The University of Cambridge, UK, annually promotes the Gates Cambridge Scholarships, an extensive grant program for graduate students. The 2022/23 edition opens applications in early September for around 80 scholarships offered to international students.
The program was born in October 2000, after a donation of US$ 210 million from the Gates Foundation, created by Bill and Melinda Gates, to the University of Cambridge. The donation was the largest ever made to a UK university.
Scholarships are for master’s, doctoral or one-year graduate programs. Two-thirds of the awards will be offered to PhD students, with approximately 55 available to international students.
Gates Cambridge’s goal is to build a global network of future leaders “committed to improving the lives of others” by selecting outstanding scholars and providing financial and non-financial support.
How Scholarships Work
According to the scholarship website, the selection criteria are: “excellent intellectual ability”, “reasons for choosing the course”, “commitment to improving the lives of others” and “leadership potential”.
Scholarships are full, covering the entire cost of the program to which the candidate is accepted and additional funding. Prizes include:
Grant of £18,384 for 12 months with the possibility of extension;
Economy class airfare at the beginning and end of the course;
Aid for entry visa costs and the cost of immigration health surcharge.
In addition to fixed scholarships, it is possible to request additional aid, such as:
Academic development funding from £500 up to £2,000, depending on course length and attendance at conferences and courses;
“Family Allowance” of up to £10,420 for one child and up to £14,870 for two or more children. However, “no funding is provided to a partner”.
Maintenance of the grant during fieldwork as part of the PhD;
Maternity or paternity funding, if necessary, with the possibility of interrupting studies for up to 6 months and continuing to receive the allowance during this period;
“Difficulty Financing for Unforeseen Difficulties”.
How to Apply for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship
To apply, proof of academic excellence is required, such as “transcripts, references, experience and potential for success in the chosen course”. Candidates for postgraduate programs can applyfull-time. Applications must be made through the Admissions office. Participants must complete the application form for admission to one of the courses that are part of the program and select Gates Cambridge in the funding section.
In the form, the candidate must send:
Declaration of Interest – 3,000 characters maximum (approximately 500 words), explaining why you are applying for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship and how you meet the four main criteria.
For PhD candidates, it is necessary to submit a research proposal as part of the funding request.
Letters of Reference – two academic references for admission and a third written by applicants about suitability for the scholarship.
The application form asks for an assessment of the candidate’s suitability for the scholarship based on the following criteria: intellectual capacity, justification for course choice, commitment to improving the lives of others, and leadership ability. More information about this step at this link.
Gates Cambridge Scholarships apply to all programs with the exception of the following:
- Undergraduate courses;
- Doctorate in Business (BusD);
- Master of Business (MBA);
- Master in Finance (MFin);
- MBBChir Clinical Studies;
- Doctorate in Medicine (6 years, part-time);
- Undergraduate Course in Medicine (A101);
- Part-time courses.
The application period starts on the 15th of September and ends on the 12th of October. More information about dates at this link.
About Cambridge University
Cambridge is the second oldest English-speaking university in the world, after Oxford. Its foundation dates back to 1209 when some Oxford scholars fell out with the natives and ended up going to Cambridge and founding a new institution.
Today there are more than 22,000 students, of which about 12,000 are undergraduates and another 10,000 are postgraduates, including about 5,500 international students from more than 100 countries. Renowned since its inception, Cambridge is organized into 31 faculties and 150 departments, and has an acceptance rate of 20.8%. Taking an undergraduate degree there costs between £15,000 and £38,000, excluding living costs