Applications Open For Gates Cambridge International Scholarship 2020

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.

Who is it for?

International Students from outside the UK.

How many scholarships do they offer?

80 full-cost scholarships for international students to pursue a postgraduate degree programme 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.

What is the selection criteria?

  • outstanding intellectual ability
  • reasons for the choice of course
  • a commitment to improving the lives of others
  • leadership potential

FUNDING DETAILS

A Gates Cambridge Scholarship covers the full cost of studying at Cambridge. It also provides additional, discretionary funding.

Core components

  • the University Composition Fee at the appropriate rate*
  • a maintenance allowance for a single student (£17,500 for 12 months at the 2020-21 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 from the European Union has been successful in gaining a fees award from public authorities they must accept this and the Trust will not pay these fees.

Discretionary components

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 £10,120 for a first child and up to £4,320 for a second child (2020-21 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

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

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 full-time residential courses of study at the University of Cambridge:
    • PhD
    • MSc/MLitt
    • One year postgraduate course*

*with some exceptions including : any Undergraduate degree such as BA (undergraduate) or BA affiliated (a second BA), Master of Business (MBA), Master of Finance (MFin), PGCE, MBBChir Clinical Studies, MD Doctor of Medicine degree (6 years, part-time), Graduate Course in Medicine (A101), Part-time degrees and Non-degree courses

THE APPLICATION PROCESS

Applicants submit their application for admission and funding (Gates Cambridge and other funding) via the University’s Graduate Application Portal.

To be considered for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship you must complete the section to apply for admission to a course and a College place and the Gates Cambridge part of the funding section. Gates Cambridge has access to the full application for admission and funding when reviewing applications.

Click here if you are ready to make an application to study at the University of Cambridge

 

The Admission Section

In this section, you will be asked to provide all of the usual details about yourself, your academic background, plans and suitability for the proposed course.

The Funding Section

When applying for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship you will be asked to provide a statement, research proposal (PhD applicants only) and Gates Cambridge reference in the funding section.

 

THE SELECTION PROCESS

Gates Cambridge uses a three-stage selection process to ensure Scholars meet all of our criteria to the highest degree.

1. Departmental ranking

In order to ensure only the most academically outstanding candidates are considered, the Trust asks academic departments in Cambridge to rank eligible applicants on academic ability only. Those who are put forward by their departments are considered the most academically outstanding applicants they have received that year.

2. Shortlisting

Once the Trust has a list of all nominated candidates, these are divided into broad subject areas and passed to our Shortlisting Committees. These Committees look at the candidates’ entire application pack (including the Gates Cambridge Statement and Reference) and apply all four Gates Cambridge criteria in order to identify those who will be invited for an interview. Everyone who is shortlisted for interview will have gone through an exceptionally competitive process and will show evidence of meeting the four Gates Cambridge criteria.

3. Interview

All shortlisted candidates have a short interview to assess how they meet all four Gates Cambridge criteria and Scholars are selected after interview. Interview candidates will be sent full details of the format and arrangements. If you are shortlisted for interview you will have already gone through an incredibly competitive process

You will be invited for a 20-25 minute interview and, depending on where you are, you can interview either in person or by Skype. Where you are able to attend the interview in person we encourage this.

There are four broadly subject-based interview panels:

  • Arts
  • Biological Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Social Sciences

Each three to four-person panel usually consists of academics, a representative of the Trust and Gates Cambridge alumni.

Each interview has four main sections:

1. Welcome and introduction

  • The Chair will introduce the panel, set out the format of the interview, and provide any other essential information to allow for a productive session.

2. Gates Cambridge

  • What you know about the Gates Cambridge Scholarships
  • Your motivation for applying
  • Why you think you could be a Gates Cambridge Scholar
  • Your thoughts on the opportunities and responsibilities that a prestigious, full-cost scholarship at one of the world’s leading universities brings

3. Academic and career plans

  • Your academic work to date – can you convincingly communicate your passion for, and the importance of, your chosen subject?
  • Your proposed degree at Cambridge – can you provide a convincing justification for your choice of course?
  • Your career plans – can you convincingly link your application for both a Gates Cambridge Scholarship and your proposed course at Cambridge to your future career plans?
  • You may also be asked probing intellectual or ethical questions, to which there are no ‘right’ answers.

4. Final thoughts and questions

  • A chance to add anything further you would like the interview panel to consider, and to ask any questions you may have (having no questions to ask is also fine).

Feedback

Please note that we are not able to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

Click here if you are ready to make an application to study at the University of Cambridge

 

APPLICATION & RESULTS ANNOUNCEMENT TIMELINE

What stage? Date (Non-US Students) Date (US Citizens in the USA)
Applications open  1 September 2020 1 September 2020
Application deadline Dependent on your course – either 3 December 2020 or 7 January 2021

14 October 2020

Departmental ranking December – February October – November
Trust shortlisting Mid-February Early December
Shortlisted candidates invited to interview Early March Mid-December
All applicants notified of application outcome 12 March 2021 21 December 2020
Interviews 23 & 24 March 2021 (tbc) 22 & 23 January 2021 (tbc)
Scholarships offered Late March Early February
Scholarships accepted 48 hours after offer 48 hours after offer
Please email info@gatescambridge.org for further details on the timeline.

To read more on How to Win the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, we recommend you to read one of Gates Cambridge Scholar Madeleine Ary Hahne’s article.

For more information on the scholarship please visit the website: https://www.gatescambridge.org/.

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