The Gates Cambridge Scholarship program 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.

Each year Gates Cambridge offers about 80 full-cost scholarships to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge. Approximately two-thirds of these awards will be offered to Ph.D. students, with approximately 25 awards available in the U.S. round and 55 available in the international round.

The selection criteria are:

  • outstanding intellectual ability
  • reasons for choice of course
  • a commitment to improving the lives of others
  • leadership potential

There are at least 225 Scholars from about 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 Gates Cambridge mission is to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others. It aims to achieve this mission by selecting outstanding scholars, providing them with financial and non-financial support at one of the world’s leading universities and facilitating community building at and beyond Cambridge.