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    Gates Cambridge Scholarship

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    Sugandhi Sood

    Study Abroad Expert | Updated on - Apr 16, 2021

    The Gates Cambridge Scholarship program honors 80 outstanding international postgraduate applicants with full-cost scholarships. This scholarship is specifically provided to the excellent scholars applying to the University of Cambridge.

    This scholarship not only covers the full cost of studying in the UK but also provides the funds for various non-academic requirements.

    • The scholarship applications are accepted in a couple of rounds, where 25 recipients are awarded the grant in the US round and 55 students receive it in the international round.
    • Approximately 65% of the scholars receiving this scholarship are Ph.D. students.
    • A citizen of any nation outside the UK can apply for the scholarship.
    • The courses for which the scholarship is applicable are, M.Sc, M.Litt, Ph.D. and most of the one-year PG courses.
    • Students who are currently studying at the University of Cambridge can apply for this scholarship if they have not started a PG course already.
    • The application process opens in September of every year and the deadlines vary depending upon the course and type of the scholarship.

    The Gates Cambridge Scholarship funds the tuition fees, self-maintenance cost, travel costs, academic development grants, allowances for family, maternity/ paternity and even hardship finances for unforeseen issues securing the positive mindset of the students while studying.


    Scholarship TypeMerit-Based, College-Specific, Full-Ride-Scholarships
    Offered byInstitution
    OrganizationUniversity of Cambridge
    Application Deadline Sep 30 ,2021
    No. of Scholarships80
    International Students EligibleYes
    Scholarship Website Link

    Eligibility Criteria

    There are certain guidelines to be adhered to apply for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship program. Those will only be the eligible applicants who:

    • Are citizens of any country not belonging to the UK.
    • Applying to attain any of the full-time residential courses at the University of Cambridge.
    • Secures admission in any of the following degrees of study:
      • Ph.D.
      • M.Sc. or M.Litt.
      • PG course of 1 year
    • Can be a current student at the University of Cambridge and planning to apply for a suitable course next year but should not register themselves in any other course in between.

    The programs that are NOT eligible for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship are:

    • Undergraduate Degree
    • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
    • PGCE
    • Master of Finance (MFin)
    • Business Doctorate (BusD)
    • MBBChir Clinical Studies
    • Graduate Course in Medicine (A101)
    • MD (6 years, part-time)
    • Part-time Courses
    • Non-degree Courses

    Not to worry, the students who are not eligible to get the Gates Cambridge Scholarship can still apply for various other scholarships to study at the University of Cambridge like the Commonwealth Scholarship.

    Application Process

    The applicant will have to propose an application for admission and funding. This is to be done through the Graduate Application Portal of the University.

    The general dates of the scholarships are listed below:

    Particulars International Students
    Application Opening September.
    Application Deadline Dependent on Course. One in early December and another in early January of the next year.
    Departmental Ranking From December to February of next year.
    All Applicants Notified of Application Outcome February.
    Online Review and Selection by Panels February and March.
    Scholarships Offered Late March.
    Scholarships accepted 72 hours after the offer.

    The necessities for the application process are:

    Gates Cambridge Scholarship Statement (within 500 words or 3000 characters)

    Explain in your own words the reason for your application for the scholarship and how you meet the criteria.

    Proposal of Research (only for Ph.D. candidates)

    The applicants need to submit their research proposals along with the application for funding.

    In case you are not applying for a Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, you will not require a research proposal.

    Gates Cambridge Reference

    The applicant will have to submit a reference about their practicability with the Gates Cambridge Scholarship. These references should be coming from authorized professionals from any location.

    Most students prefer to bring references from the institutional tutors of their academic background. However, some of them bring the reference from their previous employers or maybe some designated seniors from their workplace.

    Following are the criteria in the assessments, based on which an applicant’s suitability will be measured:

    • Intellectual ability
    • Justification for the choice of course
    • A commitment to growing while improving the lives of others
    • Leadership capacity

    They also ask for:

    • How highly would they rank the applicant for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship?
    • On what overall group are these rankings based?
    • What is the size of the aforesaid group?

    Selection Process

    As the number of scholarships is limited, hence, the organizer takes acute measures to filter the best candidates among all. Also Check: University of Cambridge Scholarships

    Each 3 or 4 person panel includes representatives from academics, trust and Gates Cambridge alumni. Here is the 3 stage procedure the authorized panel implements in the selection process to hand-pick the outstanding candidates:

    Departmental Ranking

    The trust asks the academic authority of Cambridge to align the applicant students according to their academic eligibility only. The students who are opined to rank by their respective departments are considered as the outstanding aspirants of that year.


    The list of all nominated students is divided into broad subject areas and passed to the Shortlisting Committees of the trust. These Committees further sort the candidates to be invited for the interview based on the four criteria of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship.


    The interview candidates will be provided with the details of the arrangements and format of the interview.

    The interview session takes around 20-25 minutes. The interview takes place both in-person and also over video conference. The students should preferably go for physical attendance in the interview if possible.

    There are 4 interview panels broadly based on the subjects. They are:

    • Physical Sciences
    • Biological Sciences
    • Social Sciences and
    • Arts

    Each interview consists of 4 primary sections:

    • Welcome and introduction: As the name suggests, in this phase the interview panel and the applicant get to know each other.
    • Gates Cambridge: Here, the candidate’s knowledge and expectations about the Gates Cambridge Scholarship program are checked.
    • Academic and career plans: The correlation between the student’s passion and the course they are applying for is scrutinized in this section.
    • Final thoughts and questions: This round is basically the round of opening up. The student can discuss their activity plans, ask about the ethics and discuss the possible improvements that can be implemented for the progress of the program.

    Note: Due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, the in-person interviews are completely collapsed and instead, a paper review of the selected candidates will be made.

    Gates Cambridge Scholarship Feedback

    Only the Gates Cambridge Scholarship winners get the feedback from the Trust. The non eligible candidates do not receive any feedback.

    Grant Details

    The chivalrous grant of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is one of the best scholarship programs offered to the students of the post-graduate programs of the University of Cambridge.

    Here’s a brief on the offerings of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship including the expenses of travel and stay in the UK:

    Core Components

    • The total University Composition Fees.
    • An allowance for the maintenance of the student (the amount varies according to academic years).
    • Economy class airfare at the beginning and the end of the course.
    • Costs of Inbound Visa and Immigration Health Surcharge.

    Discretionary Components

    • Academic Development Funding of GBP 500-2,000 (equivalent to INR 50,000-2,00,000).
    • Family allowance up to GBP 10,120 (equivalent to INR 10,12,000) for 1 child and GBP 14,440 (equivalent to 14,45,000) for 2 or more children. However, no funding is offered for a spouse.
    • Fieldwork allowance is provided only to Ph.D. students.
    • Maternity/ paternity allowances can be redeemed along with intermittency of studies for a maximum of 6 months.
    • Hardship funding can be applied for unforeseen circumstances.

    Deductions and Exceptions

    1. In case the student is receiving any salary from an employer and/ or other substantial scholarships, the Trust should be informed about the same. In these cases, the Trust reserves the right to stop the maintenance allowance or to reduce the same.
    2. The bench fees and the cost of any academic resource such as scientific instruments will not be covered by the Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

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