Gates Cambridge welcomes 51 new Scholars

  • April 8, 2013
Gates Cambridge welcomes 51 new Scholars

Fifty-one of the world's most academically brilliant and socially committed young people from 24 countries have been selected as Gates Cambridge Scholars.

Fifty-one of the world’s most academically brilliant and socially committed young people from 24 countries have been selected as Gates Cambridge Scholars and will begin their postgraduate courses at the University of Cambridge this October.

They include the first two Scholars from Egypt. Competition for the Scholarships is fierce. The 51 successful candidates were selected from a total pool of 3,500 applicants on the basis of their intellectual ability, leadership capacity, academic fit with Cambridge, and their commitment to improving the lives of others. Departments in Cambridge nominated candidates for the Scholarships and, of these, 100 were interviewed in Cambridge in late March (in person, by Skype or by telephone).

The new Scholars include Egyptian students Nouran Abdelfattah and Maha Shash. Abdelfattah is doing an MPhil in Clinical Science focusing specifically on the field of oncology. Shash will study for a PhD in Sociology at Cambridge and aims to address the gap between rhetoric and reality in social relationships in the new Egypt.

The 51 new Scholars span a broad range of countries, from Taiwan to New Zealand to Peru. Nine Scholars are from Canada, six from the USA, five from Germany, four from South Africa, three from Australia and China and two from Pakistan and Kenya. Bangladesh has its third Gates Cambridge Scholar in Hosna Jahan.

This year’s new Scholars include a trained classical singer, an environmental lawyer, a civil engineer, a teacher of peacebuilding in Somalia and a conductor and pianist. They are fairly evenly balanced between Arts and Sciences and between those doing PhDs and those doing one-year postgraduate courses.

The subjects their research covers range from cancer, malaria, climate change mitigation policies and the effect of antiretroviral drugs on the health of HIV positive mothers to the experiences of Mau Mau women detainees and how East London benefit claimants feel about citizenship. 

The 51 Scholars chosen in the International selection round will join 39 new American Gates Cambridge Scholars who were selected after interviews in the USA in February. Fifty of the new intake are women and 40 are men.

Professor Robert Lethbridge, Provost (CEO) of the Gates Cambridge Trust, said: “We are delighted to have awarded Gates Cambridge Scholarships to 51 outstanding individuals from such a wide spread of countries and backgrounds. The Scholars are truly remarkable people and showed at interview that they fit the mission of the Scholarship by their commitment to using their academic skills and leadership capacity to improve the lives of others. We look forward to welcoming all 90 outstanding new Scholars to Cambridge in October and to seeing their future impact as Gates Cambridge Alumni.”

Andrew Gruen, President of the Gates Cambridge Scholar’s Council, said current Scholars are already busy getting ready for their new colleagues and are looking forward to meeting everyone in person. “Although there are many great things about being a Gates Cambridge Scholar, the community of incredible people is surely the best,” Gruen said.  “No matter the subject, there’s a Scholar who is an authority, and we work hard to build everyone into a group of friends.  As you can imagine, this makes for some pretty excellent lunch conversations – topics like modelling global warming, politics in central Africa, or even translating ancient Hebrew come up all the time.”

A map which shows where the new Scholars are from is available here.

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