The dates in this blog post refer to the timeline for 2017/2018 scholarships. To find the latest deadline dates, please read the current application timeline

As you probably already know, the deadline to submit your references is Monday, 27 February. Many of you have been asking why you’re required to provide references before you’ve even been asked to interview, so we’ve tried to answer this question in a short blog.

References are an important part of your application

They will be reviewed by your British Embassy/High Commission and add both an extra dimension to your application and additional context to what you’ve already said about yourself.

Referees support your application

Referees are important primarily for what they say about you. However, being able to secure two referees also serves as an indication that you are able to leverage your network and influence people into supporting you. These are qualities that are typical of successful applicants.

Scholarships don’t go unused

It’s important that you submit references early on. If references are only checked later on in the process, and it turns out that the references do not hold up, that could mean that someone else may not be able to take up the opportunity at such short notice and scholarships may go to waste.

You have confidence

Submitting your references at this point actually puts you in a more secure position because, if you pass the interview stage, you will know that you can go through the rest of the selection process knowing that your references have been accepted, rather than worrying about whether you can secure referees after you’ve already got so far down the line.

Demonstration of awareness and organisation

The timeline – including all key dates such as reference deadlines – was published in July 2016, so we’d like to think that this particular deadline would have been clear from the outset. Those who are prepared and organised are advantaged and, again, these are also qualities that we’d expect to find in future leaders!

More time to submit your references

In previous years, we asked all applicants to submit their references with their initial application. That’s a whole three months earlier!

This year we’ve given applicants more time to submit them, and also require a lower proportion of applicants to do so.

Masters’ courses generally require references as well

Many masters’ courses require you to submit references anyway, so you might already be contacting suitable referees if you’re planning to apply to study on such a course in the UK.


For more detailed guidance about referees, read our guidance page about referees.

You can also view our application timeline which outlines the key dates in the application process can be viewed here.

We look forward to receiving your two valid referees via the online application system by 12:00 GMT on Monday, 26 February. We know some of you are still eagerly awaiting the outcome of your applications, and we thank you for your patience. Chevening Scholarships are very competitive. We received tens of thousands of applications this year for a finite number of places. Applications have to be reviewed closely in order to ensure that each one gets the attention it deserves. Just as it took you time to put together your application, it also takes time to review them. So, whilst this is going on, we ask you to use this time to prepare references in case you receive one of those good news emails from us!