Gates Cambridge Scholarship for International Students

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The Gates Cambridge Scholarship is one of the most generous scholarships for international students. it provides opportunity for exceptional individuals to study in the prestigious Cambridge University.


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.

For 2020 entry, Gates Cambridge will offer 80 full-cost scholarships to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available 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

The aim of the Gates Cambridge programme is to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others.

Gates Cambridge Scholarship
Gates Cambridge Scholarship




Masters and Doctorate


All courses offered at the university are eligible for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship except the following

  • 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
  • Part-time degrees
  • Non-degree courses


Individuals who wish to apply for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship must

  • Be citizens 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
  • Possess leadership skills
  • Be committed to improving the lives of others


The Gates Cambridge Scholarship is one of the most generous international scholarships available. The funds are divided into two sections

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 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

What the scholarship does not cover

Gates Cambridge Scholarship does not cover bench fees, the costs of scientific equipment or similar academic resources; nor does it cover additional fees charged by departments for fieldwork, orientation activities, mandatory study trips, courses outside Cambridge or similar. The Trust pays the full University Composition Fee and therefore expects such core course costs to be covered by the academic department at Cambridge.



The deadline for applying for Gates Cambridge Scholarship varies per course. Confirm your application deadline


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


The following documents are required to make a complete application for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship

  • Statement of purpose
  • Research proposal (PhD applicants only)
  • In addition to two academic references for admission, Gates Cambridge applicants submit a reference about their fit with the scholarship.
  • Transcripts


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

Only applicants who possess the following skills would be contacted

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

Visit the official scholarship website for more information

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