Gates Cambridge Scholarships for Life Sciences Research

Closing date: Applications for entry in the academic year 2021/22 will open in September 2020.
Value of Award: A Gates Cambridge Scholarship covers the full cost of studying at Cambridge and discretionary allowances.
No. of awards: There are separate programs for Non- US Scholars and US scholars
Tenure: Scholarships are awarded to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.


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. Gates Cambridge considers applications from citizens from outside the United Kingdom

To enable outstanding graduate students from outside the United Kingdom to study at the University of Cambridge. . Scholarships are available for a postgraduate degree in any subject at Cambridge for applicants who are ordinarily resident outside the United Kingdom

Selection criteria:

  • 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 (three year research-only degree) • MSc or MLitt (two year research-only degree) • One year postgraduate course (e.g. MPhil, LLM, MASt, Diploma, MBA etc.) What we are looking for Gates Cambridge selects Scholars using four criteria: Academic excellence, leadership potential, a commitment to improving the lives of others and a good academic fit with Cambridge.

General Information:

How do students apply?
Applications for entry in the academic year 2021/22 will open in September 2020. Applicants apply on a single form for admission to a course and a College and for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. Applicants apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship and admission to their chosen postgraduate course at the University of Cambridge and a Cambridge College via the Graduate Admissions Office, using the Graduate Application Form and supporting documents.

Decision makers
Gates Cambridge uses a three-stage selection process to ensure Scholars meet all of our criteria to the highest degree. 1. Departmental ranking In order to ensure only the most academically outstanding candidates are considered, the Trust asks academic departments in Cambridge to rank eligible applicants on academic ability only. Those who are put forward by their departments are considered the most academically outstanding applicants they have received that year. 2. Shortlisting Once the Trust has a list of all ranked candidates, these are divided into broad subject areas and passed to our Shortlisting Committees. These Committees look at the candidates' entire application pack (including the Personal Statement and Personal Reference) and apply all four Gates Cambridge criteria in order to identify those who will be invited for interview. Everyone who is shortlisted for interview will have gone through an exceptionally competitive process and will show evidence of meeting the four Gates Cambridge criteria. See how competitive to get a sense of how many applicants make it through these initial stages. 3. Interview All shortlisted candidates have a short interview to assess how they meet all four Gates Cambridge criteria and Scholars are selected after interview. Feedback Please note that Trust is not able to provide feedback to applicants.  

How and when do students learn of the decision?
You will be told within a week of the interview whether you have been successful. We hold interviews in the USA in late January for Round 1 candidates and in Cambridge in late March for Round 2 candidates. If you are unable to attend in person we will interview you by Skype or phone.  

What conditions are attached to acceptance of this award?
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.

Additional information
So, if you have fully researched the Gates Cambridge Scholarship and the University of Cambridge and feel you meet our criteria, apply by the relevant deadline.  

Who else has information about this award?
It is VERY important to visit this link in order to obtain extensive and further information to assist your inquiry and application for this Scholarship. If you have additional questions   please email with details of your situation.  

For guidelines, application forms and more information about this award contact:

Gates Cambridge Trust
The Gates Cambridge Scholarships

3e King's Parade
United Kingdom

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