The Gates Cambridge Scholarship


The Gates Cambridge Scholarship, established in 2000 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with a substantial $210 million donation to the University of Cambridge, supports international postgraduate and doctoral students seeking to study at one of the UK’s premier universities.

Over 1500 students from more than 100 countries have benefited from this scholarship since its inception. In 2020 alone, 77 scholars from 30 different nations were awarded the scholarship.

Applications are accepted twice a year, with residents of the United States eligible to apply in the first round and all other applicants in the second round.

Candidates from round 2 can hail from any country except the UK and the US. The application process typically commences in September and lasts for approximately five to six months.

Requirements For The Gates Cambridge Scholarship

The University of Cambridge stands out as a top choice for those pursuing postgraduate or PhD studies in the UK. Moreover, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship covers the entire tuition fees for studies at Cambridge University.

To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must meet specific criteria, including being citizens of countries other than the UK, applying for full-time residential courses at Cambridge University (such as PhDs, MLitts, MScs, MPhils, LLMs, MASts, MBAs, Diplomas, or other one-year postgraduate courses), and it’s also available to current Cambridge students seeking postgraduate courses.

Procedure For Applying For The Gates Cambridge Scholarship

In addition to the filled-out application form, you must also provide the following transcripts:

  • 500-Word Personal Mission Statement
  • Research Proposal for PhD Applicants
  • Recommendation from an Academic Advisor for Gates Scholarship Consideration

Prospective candidates interested in pursuing a PhD and aiming for the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship are encouraged to prepare a comprehensive research proposal and secure a recommendation from an academic mentor. This recommendation can be from an advisor who has previously provided letters of recommendation for the applicant.

Eligible individuals, particularly international students, are urged to initiate the application process for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, with round 2 applications opening in September and extending through January, accommodating various course deadlines. The application process is conveniently conducted online, streamlining the submission procedure.

To commence the application journey, candidates are directed to visit the official website of the University of Cambridge. There, they can proceed with Step 1, which entails submitting their scholarship application concurrently with their admissions application. Following this, in Step 2, applicants are prompted to upload the requisite supporting documents after completing the application form. Finally, in Step 4, candidates are required to finalize and submit their applications for consideration.

The Scholar Profile Envisioned By The Gates Foundation For The Scholarship

The Cambridge Scholarship welcomes applicants from over 100 nations and encourages individuals from diverse backgrounds to submit their applications. To qualify for the scholarship, candidates need to fulfill four requirements:

Academic Excellence: Applicants must demonstrate exceptional intellectual ability to be considered for the scholarship.

Course Selection Justification: All applicants must provide a compelling statement outlining their reasons for selecting their chosen course of study.

Commitment to Societal Welfare: Scholars must exhibit a strong commitment to advancing societal well-being and enhancing the quality of life for others.

Leadership Skills: Each candidate should possess distinct abilities, with a particular emphasis on leadership prowess.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Eligibility Requirements And Selection Process For The Gates Cambridge Scholarship

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship employs a thorough three-stage selection process to identify scholars, encompassing departmental ranking, shortlisting, and interviews. Each phase plays a crucial role in ensuring that candidates meet the scholarship’s criteria. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of each stage:

Departmental Ranking: The Gates Cambridge Trust calls upon various academic departments within the university to assess all eligible applicants based on their academic proficiency. Departments then nominate exceptionally qualified candidates for further consideration.

Shortlisting: Upon receiving the departmental rankings, the Trust categorizes them by major topic areas and forwards them to the Shortlisting Committee for review.

Interview: The committee evaluates all applications and selects a select few candidates for interviews. Those shortlisted are invited for an interview, after which the final scholars are chosen.

Funds That Are Part Of The Gates Foundation Scholarship

The University of Cambridge offers a fully-funded scholarship to admitted students, covering all educational expenses. This includes:

  • One-way airfare
  • Visa fees
  • Health surcharge
  • Maintenance allowance for single students (£17,848 for 12 months for PhD researchers)
  • Academic support for conferences and seminars, ranging from £500 to £2,000 depending on the course duration
  • Family allowance for children only, up to £10,120 for one child and up to £14,440 for two or more children (rate for 2021-22), with partners not included
  • Fieldwork expenses
  • Funding for maternity and paternity leave
  • Hardship financing for unforeseen difficulties
  • Recipients with other sources of funding must disclose them, and those receiving a salary or scholarship may have their allowance adjusted by the Foundation.


How Many Applicants Are Accepted For The Gates Cambridge Scholarship?

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship is highly competitive, with an average acceptance rate of 0.3%, admitting a total of 90 candidates.

Which Courses Are Not Covered By The Gates Cambridge Scholarship?

The scholarship does not fund undergraduate courses such as BA or BA affiliated programs, Business Doctorate (BusD), MBA, Master of Finance, PGCE, MBBChir Clinical Studies, MD Doctor of Medicine degree, Graduate Program in Medicine, part-time degrees, or non-degree courses.

What Does The Interview Stage Of The Application Process Entail?

If selected for an interview, applicants undergo a rigorous process for the Bill Gates Scholarship. Interviews typically last 20 to 25 minutes and can be conducted in person or via Skype. The interview is structured into subject-based panels, covering arts, biological sciences, social sciences, and physical sciences.

Each panel comprises two academics and a Trust representative, with the interview divided into four sections: introduction and welcome, knowledge about Gates Cambridge, academic and professional goals, and final thoughts and responses to candidates’ questions.


The Gates Cambridge University scholarship stands as a prestigious award offering comprehensive financial support to a select few exceptional individuals. Applicants sought for this scholarship should demonstrate a robust self-awareness, outstanding academic achievements, and leadership prowess. This opportunity opens doors for aspiring candidates globally, ensuring their aspirations are realized while easing the burden of financial expenses.

Also apply to The UK Government’s Global Scholarships Program

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