British Council scholarships programme to support women in STEM

Sri Lankan students encouraged to apply to continue their STEM education at a
prestigious UK university

supports women wishing to pursue their postgraduate study in science, technology, engineering or maths at a university in the UK.

This prestigious scholarship will allow over 100 women from selected countries (including from South Asia, East Asia, wider Europe, and the Americas) to obtain a master’s degree or an Early Academic Fellowship from a globally-ranked UK university, giving them the opportunity to further develop their STEM careers, and as a result positively impact their communities.

According to data from the UN Scientific Education and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), fewer than 30 percent of researchers worldwide are women, and only 30 percent of female students select STEM-related fields in higher education. Globally, female students’ enrolment is particularly low in Information and Communications Technology (three percent), natural science, mathematics and statistics (five percent), and engineering, manufacturing and construction (eight percent).

Partnering with 19 universities across the UK, this global scholarship scheme includes tuition fees, a monthly stipend, travel costs, visa and health coverage fees, and is open to women who can demonstrate their need for financial support. Women with dependants are also encouraged to apply, with extra support made available to them.

The last cohort of 120 scholars were enrolled for their chosen course last Autumn.

“My dream of studying in the UK was made possible thanks to the British Council women in STEM (WIS) scholarship programme and Goldsmiths, University of London,” said Dilanka Kamali Ratnayake, currently pursuing a master’s degree in Social Entrepreneurship. “The British Council women in STEM scholarship has allowed me to grow both professionally and personally. Not only did I get to learn about the latest developments in this field of Social Entrepreneurship, but I also had the privilege to attend seminars and workshops conducted by some of the best minds in the field. It has given me the chance to explore different cultures and gain invaluable knowledge and skills that are essential for any career path I choose in the future. I am grateful for this opportunity and am looking forward to what lies ahead!”“Being an Engineer in the construction industry in Sri Lanka, I have constantly been eager to learn about how the industry can improve in terms of better processes and sustainable practices,” said Sayuri Sumithrarachchi, a WIS scholar currently studying at the University of London. “As a part of my master’s in Construction Management, I’m learning about new concepts in the field, which are expanding my views beyond traditional construction methodologies. Studying in the UK also exposed me to a fraternity of incredible people from around the globe, from whom I am learning

about different cultures and practices. In addition to the tuition cost, the scholarship covered all my travel costs and provided me with a monthly stipend as well. This has enabled me to concentrate on my studies and make the most of this opportunity. Studying in the UK so far has been a transformative experience for me, and I believe this scholarship is a wonderful opportunity that supports women in STEM-related fields to reach further in their careers.”

Prospective candidates from Sri Lanka can apply for both the Master’s Scholarships and Early Academic Fellowships.

“The UK has a world-renowned higher education sector that is truly international,” said Orlando Edwards, Country Director at the British Council Sri Lanka. “These scholarships will enable talented women to take up a life-changing opportunity to develop their careers in their chosen STEM fields, and then to harness the experience to make a greater impact for good when they return home. I would highly encourage women from Sri Lanka to apply for this opportunity at the earliest.”

For more information, including a full list of participating UK universities and available courses, please visit:

Applications are open for the British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM, and application deadlines vary, depending on the UK institution – but are between March and May 2023.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. Last year we reached over 67 million people directly and 745 million people overall including online, and through broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.

What does the Scholarship scheme cover?

The British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM includes tuition fees, stipend, travel costs, visa and health coverage fees. The scholarship also has a special support for mothers.

When is the deadline to apply?

Deadline for application to chosen course and scholarship will be in March 2023. These may vary depending on the institution. Further information is available on the website.

Can women with children apply to the scholarship?

Yes, special support will be given to women travelling with dependent children.

Where can I find more information regarding the scholarship?

You can visit our British Council webpage that contains general information about the scholarship, and the link to each participating university:

Who can I contact regarding the scholarship?

Each university has a link and a named contact. All details are provided on the scholarship web page. If you wish to contact the British Council you can send an email to

Which masters are included in the scheme?

Each university has published a list of masters that scholars can apply to. Please refer to the web page of the university for the full list of programmes available.

Is there an age limit to apply?

No, there is no age limit for this scholarship.

Which are the eligible countries?

You have to be a citizen of one of the following countries to apply:

South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan & Sri Lanka.

Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru & Venezuela.

East Asia: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand & Vietnam.

How many scholarships are there?

There are over 100 scholarships available for courses starting in Autumn 2023. There are 45 scholarships available in the Americas, 48 in South Asia and 15 in East Asia.

If I am not successful this year, can I apply next year?

At the moment there is no guarantee British Council will be opening this scholarship next year, therefore we strongly encourage you to apply this year.

If I did my undergrad degree in the UK, can I apply for the scholarship to do my master’s degree?

No, this scholarship is only available for women that have not previously studied in the UK.

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