Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gates Cambridge Scholarship


One to four years of study leading to a degree at Cambridge University, England. Seniors, graduate/professional students, and graduates are eligible to apply. U.S. and non-U.S. citizens under the age of 30 are eligible. All applicants must apply directly to Cambridge [either as an affiliated student (obtaining a second bachelor's degree) or as a graduate student] and fill out the supplemental portion of the application to the Cambridge Trusts to be considered for the fellowship.

Who they are looking for:

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.
In selecting Gates Cambridge Scholars, the Trust looks for students of exceptional academic achievement and scholarly promise for whom advanced study at Cambridge would be particularly appropriate. 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.

“Priority” Deadline June 2, 2008:

Students are encouraged to submit a priority application for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship. The priority deadline is June 2, 2008 for students wishing to study at Cambridge University beginning in 2009-10. University faculty and staff who are familiar with the Gates Cambridge Scholarship will review materials received by this date, while only the Office of Scholarships for International Study will review materials submitted after this date. In either case, we will provide feedback on your application and are willing to work with you through the summer on subsequent revisions.

Please submit the following requested information to the Scholarships Office (with the exception of the Choice of University Statements, one set may be submitted covering multiple scholarships) at or 321 International Studies Building, MC-480:

1. Transcripts from all colleges attended (photocopies acceptable)
2. 3-5 Letters of Recommendation (drafts acceptable)
3. Resume
4. Personal Statement of 1,000 words (Personal Statement should be in 12 point font and double spaced)
5. One Choice of University Statement

In addition to the generic transcripts, personal statement, and resume, it is in your best interest to submit at least three letters of recommendation (three letters are ultimately required) and a “Choice of University Statement” outlining your choice of coursework and/or proposed research at Cambridge.

Further information about priority deadline requirements

Campus Deadline 12:00 Noon August 26, 2008:

Unlike other prestigious scholarship schemas, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship does not formally include a university endorsement process. An applicant may choose to independently submit application materials to Cambridge and the Gates Scholarship. However, if you are interested in obtaining feedback on your Gates Cambridge scholarship application from a campus committee, then you need to submit materials by the August 26 noon deadline. University faculty and staff who are familiar with the Gates Cambridge Scholarship will review materials received by this date and will conduct an interview. If materials are submitted after August 26, only the Office of Scholarships for International Study will review the materials and you will not receive a chance to interview with the committee at that time.

Required information:

1. Transcripts from all colleges attended (photocopies acceptable– one set may be submitted covering multiple scholarships)
2. 3 Letters of Recommendation particular to the student’s Gates Cambridge application, two of which are part of the Cambridge application and a third that is a personal reference — generally from a faculty member. It is best for this third referee to fill out the specific Personal Reference Form
3. A complete Cambridge University application for admission (including writing sample, if required, but no photos)

Final Submittal Deadline Received October 15, 2008.

For those pursuing graduate study, Gates Cambridge scholarship applications are a part of the general Cambridge application. The applicant is responsible for mailing his/her application to Cambridge (including all original transcripts in sealed envelopes, a passport-size photo, and three recommendations in appropriately marked, signed, sealed envelopes). In all cases, the materials need to be received at Cambridge by October 15. The Office of Scholarships for International Study would appreciate a copy of all materials (including letters) prior to submission. Letters should be written to the attention of the “Board of Graduate Studies”. If you wish to include the address, it is:

The Secretary
Board of Graduate Studies
4 Mill Lane
Cambridge CB2 1RZ
United Kingdom

For those pursuing undergraduate admission, you first must complete a Cambridge application and gain admission to a particular college. Once you are admitted to a college as an undergraduate, the college will send you a supplemental application form for the Gates scholarship. The applicant is responsible for completing the supplemental application to Cambridge and ensuring that these materials are received by the deadline. The Office of Scholarships for International Study would appreciate a copy of all materials prior to submission.

The Final Stages:

Shortlisted candidates will be called for a national interview held in Annapolis in January or February 2009. The Office of Scholarships for International Study will coordinate mock interviews for those students called to an interview. The final selection is generally publicly announced within a week of the Gates Cambridge interview.

General Application Tips:

Review general tips and view sample application materials

The Gates reviewers will review your entire Cambridge application, so do not repeat yourself in the materials. Write “N/A” throughout the application for items that are not applicable. The GRE is rarely required for admission to Cambridge, but some courses, such as religious studies and economics may require it — look at your individual Department.

International students who have a Green Card should apply through the U.S. If a student is in the U.S. only for education, then they should apply through their home country. In that case, the international student must also apply for an ORS award.

Personal Statement: The scholarship is not for ’rounding out’ education. Solid applications demonstrate that a student plans to contribute to, and not just receive from, Cambridge. A Gates Scholar will change the world by good research, analysis, and proposing solutions. The Foundation desires students who feel the need and have the abilities to contribute creative solutions to problems in all areas — not just academics. Student must be extremely self-motivated, be intellectually curious, and know they have much to learn. An applicant should show that Cambridge is the best place to pursue their studies. The Gates should be more of an incentive to achieve than a reward for past accomplishments.

Recommendation Letters: The personal reference should know something about the candidate’s service or leadership activities, but not be solely a family friend in most cases. However, it is not necessary that this letter be academic.

For further information about applying for nationally competitive scholarships from the University of Illinois, contact:

David Schug and Laura Hastings, Directors
Scholarships for International Study
321 International Studies Building, MC-480
910 South Fifth Street
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 244-0254
Fax: (217) 333-6270