University of Cambridge Graduate Scholarships 2023

The Cambridge Gates Fellowship Program was established in 2000 with a $210 million gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of Cambridge.

To compete for graduate fellowships at the University of Cambridge, applicants must demonstrate academic excellence (through GPA, references, experience, and potential for success in the applicant’s major).

The University of Cambridge’s academic departments nominates the most academically distinguished candidates for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, ensuring that those we select will thrive at Cambridge.

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University of Cambridge

University of Cambridge Scholarship Funding

  • Cover the entire cost of your studies at Cambridge:
  • A maintenance allowance of £18,744 for 12 months
  • For Ph.D. students, a maintenance allowance of £18,744 for up to 4 years.
  • Ticket
  • Coverage of visa fees
  • Between £500 and £2,000 to support academic development
  • For one child, up to £10,944; for two or more children, up to £15,612
  • Difficult funding – Unexpected difficulties faced by the researcher.


Reasons to choose graduate scholarships at the University of Cambridge

You must be able to make a strong case for a particular postgraduate degree at Cambridge. Ph.D. applicants will need to contact a potential supervisor with whom they will develop a research project, an abstract of which forms part of the application.

You will need to demonstrate that you have the academic background, skills, and experience to take the course. Applicants who have studied the Master of Philosophy and other applicants must make a strong case for taking the proposed course to facilitate their career plans.

In a graduate fellowship, it is important that you thoroughly research and justify the course you are applying for.

A commitment to improving the lives of others

A hallmark of the Gates Cambridge program is our candidates’ commitment to improving the lives of others. We interpret this criterion broadly and candidates define it for themselves by providing evidence of their past, present, and future commitment to the communities in which they will live and work.

Leadership Ability

Successful candidates must be able to demonstrate leadership capacity, which can be expressed in a number of ways. Candidates must provide evidence of their leadership experience to date and indicate the ways in which their leadership skills can impact future employment.

Who can apply?

You can apply for the Gates Cambridge Fellowship if you are

  • a national of any country other than the United Kingdom
  • Applying to take one of the following courses at the University of Cambridge:
  • PhD
  • A one-year full-time postgraduate course.


Application dates for University of Cambridge scholarships

There are two possible application deadlines and these are based on the course you are applying for:

  • Applications open: September 15
  • Application deadline: Either December 1, 2022, or January 5 of the following year
  • Inform all applicants of the outcome of the application: March 3 of the following year
  • Review and selection by tables: March of the following year
  • Awards offered: end of March of the following year


Application Process

Applicants submit their applications for admission and funding via the university’s alumni application portal.

In order to be considered for graduate scholarships at the University of Cambridge, you must complete

  • Then, apply to the college of your choosing.
  • Apply to the Gates Cambridge Foundation.

 Apply to college

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

Submission to the Gates Cambridge Foundation.

In this section, you can apply for a range of funding provided by the university and its associated organizations, including the Gates Cambridge Scholarships, which have their own sub-section.

When applying for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, you will need to submit the following:

Gates Cambridge Statement

In the application form, we ask:

  1. In no more than 3,000 characters, please explain why you are applying for a Gates Cambridge Fellowship and how you meet the four main criteria.
  2. The statement is used by Gates Cambridge to help differentiate between applicants nominated by academic departments. It helps us identify candidates who, in addition to being academically outstanding, have leadership potential and a commitment to improving the lives of others.
  3. This is the only part of the application form where applicants are specifically asked about their suitability for the Gates Cambridge program, and you should use your background, accomplishments, experience, and future goals to show how you specifically meet the program criteria.

Research proposal (for Ph.D. students only)


  • Gates Cambridge requires that only doctoral candidates submit a research proposal as part of their funding application.
  • Most doctoral candidates will upload a research proposal as part of their application, but where this is not the case, a research proposal is required to apply for the Gates Cambridge Fellowship.
  • If you are applying for a non-doctoral degree, you do not need to submit a research proposal as part of your Gates Cambridge Fellowship materials.

 Gates Cambridge Reference

In addition to two academic references for admission, Gates Cambridge applicants must arrange for someone to provide a reference showing how they meet the scholarship criteria.

Referees are also asked how they rate the scholarship applicant: outstanding, strong, not strong, weak. They can paste/type up to 4000 characters into the online reference or upload a separate character.

who should write the Gates Cambridge reference?

You should ask someone of appropriate reputation who is able to answer the question with authority and who understands the criteria and highly competitive nature of the Gates Cambridge program and the academic standards of the University of Cambridge.

Many applicants ask a current or former academic advisor familiar with their personality traits, a current or former employer, or a senior member of an organization with which they have volunteered, although this list is by no means exhaustive. Some applicants ask one of their academic referees to write a Gates Cambridge reference: OK, as long as that person has a good understanding of your personal qualities and writes specifically about how you meet the Gates Cambridge criteria (and does not provide the third academic reference).

You should not ask a friend, family member, or someone unable to comment on your eligibility for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

Some points to consider are:
  • It is essential that the Gates Cambridge referee is fully informed about the scholarship, and in particular, its selection criteria, so that they can write the most appropriate reference for you.
  • It is helpful if referees use specific examples of how the scholarship criteria were met;

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