and Vietnam (hence my examples).
    – xLeitix
    Mar 18, 2019 at 11:29
  • 1
    Canada also does that, with no string attached (see Postdoctoral fellowship nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/PD-NP/PDF-BP_eng.asp) and for totally other reasons.
    – Emilie
    Mar 18, 2019 at 12:41
  • Singapore, my home country, does this. If you break the terms of your scholarship, you may well get shamed in the newspapers. I remember reading about several people on the receiving end of this treatment going up. They generally got offers that were very difficult to refuse (e.g. research fellowship at a very prestigious lab in the host country).
    – Weiwen Ng
    Mar 18, 2019 at 15:59

You have to be careful and more specific when you ask and answer this sort of questions, to avoid the so-called survivorship bias. Basically, there are two ways of measuring it:

  1. Of those who are currently students at the HE, which fraction is supported by a studentship from their own country?
  2. Of those who wanted / applied for such a studentship, which fraction is supported?

These fractions are not the same. University data may provide answer to (1). However, the answer to (2), which is more relevant to you, can only be obtained from organisations providing the support. It is recognised that funding mechanisms in some countries may be not very transparent and/or not equally fair to all applicants, which makes statistical based approach less effective. In case of Israel this is probably less of a concern, but you may confirm it with your local network to get more reliable information.

  • Thanks for your answer @Dmitry, but my question wasn't about getting the exact percentage. It was more directed to receive an answer from people that had such personal experience or of someone related to them. In this case I'm actually looking for such "survivors" to see if they exist at all. Nevertheless, your answer is helpful and I'd vote it up if I've had the option :)
    – Oleg
    Mar 18, 2019 at 16:18

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