Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Applications open
1 September 2020
Applications close
early December 2020/ early January 2021 - dependent on course
Payment per year
£17,500 for 12 months at the 2019-20 rate, pro rata for courses shorter than 12 months; University Composition fee; return economy class airfare; Inbound visa costs
Duration Dependent on course. PhD, 3 years; MSc or MLitt, two years; One year postgraduate course
Postgraduate Coursework
Postgraduate Research
Australian Citizens
Australian Permanent Residents
New Zealand Citizens
Permanent Humanitarian Visa Holders
International Students
Type of Scholarship
Study Abroad and Exchange
Travel Scholarships
Available In
All Faculties
Available To

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.

We offer 90 full-cost scholarships each year to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree (inc research degree) in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.

The selection criteria are:

  • outstanding intellectual ability
  • leadership potential
  • a commitment to improving the lives of others
  • a good fit between the applicant's qualifications and aspirations and the postgraduate programme at Cambridge for which they are applying

There are about 225 Scholars from c. 50 countries studying in Cambridge at any one time who pursue the full range of subjects available at the University and are spread across its departments and Colleges.

The aim of the Gates Cambridge programme is to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others.

For more information or to apply go to the Gates Cambridge website

Ethan Dutcher Photo
Ethan Dutcher, 2018 Gates Cambridge Scholar

Mental health focus for Gates Cambridge scholar

Story by Crispin Savage, 27 April 2018, University of Adelaide.

University of Adelaide student Ethan Dutcher has received one of the world’s most sought-after and prestigious international scholarships: a Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

Ethan, a final-year medical student, is one of only 92 students world-wide out of nearly 5,800 applicants selected for one of this year’s scholarships, which is worth more than $250,000 AUD over three years. He is the only student from a South Australian university to receive the scholarship this year.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship provides full funding for postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge and is awarded to applicants across all fields of endeavour who are academically outstanding and are likely to be transformative leaders. 

“I hope to ultimately become a leader in the field of mental illness neurobiology and contribute to the development of new treatments for mental disorders,” says Ethan. 

“Early in my medical training, I was struck by the fact that across my lifetime we will finally come to understand much of the neurobiology underpinning psychiatric disorders. With this will come a profound shift in the way these disorders are viewed by the public and managed by medical professionals. 

“I have found the lure of watching and contributing to this change irresistible and am particularly interested in helping to unravel what is happening at the molecular and cellular level in these conditions,” says Ethan. 

While at Cambridge, Ethan will undertake a PhD in neuroscience which will equip him with many of the tools he will use throughout his career. 

During his studies at the University of Adelaide, Ethan has excelled academically, attaining first-class honours in his Bachelor of Medical Science and winning several scholarships for research he has performed at the University of Adelaide and at the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Harvard University. 

Alongside his studies, he has held many roles as a student advocate, including serving as the chair of the University’s peak student representation committee, the Student Affairs Committee, and as a member of the University’s board, University Council. 

He has been an active contributor to the medical student community, in part by leading the launch of a student association that seeks to foster interest in psychiatry and raise awareness of mental health issues, and by delivering revision lectures to younger students. 

Around 90 scholars are selected each year for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship on the basis of academic excellence, leadership potential, commitment to improving the lives of others, and fit with the program they are applying for. The scholarship is to the University of Cambridge what the Rhodes Scholarship is to the University of Oxford.