Gates Cambridge Scholarships are prestigious, highly competitive full-cost scholarships. They are awarded to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.
The programme aims to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others.
Established in 2000 by a donation of US$210m from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of Cambridge, the Gates Cambridge Scholarships are one of the most prestigious international scholarships in the world. The Gates Cambridge Trust, also established in October 2000, is regulated by the Higher Education Funding Council in England via the University of Cambridge.
University of Cambridge in the UK
EligibilityYou 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 full-time residential courses of study: PhD (three year research-only degree); MSc or MLitt (two year research-only degree); or a one year postgraduate course (e.g. MPhil, LLM, MASt, Diploma, MBA etc.)
• already a student at Cambridge and want to apply for a new postgraduate course. For example, if you are studying for an MPhil you can apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to do a PhD. However, if you have already started a course, you cannot apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to fund the rest of it.
• already a Gates Cambridge Scholar and want to apply for a second Scholarship. You must apply by the second, international deadline and go through the same process of departmental ranking, shortlisting and interviewing as all other candidates.
Gates Cambridge Scholarships are awarded on the following criteria
• outstanding intellectual ability
• leadership potential
• a commitment to improving the lives of others
• a good fit between the applicant’s qualifications and aspirations and the postgraduate programme at Cambridge for which they are applying
Citizens of ALL countries outside the United Kingdom
ALL full-time postgraduate degrees offered at the University of Cambridge, UK. While at Cambridge, Scholars pursue full range of subjects available at the University and are spread through its departments and Colleges.
Applicants may apply to pursue one of the following full-time residential courses of study:
• PhD (three year research-only degree); or
• MSc or MLitt (two year research-only degree); or
• a one year postgraduate course (e.g. MPhil, LLM, MASt, Diploma, MBA etc.)
Courses which are NOT eligible for Gates Cambridge Scholarships:
• BA (undergraduate)
• BA affiliated (a second BA)
• MBBChir Clinical Studies
• Part-time degrees
• Non-degree courses
• Courses at universities other than Cambridge
A Gates Cambridge Scholarship covers the full cost of studying at Cambridge.
The core funding includes:
• the University Composition Fee and College fees at the appropriate rate*
• a maintenance allowance for a single student (£13, 300 for 12 months at the 2012-13 rate; pro rata for courses shorter than 12 months)
• one economy single airfare at both the beginning and end of the course
The Trust also considers applications for several types of additional funding on a discretionary basis:
• Family allowance – up to £7,775 for a first child and up to £1,200 for a second child. No funding is provided for a partner.
• Conference attendance – up to £500 a year if you are presenting.
• Fieldwork – you may apply to keep up to your normal maintenance allowance while on fieldwork as part of your PhD.
• Some fourth year funding for PhD Scholars may be provided – but the termly maintenance allowance reduces per term for up to a year**
• Hardship funding – if there are unforeseen difficulties
Method of Application
At a glance: a citizen of any country outside the UK may apply; scholarships are available for a postgraduate degree in any subject at the University of Cambridge only – it is not possible to study at any other university; Gates Cambridge does not admit or place scholars – all applications must be made through the University of Cambridge; AND One application form for postgraduate admission and a Scholarship.
If eligible to apply, you will need to submit the one application pack for both admission to a postgraduate course at the University of Cambridge and a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. The University decides who to admit and Gates Cambridge decides who is offered the Scholarship.
For a Standard Application (via the Graduate Admissions Office), you may apply here:
There are two application rounds: Round 1 – US citizens normally resident in the USA; AND Round 2 – citizens of all countries other than the USA (except the United Kingdom) and US citizens normally resident outside the USA.
You are advised to begin your application as early as possible and not wait until the deadline. The next application round opens in early September 2013 for entry in October 2014. Scholarship deadlines for Round 1 – US citizens based in the USA – 15 October 2013; AND for Round 2 – all other eligible candidates – 3 December 2013.
For year round timetables and application deadlines, see the Deadline Page.
Once you have submitted your application you and your referees will receive an email notification from the Graduate Admissions Office within 30 hours explaining how to upload supporting documents and references. You must submit this documentation by the deadlines given.
Once your application has been received, the Trust will ask academic departments in Cambridge to rank their very best candidates. A shortlisting committee then applies the four main criteria of the Scholarships to produce a final interview list.
Interviews are held in the USA in early February for Round 1 candidates AND in Cambridge in late March for Round 2 candidates. If you are unable to attend in person you will be interviewed by Skype or phone. You will be told within a week of the interview whether you have been successful.
To apply,click here