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The Gates Cambridge Scholarship programme to study in the United Kingdom (UK) 2021.

Application deadline: 14 October 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.

Each year Gates Cambridge offers c.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 selection criteria are:

  • outstanding intellectual ability

  • reasons for the choice of course

  • a commitment to improving the lives of others

  • leadership potential


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

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


Who can apply?

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

Courses which are NOT eligible for Gates Cambridge Scholarships:

  • 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

  • Non-degree courses


  • Academic excellence

  • Reasons for choice of course

  • A commitment to improving the lives of others

  • A capacity for leadership

The Application Process (How to Apply)

Apply Now

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