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Gates-Cambridge Scholarship

Overview and Introduction

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship was established in 2000 by a donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  It provides a full-cost scholarship and living stipend for graduate study (Master’s or Doctorate) in any field of study available at the University of Cambridge.  

Scholars are selected for their outstanding intellectual ability, leadership potential, and commitment to improving the lives of others as well as fit for the proposed program of study at Cambridge.  The aim of the Gates Cambridge program is to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others.


  • Age: No age requirement
  • Academics: Minimum GPA of 3.5
  • Citizenship: Any citizenship outside of the UK (Please note: processes may differ by citizenship.)

Selection Criteria:

  • Outstanding intellectual ability
  • Reasons for choice of course
  • Commitment to improving the lives of others
  • Leadership potential

Application Deadlines

  • National Deadline: Early October for US citizens and early December or January for international citizens, depending on the course.
  • Endorsement: U-M Nomination is not required

Instructions for Prospective Applicants 

Prospective applicants should join the UK Scholarships Canvas site for an overview of the application, program requirements, additional advising information, and more.  

Application Components 

Note: You will need to apply to both the admissions portion to Cambridge and your selected course and college, and then apply to Gates Cambridge as part of the funding section. The Cambridge application deadline will be in mid October, and we strongly encourage applicants to be prepared to apply for Cambridge at the beginning of October so that you meet the deadline for both the Cambridge application and the funding. 

Admission Section:

  1. Apply to a specific graduate course and a College place
  2. Details about yourself
  3. Academic background
  4. Plans and suitability for the proposed course
  5. 2 Academic References
    For details on what Cambridge considers to be good recommendations, please go to the Cambridge Postgraduate References page.

Funding Section:

  1. Gates Cambridge Statement (3000 characters/approx. 500 words)
    Explain why you are applying for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship and how you meet the four main criteria (see the "Selection Criteria" section below). The statement is used by Gates Cambridge to help distinguish between those candidates who have nominated by academic departments. It helps us identify those candidates who, as well as being academically outstanding, possess a capacity for leadership and commitment to improving the lives of others. This is the only part of the application form where applicants are specifically asked about their fit with the Gates Cambridge programme and you should use your background, achievements, experiences and future aims to show how you specifically meet the program’s criteria.
  2. Research Proposal (PhD applicants only)
    Gates Cambridge requires PhD applicants only to submit a research proposal as part of their application for funding. Most PhD applicants will upload a research proposal as part of their application for admission, but where this is not the case a research proposal is required to apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. If you are applying for a degree other than the PhD you do not need to submit a research proposal as part of your materials of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship .
  3. 1 Scholarship Reference, in addition to the admission section's 2 Academic References (up to 4,000 characters)
    References are asked for their assessment of an applicant’s suitability for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship based on the the four main criteria. For more details on who to select for a reference, please review How to Apply for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship.