References are an integral part of the selection process. References are required for both the fellowship and scholarship programmes. The reference letters must be written by your chosen referees and sent to you to upload to your online application.  

We will not accept references that are sent directly to the Secretariat or to your local British Embassy/High Commission.

Who can be a referee?

Please select your referees carefully; they should be people who can comment on your general suitability to receive a Chevening Award. Referees should be known to you, either in an academic or professional capacity. They should not be a relative or close personal friend.

References must be:

  • Written in English. Your application will not be considered for an award if your references are not written in English.
  • Provided in a letter format, preferably typed, and addressed to the British Embassy or High Commission (the mailing address of the diplomatic mission is not required)
  • Uploaded to your application form in PDF format. The file must be no larger than 5MB.

When approaching your referees please direct them to the guidance section below on what they should include in their reference.

What should referees include in their reference?

References are an important part of the Chevening application process and they are considered alongside the application form throughout the selection process. They will be reviewed by the British Embassy/High Commission so it is important that you provide as much relevant detail as possible to support the applicant.

If you have been asked to provide a reference to support a Chevening application please read below for further details on what to include:

Your reference should be provided in a letter format and it must be in English. References that are not written in English will mean that the applicant will not be considered for a Chevening Award.

Your reference should cover the following:

1) How long have you known the applicant? 
2) In what capacity do you know the applicant? (e.g. professional, educational, supervisory, voluntary, religious) 
3) When you last had regular contact with the applicant?
4) A brief overall endorsement of the applicant, including their:

  • Skills in leadership and networking
  • Personal, intellectual, and interpersonal qualities
  • Ability to complete a demanding academic programme in the UK

When to upload your references

If you are invited to interview you will be required to upload two valid references to the online application centre prior to attending your interview. We recommend that you obtain your two references in good time to ensure they are ready and available to upload should you be invited to attend an interview.