Gates Cambridge Scholarship Program

With a history spanning over two decades, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship has become synonymous with excellence, innovation, and social impact. Established in 2000 with a generous donation of $210 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the scholarship has been providing exceptional opportunities for talented international students to pursue postgraduate studies at the University of Cambridge.

In this article, we will delve into the benefits of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, its selection process, and the eligibility criteria. Whether you are a prospective applicant, a current scholar, or simply interested in learning more about this remarkable program, this article will provide you with valuable insights into the world of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

Gates Cambridge Scholarship Benefits

The benefits of being a Gates Cambridge Scholar are numerous and far-reaching. They include:

  • 100% Tuition Fee Coverage
  • Monthly Stipend – this payment extends up to 4 years for PhD students.
  • Travel Expenses – covers single economy airfare at the start and end of the program.
  • Visa Costs
  • Health Insurance

Gates Cambridge Scholarship Requirements

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship program awards 80 full-cost scholarships annually to outstanding international candidates seeking a postgraduate degree in any field at the University of Cambridge. Two-thirds of the scholarships are reserved for PhD students. Also, 25 are awarded in the US round and 55 in the international round.

Please note that this scholarship only applies to postgraduates, i.e., Masters and PhD students. To apply for the award, you must first satisfy the following Gates Cambridge Scholarship eligibility criteria, which will also let you know what sets the Gates Cambridge scholarship program apart from other scholarships:

  • An undergraduate degree – this is the minimum necessity
  • Academic excellence – You must have outstanding academic records and show outstanding intellectual ability. 
  • Commitment to communityThe role of leadership and community service in the Gates Cambridge scholarship program is key for selection, so you must demonstrate that as well.
  • Reasons for your course choice – these must be concrete and show your dedication to your chosen field.
  • Non-UK citizens – The Gates Cambridge Scholarship countries are over 150 in number. While it is very likely that your country will be a part of this group, you should still go through the complete list of nationalities on the scholarship’s website.
  • Strong fit with the Gates Cambridge program – You must demonstrate a strong alignment with the mission and values of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship program, including a commitment to improving the lives of others and making a positive impact on society.
  • English proficiency – Candidates must demonstrate a high level of proficiency in the English language, as all courses at the University of Cambridge are taught in English.
  • Age limit – There is no upper age limit for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, but candidates must be at least 18 years old.

How to Apply for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Applications for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship typically open in September of each month. To apply for admission and funding, including the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, you’ll need to submit your application through the university’s Graduate Application Portal. 

Make sure to complete the section for admission to a course and college as well as the Gates Cambridge portion of the funding section. Remember, Gates Cambridge has access to your complete application for admission and funding when reviewing your submission.  

In the admission section, you’re applying for a graduate course and a college place. You’ll need to provide all the typical details about yourself, your academic background, your plans, and how well-suited you are for the course.

In the funding section, you have the option to apply for various funding opportunities provided by the university and related organizations. One of the available options is the Gates Cambridge Scholarships, which has a dedicated sub-section. To apply for this scholarship, you must furnish the following details:

  • Gates Cambridge Statement – in 3000 characters, you’ll need to write the reasons for the scholarship application and how you meet the selection criteria.
  • Research Proposal – this is only for PhD applicants.
  • Gates Cambridge Reference – apart from the 2 academic references required for admission, you must obtain an additional reference that addresses the scholarship’s criteria, including your intellectual ability, course selection justification, commitment to improving the lives of others, and leadership potential. 

Referees must also indicate their ranking of the applicant for the scholarship, ranging from exceptional to weak, and provide feedback in the form of a written statement or a separate letter. More information about what to include in the reference letter and who can write it is available on the Gates Cambridge Scholarship website.

After you apply, there are essentially two more stages to the process. First is the department nomination, where Cambridge departments nominate a few eligible candidates who meet the criteria at a very high level.

After academic departments nominate all candidates, they are invited to attend a brief interview to evaluate how well they satisfy the four Gates Cambridge criteria. The selection of scholars is made based on their performance during the interview.

This is an overwhelming application process. Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate this process on your own.

At ALLEN Career Institute, we understand the importance of education and the value it holds for students. For over 34 years, we have provided top-notch educational coaching to students preparing for engineering and medical entrance exams in India’s top colleges. Our commitment to excellence has seen many students gain admission to prestigious institutions globally.

Through the ALLEN Global Studies Division, we extend our support to students aspiring to pursue higher education abroad. We can assist you in exploring opportunities for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship Program in different countries. Our team of experts provides guidance, and assistance to students throughout the application process, ensuring a smooth transition to their new academic environment. From visa documentation to scholarship opportunities, we are with you every step of the way.


The Gates Cambridge scholarship opportunities are ever-so golden for international students seeking to pursue higher education abroad. The Gates Cambridge Scholarship winners are not only provided full financial support but also innumerable opportunities for professional development and interdisciplinary research. This makes it an excellent investment in one’s academic and career future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What costs does the Gates Cambridge Scholarship cover?

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship covers the full cost of studying at the University of Cambridge, including tuition fees, accommodation, and living expenses. Scholars may also receive additional funding for academic development, research, and conference attendance.

What are the eligibility criteria for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship?

The eligibility criteria include having an outstanding academic record, a strong commitment to improving the lives of others, and a potential to become a leader in your field.

What kind of courses can I study with the Gates Cambridge Scholarship?

The scholarship can be used to study any full-time postgraduate course at the University of Cambridge, including PhD, MSc, MLitt, and other courses. The specific list of exceptions is available on the scholarship’s website.

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