Fully-funded United Kingdom Study for Non-UK Citizens in the Gates Cambridge Scholarship Program 2021

Apply for the annual Gates Cambridge Scholarship program for a chance at a full-cost scholarship to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any course available at the University of Cambridge. 

Successful candidates will receive access to a funded study program, as well as unparalleled non-financial support at one of the world’s leading universities and facilitating community at the University of Cambridge.

Application Deadline: 14th October 2020/3rd December 2020/7th January 2021.


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The Gates Cambridge Scholarship will cover

  • The full cost of studying at Cambridge. 
    • 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 funding-
    • 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 will be provided for a partner.
    • Fieldwork: may be granted to help scholars keep up tp normal maintenance allowance while on fieldwork as part of the PhD. 
    • Maternity/Paternity funding: if required, will be granted to aid the scholar’s studies for up to 6 months while he/she continues to receive maintenance allowance during this period. 
    • Hardship funding: for unforeseen difficulties


The Gates Cambridge Scholarship is open to individuals who are:

  • 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:
    • PhD
    • MSc/MLitt
    • One year postgraduate course (with some exceptions*)


  • If you are currently studying at Cambridge and wish to apply for a new postgraduate course, you can apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. 

For example, if you are currently studying for an MPhil you can apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue a PhD. 

  • Current Gates Cambridge Scholars may also apply for a second scholarship if they are applying for a new degree. 
  • All current Cambridge students will be considered in round two. 

However, if you have already started a course you cannot apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to fund the remainder of it.

  • *The following courses 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
  • 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.

The Trust expects such core course costs to be covered by the academic department at Cambridge.

  • For Scholars in the program receiving salary from an employer or with another substantial scholarship, the Trust reserves the right to reduce or not pay the standard maintenance allowance. 
  • The Gates Cambridge Reference should  not be written by friends or family, or someone who is unable to comment on the applicant’s suitability for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

Preferably someone of appropriate status who is able to answer the questions with authority, who understands the criteria and highly competitive nature of the Gates Cambridge program should write the reference.

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Application Instructions

To apply, Applicants should submit their application for admission and funding via the University’s Graduate Application Portal.

  • Submit a compiled application form of:
    • Statement: In no more than 3000 characters (approximately 500 words), explain why you are applying for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship and how you meet the four main criteria for selection.
    • Research proposal (PhD applicants only)
    • Gates Cambridge reference: In addition to two academic references for admission, submit a reference about your fit with the scholarship.
  • Complete the following sections to apply for admission to a course and a College place and the Gates Cambridge part of the funding section. 
    • The admission section
    • The funding section: apply for a range of funding offered by the University and associated bodies, including the Gates Cambridge Scholarships, which has its own sub-section.
  • For US citizens resident in the USA, click here to apply. 
  • All other eligible applicants should click here to apply. 

Click here for full details on registration.

About the Gates Cambridge Scholarship program

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship Program was established in October 2000 by a donation of US$210m from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of Cambridge.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship program seeks to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others. 

It aims to achieve this mission by selecting outstanding scholars, providing them with financial and non-financial support at Cambridge.

Approximately two-thirds of the awards will be offered to PhD students, with approximately 25 awards available in the US round and 55 available in the International round.

Discover more opportunities from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Discover  more opportunities from  University of Cambridge.

Key Dates and Order of Program

For US citizens resident in the USA, 

  • Applications will close by 14th October 2020.
  • Departmental ranking will last through October to November, 2020. 
  • Trust shortlisting will commence by Early December. 
  • Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview by Mid-December, 2020. 
  • All applicants will be notified of application outcome by 21st December 2020. 
  • Interviews for successful candidates will be conducted by 22nd & 23rd January 2021 (tbc). 
  • Scholarships offers will be made by Early February. 
  • Scholarships must be accepted 48 hours afterward.

All other eligible applicants from countries outside the United States must have applied by either 3rd December 2020 or 7th January 2021, depending on the courses being applied for .

  • Departmental ranking will last through December 2020 to February 2021. 
  • Trust shortlisting will commence by Mid-February
  • Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview by Early March, 2021. 
  • All applicants will be notified of application outcome by 12th March 2021.
  • Interviews for successful candidates will be conducted by 23 & 24 March 2021 (tbc). 
  • Scholarships offers will be made by Late March, 2021. 
  • Scholarships must be accepted 48 hours afterward. 

Scholars will be selected based on the following 4 selection criteria:

  • Outstanding intellectual ability and Academic excellence
  • Reasons for choice of course
  • A commitment to improving the lives of others
  • Leadership potential – capacity for leadership.

The funded study program will take place at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdoms. 

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Babajide is a content writer and site admin at Camberene. He majored in zoology and is also a tech enthusiast proficient in the use of python, R and other data analytics tools.

Babajide is looking into using machine learning and artificial intelligence in the near future.

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