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.
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.
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 (£18,744 for 12 months at the 2022-23 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 has been successful in gaining a fees award from public authorities (such as the UKRI) 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 £10,944 for one child and up to £15,612 for two or more children (2022-23 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 facing the scholar
The selection criteria are:
- outstanding intellectual ability
- reasons for choice of course
- a commitment to improving the lives of others
- leadership potential
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
January 5, 2023