The Gates Cambridge Scholarship Programme, initiated in October 2000, stands as a remarkable testament to philanthropy and educational advancement. This visionary endeavor was made possible through an extraordinary contribution of US$210 million by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of Cambridge, marking the largest single donation ever received by a UK university. The program welcomed its inaugural cohort of scholars in October 2001, embarking on a journey to transform the lives of exceptional individuals from across the globe.
Over the years, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship Trust has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to nurturing talent and fostering international collaboration. With a proud legacy, the Trust has granted over 2,000 scholarships to outstanding scholars hailing from more than 100 countries, thus amplifying the impact of this transformative initiative on a global scale.
Annually, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship Programme extends a generous offer of around 80 full-cost scholarships to exceptional candidates from countries beyond the United Kingdom. These scholarships are designed to support postgraduate studies in a diverse array of subjects available at the University of Cambridge. Notably, a significant portion of these awards, approximately two-thirds, is dedicated to PhD students. The program distinguishes between the US round, with approximately 25 scholarships, and the International round, which offers an impressive 55 scholarships, ensuring a broad and inclusive reach that transcends borders and boundaries.
Requirements For The Gates Cambridge Scholarship Programme
You can apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship if you are:
- a citizen of any country outside the United Kingdom
- applying to pursue one of the following courses at the University of Cambridge:
- PhD (full-time or part-time*)
- MLitt (full-time)
- One year postgraduate course (full-time), with some exceptions – see below
* For October 2024 entry, Gates Cambridge is continuing to pilot a scheme which allows applicants to apply for funding for a part-time doctoral degree.
The selection criteria are:
- outstanding intellectual ability
- reasons for choice of course
- a commitment to improving the lives of others
- leadership potential
There are approximately 250 Scholars from c. 50 countries studying in Cambridge at any one time who pursue the full range of subjects available at the University and are spread across its departments and Colleges, as well as forming their own distinctive community.
A Gates Cambridge Scholarship covers the full cost of studying at Cambridge. It also provides additional, discretionary funding.
- the University Composition Fee at the appropriate rate*
- a maintenance allowance for a single student (£20,000 for 12 months at the 2023-24 rate; pro rata for courses shorter than 12 months) – for PhD scholars the award is for up to 4 years
- one economy single airfare at both the beginning and end of the course
- inbound visa costs & the cost of the Immigration Health Surcharge
* The University Composition Fee varies for different types of students; applicants should see the Graduate Studies prospectus for full details about precise amounts. Where a student has been successful in gaining a fee award from public authorities (such as the UKRI) they should accept this award and the Trust will not pay their fee or may share their fee and maintenance costs.
The Trust also considers applications for several types of additional funding on a discretionary basis:
- Academic development funding – from up to £500 to up to £2,000, dependent on the length of your course, to attend conferences and courses.
- Dependent Children Allowance – up to £11,604 for one child and up to £16,548 for two or more children (2023-24 rate). No funding is provided for a partner.
- Fieldwork – you may apply to keep up to your normal maintenance allowance while on fieldwork as part of your PhD (the Trust does not fund other fieldwork costs as these should be funded by the University Composition Fee).
- Maternity/Paternity funding – should you require it, you may apply to intermit your studies for up to 6 months and continue to receive your maintenance allowance during this time
- Hardship funding – for unforeseen difficulties facing the scholar
|Applications open*||Monday 4 September 2023|
|Application deadline*||Dependent on your course – either 5 December 2023 or 4 January 2024 (see Course Directory)|
|Departmental ranking||December – February|
|All applicants notified of application outcome||by Monday 4 March 2024|
|Review and selection by panels||Monday 25 March 2024 and Tuesday 26 March 2024 (TBC)|
|Scholarships offered||by Friday 29 March|
|Scholarships accepted||72 hours after offer|
Method of Application
A Combined Application Form
Applicants submit their application for admission and funding (Gates Cambridge and other funding) via the University’s Graduate Application Portal.
To be considered for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship you must complete the section to apply for admission to a course and a College place and the Gates Cambridge part of the funding section. Gates Cambridge has access to the full application for admission and funding when reviewing applications.
The Admission Section
In this section you are applying to a specific graduate course and a College place. You will provide all of the usual details about yourself, your academic background, plans and suitability for the proposed course.
Application Deadline: 4 January 2024
For More Information: