The Gates Cambridge Scholarship Programme was established in October 2000 by a donation of US$210m from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of Cambridge; this is the largest ever single donation to a UK university.
Each year Gates Cambridge offers c.80 full-cost scholarships to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge. Approximately two-thirds of these awards will be offered to PhD students, with approximately 25 awards available in the US round and 55 available in the International round.
The selection criteria are:
- outstanding intellectual ability
- reasons for choice of course
- a commitment to improving the lives of others
- leadership potential
There are at least 225 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.
The Gates Cambridge mission is to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others. It aims to achieve this mission by selecting outstanding scholars, providing them with financial and non-financial support at one of the world’s leading universities and facilitating community building at and beyond Cambridge.
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 full-time residential courses of study at the University of Cambridge:
- One year postgraduate course (with some exceptions – see below)
Courses which are NOT eligible for Gates Cambridge Scholarships:
- Any Undergraduate degree such as BA (undergraduate) or BA affiliated (a second BA)
- Master of Business (MBA)
- Master of Finance (MFin)
- MBBChir Clinical Studies
- MD Doctor of Medicine degree (6 years, part-time)
- Graduate Course in Medicine (A101)
- Part-time degrees
- Non-degree courses
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 (£17,500 for 12 months at the 2020-21 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 from the European Union has been successful in gaining a fees award from public authorities they must accept this and the Trust will not pay these fees.
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.
- Family allowance – up to £10,120 for a first child and up to £4,320 for a second child (2020-21 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
Receiving a salary or substantial other scholarship?
If you are receiving a salary from an employer or have another substantial scholarship, the Trust reserves the right to reduce or not pay the standard maintenance allowance. You should let the Trust know ASAP if you are awarded any funding towards your degree at Cambridge.
The large majority of applicants will apply in this round, which is also aligned with the University’s postgraduate funding competition. There are two possible application deadlines and these are based on course to which your are applying.
|Applications open||1 September 2020|
|Application deadline||Dependent on your course – either 3 December 2020 or 7 January 2021|
|Departmental ranking||December – February|
|Shortlisted candidates invited to interview||Early March|
|All applicants notified of application outcome||12 March 2021|
|Interviews||23 & 24 March 2021 (tbc)|
|Scholarships offered||Late March|
|Scholarships accepted||48 hours after offer|
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