Information abut applying for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship and admission to the University for entry in October 2011 will be available – via the University’s Graduate Studies Prospectus – from June 2010 and applications will open on 1 September 2010
The Gates Cambridge Scholarship is highly competitive international scholarship programme for graduate study and research at the University of Cambridge.
All applicants apply simultaneously for admission to the University and for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. The Trust does not admit or place scholars.
Before submitting an application you should check that you are eligible, read through the ideal candidate section and check which application deadline applies to you.
Who is Eligible
Candidates for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship:
- may be citizens of any country outside the United Kingdom.
- may apply to study any subject available at the University of Cambridge.
- may apply to pursue one of the following full-time residential courses of study:
- PhD (three year research-only degree)
- One year postgraduate course (e.g. MPhil, LLM, MASt, Diploma, MBA etc.)
- MSc or MLitt (two year research-only degree)
- MBBChir Clinical Studies (four year postgraduate degree)
- must be admitted to one of the degrees above at Cambridge through the University’s normal admission procedures. The Trust does not admit students.
- must be well prepared for the Cambridge course for which they are applying and must meet all of the conditions for admission specified by the University (e.g. academic, English language proficiency, if required, and any other conditions set).
- must be able to show evidence of high academic achievement, leadership potential, social commitment and a good fit with Cambridge.
- who are already studying at Cambridge are only eligible to apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship if they are applying for a new course of study (e.g. a one year ‘MPhil only’ student may apply for funding to continue on to the PhD). Candidates already studying at Cambridge who are not applying for a new course of study (e.g. have already started their PhD) are not eligible to be considered for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship.
The Ideal Candidate
There is no one template for a Gates Scholar: each scholar is different and brings something unique to the programme.
However, when selecting Gates Scholars, the Trust looks for students with enthusiasm, robustness of intellect, a willingness to engage and an appropriate humility that comes from an awareness that nothing is ever really simple.
In particular, Gates Scholars will be driven by the values of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which include a commitment to reducing inequities and improving lives around the world. The Foundation’s mission is to increase opportunity and equity for those most in need, particularly in the areas of health and education, often through the use of science and technology.
The Trust expects a good match to be made between the applicant’s qualifications and aspirations and what Cambridge has to offer. Successful applicants will have the ability to make a significant contribution to their discipline while in Cambridge, with a strong aptitude for research, analysis and a creative approach to defining and solving problems.
For the USA:
- c. 800 eligible applicants apply for admission and funding
- c. 200 highly ranked by Departments
- c. 100 invited to interview
- c. 30 offered a Gates Cambridge Scholarship after interview
For all other countries:
- c. 7,000 eligible applicants apply for admission and funding
- c. 300 are highly ranked by Departments
- c. 100 are invited to interview
- c. 50 offered a Gates Cambridge Scholarship after interview
Competition for admission to the University of Cambridge and for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship is intense.
The University of Cambridge is normally ranked in the top three universities worldwide. It typically receives over 9,000 applications for graduate study from non-British applicants, approximately 1,700 of whom take up their place at Cambridge.
Once applicants have applied for admission and a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, the Trust asks academic departments in Cambridge to rank their very best candidates. A shortlisting committee then applies the four main criteria of the scholarships to produce a final interview list. Gates Scholars are selected after interview.
A Gates Cambridge Scholarship covers the full cost of studying at Cambridge, namely:
- the University Composition Fee and College fees at the appropriate rate*
- a maintenance allowance for a single student (£12, 500 for 12 months at the 2009-10 rate; pro rata for courses shorter then 12 months)
- one economy single airfare at both the beginning and end of the course
- A discretionary contribution towards the costs of supporting dependants at Cambridge (upon application).
Once in residence, Gates Scholars may apply for financial help with the costs of attending conferences, undertaking fieldwork and other activities.
*The University Composition Fee varies for different types of students and 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, the Trust will not pay these fees
All candidates shortlisted for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship attend a 20-25 minute interview. The interviews are conducted by a panel of three to five members, knowledgeable in a general way about the candidate’s field of study.
Candidates are be asked about their work: why it excites them; what they know about the broader field of which it is part; why it is important; why coming to Cambridge will help them with their research or build on their earlier educational experiences. Also, do they understand that higher education brings privilege and opens opportunity for the future; what do they intend to do with the benefits they’ve had; how do they see themselves contributing in time. Candidates may also be asked questions of a probing intellectual or ethical dimension, to which there are no ‘right’ answers.
Interviews for candidates from the United States who have not previously studied for a degree at the University of Cambridge are usually held in Annapolis, MD at the beginning of February for entry in the following October. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted before the Christmas break. The Trust normally interviews about 100 US candidates and, after interview, awards about 30 Gates Cambridge Scholarships, depending on the total number of awards available in that year.
Interviews for candidates from all other countries (and for candidates from the United States who have previously studied, or are currently studying, a degree at Cambridge) are held in Cambridge and are either conducted in person or by telephone (depending on the candidate’s location) in late March. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted in early March. The Trust normally interviews about 100 candidates and, after interview, awards about 50 Gates Cambridge Scholarships, depending on the total number of awards available in that year.
All candidates are informed of the results of their interview within a week.
Application Deadline : 15 October 2010
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