I'm currently in the process of applying for various scholarships to fund my PhD.

Since I'm writing to many different organizations/institutions/etc., I started wondering whether these different funding schemes can be combined. I found it hard to find any reliable information on this matter, so I reckoned I'd ask it here:

Suppose I successfully obtain two scholarships, in two different countries, amounting to roughly $15.000 and $25.000 annually, both excluding coverage for university tuition fees. Should I notify both of them of having obtained the other? Or should I make absolutely sure they'll never find out :) ?

I suppose there'll be severe consequences to keeping it silent -- if so, what?

2 Answers 2


Dave's answer is mostly correct: you should not accept both without the explicit written permission of both scholarship providers.

Some scholarships can be combined, if the fellowship sponsor allows it. However, in general, large-scale fellowships cannot usually be accepted in conjunction with other fellowships. You'll need to choose one or the other.

On the other hand, if you're talking about actual scholarships—by which I mean cash awards directly to you, without being tied to a specific course of study at a specific university—the rules may be more relaxed.

The important thing is to read the rules and conditions associated with each award, and then to ask the sponsors if you have any questions.


You should not accept both.

To check the rules, you should notify each of the providers, in case this is not allowed by one of the universities. I know of one student thrown out of two universities because of this (one of them was a Dutch university). This is more or less equivalent to goodbye academic career.

You may be able to get funding from one university and supplement it with further funding from the same university, assuming that this is within the rules.

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