If you are an ambitious international student who is looking forward to studying at one of the top educational institutes in the world, the University of Cambridge, UK, then the Gates Cambridge Scholarship 2024 could be your ticket to a fully-funded academic experience. Established in the year 2000, thanks to a generous donation of US$210 m received from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of Cambridge, this scholarship grant is applicable to students wishing to pursue either a Master's or a Ph.D. coursework in the United Kingdom. 

A total of 80 students are selected each year under this program, who come from different academic backgrounds and nationalities. In the below article, you will learn in detail about the benefits and the eligibility criteria for this scholarship program, along with the important dates, deadlines, and the process to apply. 

Gates Cambridge Scholarship 2024 at a Glance

With over 2000 scholarships awarded to students since its introduction, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship allows applicants from outside the UK to apply for master's and Ph.D. courses within the country. 

Out of the total scholarships awarded, about two-thirds of these awards are ideally offered to Ph.D. students. In addition to the above, around 25 scholarship grants are available within the US round, and nearly 55 available scholarships are granted in the international round. 

Key Benefits of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship 2024 

The key benefits of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship are as follows – 

1. It provides comprehensive financial support to selected applicants, ensuring that higher costs of education do not come in the way of acquiring a global education. 

2. The scholarship covers the complete tuition fees at Cambridge University for the selected master's or Ph.D. program. 

3. It further provides a maintenance allowance to selected applicants, the details of which are as follows: for a Master’s student, a grant of £20,000 for 12 months (pro rata for courses shorter than 12 months) is provided as a maintenance allowance, while for Ph.D. scholars, this award can extend up to 4 years.

4. Another great benefit of this scholarship is that it provides an economy single airfare ticket, both at the start and end of the degree coursework, to help students reach the United Kingdom from their respective countries and back at the end of their degree program. 

5. It also covers the Visa application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge which has to be paid by the student at the time of filing their study visa. 

6. In addition to the above, the Gates Cambridge Trust offers financial support for various academic and personal needs, such as attending conferences and courses, dependent children’s allowances, fieldwork allowances, and even hardship funding for unforeseen difficulties.

Some additional elements are also accessible within the scholarship, offering applicants further funding opportunities based on their specific circumstances. These majorly include – 

1. Academic Advancement Support: Funding ranging from £500 to £2,000, depending on the course duration, is available for attending conferences and courses.

2. Child Support Allowance: Eligible candidates can receive up to £11,604 for one child or up to £16,548 for two or more children (2023-24 rate), with no funding allocated for a partner.

3. Fieldwork Support: While pursuing a Ph.D., scholars may request to maintain their regular maintenance allowance during fieldwork activities. However, other fieldwork expenses are expected to be covered by the University Composition Fee.

4. Parental Leave Funding: If necessary, applicants can apply for a study break of up to 6 months, during which they will continue to receive their maintenance allowance.

5. Financial Hardship Assistance: Assistance is available to scholars facing unforeseen challenges or financial difficulties.

In case an applicant receives a substantial salary from either an employer or funding from another scholarship source, the Trust for Gates Cambridge Scholarship reserves the right to reduce or withhold the standard maintenance allowance. 

You can learn all about the funding guidelines by visiting the link below –

Thus, it is important to inform the Trust of any additional funding received towards your Cambridge degree.

What is not covered in the Gates Cambridge Scholarship? 

Even though the scholarship grant covers almost all the areas of studying within the UK for an eligible applicant, it does not cover the bench fee or the costs of the purchase of academic resources or any specific scientific equipment to be used for research purposes. Such core expenses are expected to be covered by the academic department within the University of Cambridge. 

The selection and eligibility criteria for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship

The selection criteria for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship allow students with outstanding intellectual ability to apply for this prestigious reward.

While applying for this scholarship grant, one needs to state their reasons for choosing specific coursework and reflect a lasting commitment towards improving people’s lives. 

If you fall within the below eligibility criteria, you can then apply for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship 2024 – 

1. You need to be an international student and not from the United Kingdom. 

2. You should have excellent academic grades and competencies in the field of your choosing. 

3. You need to apply for your chosen study program at the University of Cambridge. However, the course level should be equal to either a Ph.D. (full-time or part-time basis), an MLitt (full-time enrolment required), or a one-year postgraduate degree program. 

However, certain postgraduate-level courses are not included in this scholarship, the list of which is elaborated in the following section. 

Please also note that for the October 2024 intake, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship is also running a pilot scheme that will enable candidates to apply for a scholarship grant even for a part-time doctoral degree coursework. 

