Gates Cambridge Scholarship: study in the UK with all expenses paid

Gates Cambridge scholarship University of Cambridge study in the UK 1

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Every year, Gates Cambridge provides around 80 full-cost scholarships to exceptional candidates from non-UK nations, enabling them to pursue a postgraduate degree in any field offered at the University of Cambridge. The majority of these scholarships, about two-thirds, are designated for doctoral students, with roughly 25 awards in the US round and 55 in the International round.

Cambridge hosts approximately 250 Scholars from nearly 50 countries at any given time. These scholars engage in diverse subjects across the university’s departments and colleges, fostering a unique and vibrant community of their own.

Furthermore, there exists a network of over 1,700 Gates Cambridge Alumni spanning the globe, representing a testament to the enduring impact and global reach of the program.

1. Gates Cambridge Scholarship Website

2. Country where you will study

United Kingdom

3. University where you will study with the Gates Cambridge scholarship

University of Cambridge

4. Level and Areas of study

The scholarship applies to students seeking enrollment in any of the following courses offered at the University of Cambridge:

  • PhD (full-time or part-time)
  • MLitt (full-time)
  • One year postgraduate course (full-time), with some exceptions.

There are also courses not covered, you can see the whole list of courses HERE.

5. Type of Scholarship


Gates Cambridge scholarship University of Cambridge study in the UK
Gates Cambridge scholarship University of Cambridge study in the UK Hall of Fame

6. Duration of the scholarship

The scholarship covers courses shorter than 12 months as well as PhD of up to 4 years.

7. Award (tuition, accommodation and more)

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

a. Core components

  • the University Composition Fee
  • a maintenance allowance for a single student (£20,000 for 12 months at the 2023-24 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

b. 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, to attend conferences and courses.
  • Dependent Children Allowance – up to £11,604 for one child and up to £16,548 for two or more children (2023-24 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
  • 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 facing the scholar

c. Receiving a salary or substantial other scholarship?

If you are receiving a salary from an employer or have another substantial scholarship, the Trust reserves the right to reduce or not pay the standard maintenance allowance.

d. What is not covered?

Most costs are covered by the Scholarship but Gates Cambridge does not cover bench fees or the costs of scientific equipment or similar academic resources.

You can read more about what is covered in the scholarship HERE

8. Eligibility to apply for the scholarship

a. Nationality

You should be a citizen of any country outside the United Kingdom

b. Age

There is no age barrier.

c. Academic Achievement

The selection criteria are:

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

You can read more about each selection criteria HERE

9. Application steps

It’s a combined application form, applicants submit their application for admission and funding (Gates Cambridge and other funding) via the University’s Graduate Application Portal.

a. The admission section

In this section you are applying to a specific graduate course and a College place. You will provide all of the usual details about yourself, your academic background, plans and suitability for the proposed course.

More info on courses and application HERE

b. The funding section

You will need to submit the following:

b.1. Gates Cambridge statement

“In no more than 3000 characters (approximately 500 words) please explain why you are applying for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship and how you meet the four main criteria.”

b.2. Research proposal

(PhD applicants only)

b.3. Gates Cambridge reference

In addition to two academic references for admission, Gates Cambridge applicants must arrange for someone to submit a reference setting out how they meet the scholarship’s criteria.

Please give your assessment of the applicant’s suitability for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. These are awarded on the following criteria: intellectual ability, justification for the choice of course, a commitment to improving the lives of others and leadership capacity.

  • How highly would you rank the applicant for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship?
  • On what overall group are you basing this ranking?
  • What is the size of this group?

After the application is done, these is what follows:

b.4. Departmental nomination

Gates Cambridge asks academic departments in Cambridge to nominate a small number of eligible applicants who meet all four of the scholarship’s criteria to a very high level.

b.5. Interview

All candidates nominated by academic departments are invited to a short 20-25 minute interview (depending on where you are, you can interview either in person or virtually)to assess how they meet all four Gates Cambridge criteria.  Scholars are then selected after interview.

More information on the selection process HERE

10. Deadline

Gates Cambridge manages two selection rounds each year.

The next round opens in September.

Good luck!

Are you interested in finding opportunities to go abroad? In the Scholarship Finder, you can discover a wide list of scholarships, work opportunities, volunteer projects, contests, entrepreneurial support, and virtual courses!

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Gates Cambridge scholarship University of Cambridge study in the UK

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