Each year, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funds Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge. Gates Cambridge Scholarship covers the full cost of studying at Cambridge. It also provides additional, discretionary funding.The aim of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship programme is to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others.
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.
At Cambridge, Scholars pursue the full range of subjects available at the University and are spread through its departments and Colleges.
Course Level: Gates Cambridge Scholarship is available to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree (PhD, MSc or MLitt or one-year postgraduate course) in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.
Study Subject (s): Gates Cambridge Scholarship is awarded to study any subject available at the University of Cambridge.
Scholarship Award: A Gates Cambridge Scholarship covers the full cost of studying at Cambridge. It also provides additional, discretionary funding. The Gates Cambridge Scholarship is one of the most generous international scholarships available. It covers the following costs:
the University Composition Fee at the appropriate rate*
a maintenance allowance for a single student (£14,600 for 12 months at the 2016-17 rate; pro rata for courses shorter than 12 months)
one economy single airfare at both the beginning and end of the course
inbound visa costs & associated NHS surcharge costs
The Trust also considers applications for several types of additional funding on a discretionary basis:
Academic development funding – from £500 to £1,500, 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 (2016-17 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.
Hardship funding – for unforeseen difficulties
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
Some fourth year funding for PhD Scholars may be provided**
*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 PhD at Cambridge is a three-year degree and Gates Cambridge Scholars should take on a research project that they and their Supervisor think can be completed within three years. However, if there are unforeseen circumstances which mean you need further funding during all or part of your fourth year, the Trust will consider an application on a discretionary basis. But you should not rely on receiving any fourth year funding when you start your PhD.
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.
What is not covered
Most costs are covered by the Scholarship but Gates Cambridge does not cover bench fees or the costs of scientific equipment or similar academic resources. The Trust expects such core course costs to be covered by the academic department at Cambridge.
Scholarship can be taken in the UK
Eligibility: Scholarships are available for a postgraduate degree in any subject at Cambridge for applicants who are ordinarily resident outside the United Kingdom, Applicants can apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship if they 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:
PhD (three-year research-only degree)
MSc or MLitt (two-year research-only degree)
One year postgraduate course (e.g. MPhil, LLM, MASt, Diploma, MBA etc.)
Applicants can use the form below to quickly check if they are eligible to apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship and, if so, in which of the two application rounds you must apply. Applicants will find full details about our eligibility criteria further down the page.
Current student at Cambridge?
If they are currently studying at Cambridge and wish to apply for a new postgraduate course they can apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. For example, if they are currently studying for an MPhil they can apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue a PhD. The application round they must apply in will be determined by their country of ordinary residence – please use the eligibility checker above. Please also note that if you currently studying at Cambridge but are normally resident in the USA they will now need to apply in the earlier US round.
If they have already started a course you cannot apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to fund the remainder of it.
Current Gates Cambridge Scholars may also apply for a second scholarship if they are applying for a new degree.
Nationality: Citizens of any country outside the United Kingdom can apply for these bill gates scholarships.
College Admission Requirement
Entrance Requirement: Applicants must have their previous degree.
Test Requirement: No
English Language Requirements: Graduate Admissions Office or academic department may require some applicants to submit the following for admission to the University:
English language test scores (if English is not your first language)
A research proposal, an example of your written work, a GRE/GMAT score, etc. Not all applicants will be required to submit such documents
How to Apply: Applicants apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship and admission to their chosen postgraduate course at the University of Cambridge and a Cambridge College via the Graduate Admissions Office, using the Graduate Application Form and supporting documents. It is not possible to apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship without applying to the University of Cambridge. You must apply for admission as a postgraduate student at the University of Cambridge and a Gates Cambridge Scholarship at the same time, using the one application pack. To be considered for postgraduate admission and a Gates Cambridge Scholarship all applicants must submit the following documents to the Graduate Admissions Office by the relevant deadline:-
Graduate Application Form (which includes a Gates Cambridge section)
2 academic references
1 personal reference (for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship)
Application Deadline: The deadlines are as follows: Round 1 (US citizens based in the USA) – 12 October 2016 and Round 2 (all other eligible candidates) – 7 December 2016.