Gates Cambridge Scholarship Programme 2023/2024 for Study at the University of Cambridge, UKGrants 29.09.2022
A Gates Cambridge Scholarship covers the full cost of studying at Cambridge.
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. The first class of scholars came into residence in October 2001.
Each year Gates Cambridge offers c.80 full-cost scholarships to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a 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, as well as forming their own distinctive community.
There is currently a community of more than 1,700 Gates Cambridge Alumni spread across the world.
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.
Who can apply?
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 2023 entry, Gates Cambridge is piloting a scheme which allows applicants to apply for funding for a part-time doctoral degree.
Current student at Cambridge?
If you are currently studying at Cambridge and wish to apply for a new postgraduate course you can apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. For example, if you are currently studying for an MPhil you can apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue a PhD. Current Gates Cambridge Scholars may also apply for a second scholarship if they are applying for a new degree. All current Cambridge students will be considered the second, international round. However, if you have already started a course (e.g. you are currently part way through a PhD) you cannot apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to fund the remainder of it.
General funding at Cambridge
Whether or not you are eligible for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship you may be eligible for other funding offered by the University of Cambridge. See www.student-funding.cam.ac.uk for more details.
Courses which Gates Cambridge does NOT consider:
- Any Undergraduate degree, such as BA (undergraduate) or BA affiliated (a second BA)
- Business Doctorate (BusD)
- Master of Business (MBA)
- Master of Finance (MFin)
- MASt courses
- MBBChir Clinical Studies
- MD Doctor of Medicine degree (6 years, part-time, Home students only)
- Graduate Course in Medicine (A101)
- Part-time degrees other than the PhD
- Non-degree courses
What we are looking for
Our Scholars come from diverse backgrounds and each brings something unique to the programme. We use four criteria to select them.
To be competitive for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship candidates must show evidence of academic excellence (through their transcripts, references, experience and the potential to succeed on the chosen course). Academic departments at the University of Cambridge nominate only the most academically outstanding applicants for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which ensures that those whom we select will thrive at Cambridge.
Reasons for choice of course
You should be able to make a strong case for a particular postgraduate degree at Cambridge. PhD applicants (and most research MPhil applicants) will need to make contact with a potential supervisor with whom they will develop a research project, a summary of which is part of the application. You will need to demonstrate that you have the academic background and the necessary skills and expertise to complete the course. Taught MPhil and other applicants need to make a strong case for how completing the proposed course will facilitate their career plans. Gates Cambridge seeks Scholars who will have an academically transformative experience at Cambridge, so it is important that you fully research and justify the course for which you are applying.
A commitment to improving the lives of others
A defining characteristic of the Gates Cambridge programme is the commitment of our Scholars to improving the lives of others. We interpret this criterion broadly and applicants define it themselves by providing evidence of their past, current and future commitment to the societies in which they will live and work.
A capacity for leadership
Successful applicants must be able to demonstrate a capacity for leadership, which can be expressed in a multitude of ways. Applicants should provide evidence of their leadership experience to date and indicate the ways in which their leadership skills may have impact in the future careers.
A note on the ratio of PhD:Masters awards
In order to create and sustain a viable Scholar community in Cambridge University and for Scholars to take full advantage of their time in Cambridge, we aim to select approximately 2/3 PhD scholars each year. Those applying for taught Masters should pay special attention to explaining why this is the optimal course for them and how it is critical to their future academic or professional training plans.