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Winston Churchill Scholarship (University of Cambridge, UK)

Award: Approximately ~$65,000 for a year of Master’s study in engineering, mathematics, and the sciences at the University of Cambridge, based at Churchill College. The stipend includes University and College fees (tuition), roundtrip airfare, visa fees and health surcharge, a living allowance/stipend that is 5% higher than the UK Research Council standard, and the possibility of a $4,000 special research grant

Number of awards: 

  • 18 scholarships per year
    • 16 Churchill Scholarship for science, mathematics, and engineering
    • 2 Kanders-Churchill Scholarships in science policy
  • maximum of 2 nominees per institution each year 

UC San Diego Deadline to be considered for nomination: October 18, 2024

Agency Deadline for nomination: Typically late October/early November. (Next deadline: November 1, 2024, 5 pm Eastern Time / 2 pm Pacific Time)



  • US citizen, either native-born or naturalized 
  • Graduating senior or student who graduated within the past 12 months from UC San Diego (or other participating institutions) before applying for the general Churchill Scholarship
    • Kanders-Churchill scholars do not have a time limit to apply after graduating
  • Upon taking up the Churchill Scholarship, a Churchill Scholar must hold a bachelor’s degree
    • Kanders Churchill Scholars will hold a bachelor’s degree (either as a major or minor concentration) in science, mathematics, or engineering, from any US college or university and will pursue a Master’s in Public Policy


  • Four (4) outstanding letters of recommendation plus an endorsement letter from the institutional advisor
  • Academic record
    • There is no minimum GPA, though most applicants have a very high average (generally 3.8+)
  • Personal Statement
    • This essay of no more than 1,000 words should give the committee a clear sense of who you are, how your interests have developed, and how and why study at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, fits into your future plans.
  •  Proposed course/program of study at Cambridge, Churchill College -- 1 page
    • The student's proposed course of study at Cambridge should reflect a clear awareness of the faculty and facilities available there, and an understanding of the British higher educational system. Applicants should begin researching appropriate degree programs no later than spring quarter preceding the year of application.
  • Academic and Research History -- 2-pages
  • College transcript from each institution attended.
  • Letter of interest or commitment from a director of a laboratory in Cambridge, if available and relevant (not required)
  • Informal telephone interview for finalists

NOTE: Applicants for the Churchill Scholarship must apply separately to the University of Cambridge no later than mid-October. Refer to the complete application instructions, available on the Churchill website.

Criteria for Selection

  • Outstanding academic achievement. There is no minimum GPA, though most applicants have a very high average. The Committee looks at achievement in STEM courses, especially in the major, as indicated by course grades and recommendation letters.
  • Proven talent in research. Applicants in the sciences and engineering will demonstrate extensive laboratory experience, internships, or other related work, while applicants in mathematics will show substantial independent work or other projects. The Committee looks for originality and creativity.
  • Outstanding personal qualities. Understanding the time commitment required by research, the Churchill Foundation does not seek so-called “well-rounded applicants”; instead, it seeks applicants with what we call interesting “jagged edges.” The Committee takes into account interests and achievements outside of research, but it does not favor any particular kind of activity.


  • You have the opportunity to focus on your own research without other obligations.
  • Cambridge labs are non-hierarchical, and you are treated as a valued team member.
  • The academic culture emphasizes work-life balance.
  • You form friendships with future colleagues from all over the world.
  • Churchill College is the only college at Cambridge that focuses on STEM subjects.
  • Most Scholars who go on to a PhD or MD take a different path than they expected before this experience.

Application Process

1. Select a course
‍Choosing the right course for you can be far from straightforward, and you should check the Programs of Study page for a list of eligible courses. Do not limit yourself and look at labs in a variety of departments. Applicants interested in the MASt in mathematics should first read the Foundation's guide, Part III Mathematics for Churchill Scholars.

2. Fill out the online application

Only online applications will be considered. You may register at our online application portal (see Apply Now button on the Churchill website) starting in May, and fill out your application at that website. In addition to the application form, you will also need to supply a 1-page Proposed Program of Study, a 2-page Academic and Research History, your transcript, and correspondence with a potential lab supervisor (if applicable). All this is explained in detail at the online application portal.

3. Request four academic letters of recommendation

You should seek four people who are directly familiar with your academic or research work. They must submit their letters of recommendation through the online portal. When you request letters, they will receive an email linked to instructions and an upload portal. For convenience, those instructions are also available here .

4. Apply to the University of Cambridge

The Churchill Scholarship is only tenable at Churchill College, so you must put Churchill College as your first choice on the Cambridge application. The Scholarship is only for a 1-year Master’s degree, so your application must be for an MPhil or MASt. Because of Cambridge’s rolling admissions, we strongly suggest that you apply by the deadline for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which is in early October.

5. Complete the application

Complete your online application and press “SUBMIT.” Your application is not complete until your institution nominates you. If you are selected as a nominee by your institution, you may request to “unsubmit” your application by contacting your scholarship adviser or the Foundation at the number or email address below. You can then continue to work on it until close to the nomination deadline. Work with your scholarship office to ensure that there is enough time for them to upload your Institutional Letter of Support before the deadline. Each Participating Institution can nominate up to two applicants. Applicants are normally notified of the results by late December and awards are announced publicly by early February.


Foundation contact:

For further information,
please email
or call 212-752-3200. 

Winston Churchill Scholarship

The Winston Churchill Scholarship requires an endorsement from the UC San Diego Institutional Advisor. It is recommended that applicants review the requirements and meet with the institutional advisor before applying. Please contact URH staff member, Dr. Sophia Tsai, for more information about applying to this scholarship (see contact info below).

Churchill Website

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Gordon Ye

Gordon Ye is a TRELS and URS alum. He also won the Goldwater and Churchill scholarships! Click below to learn more about Gordon's experiences, research on understanding the biological and social aspects of psychiatric disorders, and advice for future undergraduate researchers and scholarship applicants!

Meet Gordon Ye

Gordon Ye Module
UC San Diego student Stephanie Li / Undergraduate Research Scholar

Harrison Li

Harrison has been involved in AEP programs for several years. He recently won the Churchill Scholarship and will continue to pursue research in computational biology for his Masters.

Meet Harrison

Contact Information

Undergraduate Research Logo

Contact: Sophia Tsai Neri, PhD


Phone: 858-534-9014

Make an appointment: