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Scholarship Guide: How to Apply for 2023 Gates Cambridge Scholarship to Study in UK

Guides to Apply for the 2023 Gates Cambridge Scholarship

This is a step-by-step guide on how to successfully apply for the 2023 Gates Cambridge Scholarship. All information provided here is all that is contained in the scholarship application process. All sections are explained with clarity below to give you a perfect guide on how to apply for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

The Application Form Section

Applicants apply for admission and funding (Gates Cambridge and other sources) through the University’s Graduate Application Portal.


To be considered for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, you must first complete the application for admission to a course and a College place, as well as the Gates Cambridge section of the funding section. When reviewing applications for admission and funding, Gates Cambridge has access to the entire application.

The Admission Section

You are applying to a specific graduate course and a College place in this section. You will provide the standard information about yourself, your academic background, your plans, and your suitability for the proposed course.


The Scholarship Funding Section

In this section, you can apply for a variety of funding opportunities provided by the University and affiliated organizations, including the Gates Cambridge Scholarships, which have their own sub-section. When applying for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, you must provide the following information:


In the application form we ask:

“In no more than 3000 characters (approximately 500 words) please explain why you are applying for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship and how you meet the four main criteria.” Full details about the selection criteria and interview process can be found at:

Gates Cambridge uses the statement to help distinguish between candidates nominated by academic departments. It assists us in identifying candidates who, in addition to being academically exceptional, have a capacity for leadership and a desire to improve the lives of others.

This is the only section of the application form where applicants are specifically asked about their fit with the Gates Cambridge program, so use your background, achievements, experiences, and future goals to demonstrate how you meet the program’s criteria.

Research Proposal (Ph.D. applicants only)

Gates Cambridge only requires Ph.D. applicants to submit a research proposal as part of their funding application. Most Ph.D. applicants will upload a research proposal as part of their admissions application, but a research proposal is required to apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship if this is not the case. If you are applying for a degree other than a Ph.D., you do not need to submit a research proposal as part of your Gates Cambridge Scholarship application materials.

Gates Cambridge Reference

In addition to two academic references for admission, Gates Cambridge applicants must arrange for someone to submit a reference setting out how they meet the scholarship’s criteria.

In the application form we ask:

Please give your assessment of the applicant’s suitability for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. These are awarded on the following criteria: intellectual ability, justification for the choice of course, a commitment to improving the lives of others, and leadership capacity.

We also ask:
  • How highly would you rank the applicant for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship?
  • On what overall group are you basing this ranking?
  • What is the size of this group?

The Gates Cambridge reference is used in the same way as the Gates Cambridge statement – to help distinguish between those candidates who have been nominated by academic departments.

Referees are also asked how they rate the applicant for the scholarship: exceptional, strong, not strong, weak. They may paste/type up to 4,000 characters into the online reference or upload a separate letter.

Also Apply: 2023 Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships for Developing Countries

Who Should Write the Gates Cambridge Reference?

You should ask someone of appropriate standing who can answer the question authoritatively and understands the Gates Cambridge program’s criteria and highly competitive nature, as well as academic standards at the University of Cambridge.


Many applicants inquire with a current or former academic advisor who is aware of their personal characteristics, a current or former employer, or a senior member of an organization with which they have volunteered – though this is by no means an exhaustive list. Some applicants request that one of their two academic referees write the Gates Cambridge reference for them; this is acceptable as long as that person has a good understanding of your personal qualities and specifically addresses how you meet the Gates Cambridge criteria (It also lacks a third academic reference).


You should not ask a friend or a family member, or someone who is unable to comment on your suitability for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

Points to Consider

Below are important points to consider

  • It is essential that the Gates Cambridge referee is fully briefed about the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, especially its selection criteria, so they can write the most appropriate reference for you;
  • It is useful when referees use specific examples of how you meet the Scholarship’s criteria;
  • You will need to ensure your Gates Cambridge referee understands the need to keep the reference focused on the Gates Cambridge criteria (and not, for example, rehash a standard or previous reference).
  • You must ensure both your academic and gates Cambridge referees submit their references by the specified deadline

Visit Gates Cambridge Scholarship Post Here.


Apply Here



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