Gates Cambridge Program*

Gustavus Fellowships Office

Initial Gustavus Deadline: N/A
Campus Interview: N/A
Cambridge Application Deadline: October 15
Web site:
Campus Contact: Amanda Nienow, Fellowships Coordinator


In October 2000, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a donation to the University of Cambridge to establish the Gates Cambridge Trust. This benefaction created in perpetuity an international scholarship program to enable outstanding graduate students from outside the United Kingdom to study at the University of Cambridge. The Trustees are required to award scholarships on the basis of a person’s intellectual ability, leadership capacity and desire to use their knowledge to contribute to society throughout the world by providing service to their communities and applying their talents and knowledge to improve the lives of others.


The Trust seeks to elect approximately 100 new Gates Scholars annually (although the exact number of awards may change from year to year). Approximately 45 of the 100 new scholarships each year will be awarded to U.S. citizens. A Gates Cambridge Scholarship covers the full cost of studying at Cambridge, namely:

  • The University Composition Fee and College Fees at the appropriate rate
  • A maintenance allowance sufficient for a single student (£12,250 for 12 months) at the current rate; pro rata for courses shorter than 12 months
  • The cost of the most economical airfare from the scholar’s normal country of residence to the UK at the beginning of their course and the cost of the most economical airfare from the UK to the scholar’s normal country of residence at the end of the course
  • A discretionary contribution towards the cost of supporting dependants at Cambridge (upon application)


In selecting Gates Cambridge Scholars, the Trust looks for students with enthusiasm, robustness of intellect, a willingness to engage and an appropriate humility that comes from awareness that nothing is ever really simple. In particular, Gates Scholars will be driven by the values of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which include a commitment to reducing inequities and improving lives around the world. The Foundation’s mission is to increase opportunity and equity for those most in need, particularly in the areas of health and education, often through the use of science and technology. The Trust expects a good match to be made between the applicant’s qualifications and aspirations and what Cambridge has to offer. Successful applicants will have the ability to make a significant contribution to their discipline while in Cambridge, with a strong aptitude for research, analysis and a creative approach to defining and solving problems.

*Information derived from