All Chevening applications must be submitted through our online application system. Here's some tips on how to use it.
References are an integral part of Chevening’s selection process. You must supply the names of two referees when you submit your application.
If your application is progressed to the next stage of the process, you will be required to upload two reference letters to the online application system by 12:00 GMT (midday) on 22 February 2021.* Please note that Chevening will not contact your referees to complete or upload references. It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain and upload references on behalf of referees.
At a later stage, the British embassy or high commission may contact your referees for verification. We advise all applicants to submit two references to the online application system prior to the deadline, and will only in exceptional circumstances accept references submitted in person to the embassy or high commission during interview. The British embassy or high commission in your home country may request that you bring original hard copies of your references with you to interview. You will receive further guidance on this if you are invited to interview.
*If you are applying for a Chevening Fellowship, this deadline may not apply. You will be advised when you need to upload reference letters prior to your interview.
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 Scholarship or Fellowship. Referees should be known to you, either in an academic or professional capacity. They should not be a relative or close personal friend.
When approaching your referees, please direct them to the guidance section below as it contains important information about what they should include in their reference. We also recommend that you ask them to be a referee as early as possible in order to ensure that they have enough time to complete their reference.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I change my referee details on the online application system?
If you need to change your referees before submitting your references prior to the deadline of 22 February 2021, you can do this in the online system. Login to your application and click on ‘Submitted/Under Review Applications’. Click on ‘Open’ and go to section 3: ‘Application Information’. Scroll down to the ‘References’ section. Click on ‘Open’ against the referee you wish to change, then click the ‘Edit Reference Details’ button and enter the details of the new referee. Click ‘Save draft’ to confirm. If you decide to change your referees, you must ensure that they still have enough time to complete their references by the deadline.
Can my references be submitted in another language?
References must be written in English. If you do not have two valid references by the time of interview, you will not be considered for a Chevening Award.
If your referee has written their reference in another language, you can upload this so long as you also upload a notarised translation in English of the original reference. In these cases, the original reference and the notarised translation of the reference must be contained within one file. It is the applicant’s responsibility to arrange a notarised translation if required.
If a reference is submitted in a language other than English and does not have a notarised English translation contained in the same document, we will not be able to accept it.
How do I upload my references on the online application system?
To upload your references, please login to your application and click on ‘Submitted/Under Review Applications’. Click on ‘Open’ and go to section 5: ‘Upload documents and submit’. Scroll down to the ‘References’ section to upload your two letters.
How many references do I need to upload?
You must upload two different references.
If you upload a reference in another language (along with its notarised English translation) this must be in one file and counts as one of your reference uploads.
You can then upload your second reference.
The embassy in my country has temporarily suspended operations. Who should I address my reference letters to?
If the embassy or high commission in your country/territory has temporarily suspended operations, please address your reference letter to ‘Chevening Officer [name of country or territory].’
Instructions for referees
Since references will be reviewed by the British embassy/high commission during the latter stages of the selection process, it is important to provide as much relevant detail as possible to support the applicant.
References must be written in English. Please see above for further details.
Your reference letter should be addressed to the British embassy/high commission in the applicant’s country or territory. If the embassy or high commission in the applicant’s country or territory has temporarily suspended operations, please address your reference letter to ‘Chevening Officer [name of country or territory]’. Once you have completed your reference, please return it to the applicant, who will then upload the reference to the online application system.
Your reference should cover the following:
- Your contact details: address, email address, and phone number
- How long have you known the applicant?
- In what capacity do you know the applicant? (e.g. professional, educational, supervisory, voluntary, religious, etc.)
- When did you last have regular contact with the applicant?
- 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.
If you are shortlisted to interview for a Chevening Award, you will be invited to attend an interview. What can you do to prepare?
If you have a question about references, check our frequently asked questions to see if it has already been answered.
Applications for Chevening Scholarships are closed. Applications will reopen in 2021.