Award Details

The Gates Cambridge Scholarships are highly competitive full-cost scholarships awarded to outstanding applicants from outside the UK to pursue a postgraduate degree in any subject at the University of Cambridge. In many ways similar to the Rhodes, Marshall Scholarships, and Mitchell, as all  emphasize intellectual ability, leadership and civic-mindedness, the Gates Cambridge differs in that it provides funding for postgraduate study at the University for the duration of the degree.

The Scholarship was founded in 2001 with a $210 million gift by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, whose major philanthropic foci are: health, equity, technology, and learning. The Gates Cambridge Scholarship program aims to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others.


Eligibility Criteria

The Gates Cambridge Scholarships are available for graduate study or for study for a second Bachelor’s Degree as an Affiliated Student at the University of Cambridge. Applicants from every country of the world, except the United Kingdom, are eligible to apply.

Candidates should normally be under the age of 30. To qualify for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, students must be admitted to Cambridge through the University’s normal academic procedures. Consequently, applicants must meet the academic criteria for admission specified by the University. Candidates must be well prepared for the course for which they are applying at Cambridge. To learn more about applying to Cambridge, visit their graduate admissions web site.

All candidates must have, or expect to obtain before beginning study in Cambridge, a Bachelor degree, or its equivalent, from a recognized university.Candidates will be expected to have excellent transcripts with high GPA scores showing evidence of sustained achievement in study.

Selection Criteria

The Gates Cambridge is an enormously valuable fellowship, both in terms of the monetary resources it provides and the lifelong community of scholars and leaders one joins. The selection criteria for such an award are, therefore, quite high.

The Scholarships are awarded on the following criteria:

  • intellectual ability
  • leadership capacity
  • a person’s desire to use their knowledge to contribute to global society by providing service to their communities and applying their talents and knowledge to improve the lives of others
  • a good fit between the abilities and aspirations of the applicant and what the University of Cambridge can offer in its graduate program.

Scholars are expected to become leaders in their fields and give back to society in ways that they are best placed to do so. Interested students must apply separately for and earn entry into Cambridge University.


Application Procedures

Applicants from the United States of America who have not previously studied at the University of Cambridge who wish to apply for admission as a graduate student and for awards offered by the Cambridge Trusts must complete and submit a Graduate Admission and Scholarship Application Form (GRADSAF) to the Board of Graduate Studies. The GRADSAF form is available in hard copy from the printed version of the Graduate Studies Prospectus 2010-11; it can also be accessed electronically by downloading the GRADSAF form as a pdf document or by completing the GRADSAF form online (£25 fee).


Award Benefits

The scholarship covers the full cost of study at Cambridge for a single person in terms of all approved University and College tuition fees, a maintenance allowance (£8,800 for 12 months); a further discretionary allowance for study-related activities (£2,200 per year) and one return economy airfare between the UK and the Scholar’s normal country of residence.


On Campus Contact Information

Jonna Iacono, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Fellowships
Northeastern University
450 Dodge Hall
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Phone: 617.373.3202

Fellowship Contact Information

Gates Cambridge Trust
PO BOX 252
Cambridge CB2 1TZ England