Deadlines to apply for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship 2024

As there are two different scholarship grants for US citizens and other international applicants, the deadlines for the same are also different from each other. 

The application deadline for US Applicants is 11th October 2023. The department will be sorting and ranking applicants from 16th October to 16th November 2023. You'll find out if your application is accepted or not by 11th December 2023. 

Experts will choose the scholarship recipients on 26th and 27th of January 2024. If you're chosen, you'll get the scholarship offer by 2nd February 2024. Please also note that in case you are granted an offer for the scholarship grant, you need to say yes within 72 hours.

On the other hand, the application deadline for all other international applicants is 4th January 2024

You can expect the department to rank applicants from December to February. They will let you know if your application is successful by Monday, 4th March, 2024. The scholarship selection panels will review candidates on Monday, 25th March 2024, and Tuesday, 26th March 2024. 

If you're chosen, they'll offer you the scholarship by Friday, 29th March 2024. In the same case as US applicants, if you decide to accept, make sure to confirm within 72 hours of receiving the offer.

Academic Fields not covered by the Gates Cambridge Scholarship

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship is open to students pursuing any subject available at the University of Cambridge. However, there are some exceptions, and the following courses are not covered by the scholarship:

1. Any undergraduate degree, including BA (undergraduate) or BA affiliated (a second BA).

2. Business Doctorate (BusD).

3. Master of Business (MBA).

4. Master of Finance (MFin).

5. MASt courses.

6. PGCE.

7. MB BChir Clinical Studies.

8. MD Doctor of Medicine degree (6 years, part-time, home students only).

9. Graduate Course in Medicine (A101).

10. Part-time degrees other than the Ph.D.

11. Non-degree courses.

Please ensure that your chosen course aligns with the scholarship's eligibility criteria.

Please visit the below link to know the details – 

How to Apply for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship 2024?

To embark on this enriching academic journey, follow the following steps – 

1. Complete the Course Funding Deadline: Refer to the University Course Directory and apply by the specified Course Funding Deadline.

2. Admission Section: Provide comprehensive information about yourself, your academic background, and your plans. Ensure you are applying to a specific graduate course.

3. Funding Section: Apply for various funding offered at Cambridge University, including the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which has its own sub-section.

4. Gates Cambridge Statement: Write a statement of approximately 500 words, showcasing your motivation and suitability for the scholarship.

5. Research Proposal: If you're applying for a Ph.D., submit a research proposal.

6. Gates Cambridge Reference: Ensure you have two academic references. Referees are requested to evaluate scholarship applicants on a scale of exceptional, strong, not strong, weak. They have the option to either enter their assessment in an online form with a limit of 4,000 characters or attach a separate reference letter.

Visit the below link to apply for this scholarship program –

The selection process for Gates Cambridge Scholarship 2024

The scholarship selection process employs a two-stage procedure to ensure that all the selected candidates are the best from the applicant pool.

In the initial stage of the selection process, the academic departments under which the candidate has applied for coursework, nominate a select group of eligible applicants, who excel in the above-mentioned scholarship criteria. Through this nomination process, the scholarship committee aims to identify individuals who possess outstanding academic abilities and show potential for success as prospective students at Cambridge.

Only a relatively small number of candidates out of the overall applicant pool receive departmental nominations and then proceed to the interview stage. The interview typically lasts 20-25 minutes and can be conducted either in person or virtually, depending on the candidate's location.

In the second stage, all candidates nominated by academic departments are invited to participate in an interview which is the final assessment of their abilities and alignment with the Gates Cambridge Scholarship criteria. The interview typically lasts 20-25 minutes and can be conducted either in person or virtually, depending on the candidate's location.

The interview consists of four key sections: an introductory segment, a discussion about Gates Cambridge and the candidate's motivation for applying, an examination of their academic and career plans, and a concluding opportunity for the candidate to share additional information or ask questions to the panel.

Scholarships are awarded after this interview. If an applicant receives an invitation for an interview, they will receive comprehensive information about the interview format and scheduling.

For candidates who are not selected for an interview, Gates Cambridge will notify them via email, confirming that their application was not successful.

Know about the detailed selection process by visiting the below link – 

Conclusion: The Gates Cambridge Scholarship 2024

The Gates Cambridge mission is to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others. It is an invaluable opportunity for international students to pursue fully-funded coursework from a highly prestigious university. 

Don't miss the application deadlines, and start your journey toward academic greatness today!