Forty new US Gates Cambridge Scholars have been selected to study at the University of Cambridge this autumn.
Forty of the most academically brilliant and socially committed young people in the US will take up a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge this autumn.
The 40 Scholars represent 38 institutions, seven of which have never had a Gates Cambridge Scholar before.
The seven new institutions are Colby College in Maine, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in New Jersey, Denison University in Ohio, Louisiana State University, Passaic County Community College in New Jersey, the University of South Florida and Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine in New Orleans.
The gender ratio continues to be in favour of women with a record 25 of the 40 being women this year. Twenty-two of the institutions where the new Scholars have studied previously are private, with 14 being public. Five are Ivy League colleges.
Successful candidates come from a broad range of institutions, revealing a high level of access for outstanding candidates from any college or university. The subjects Scholars will study range from transgender identity and unemployment in the Middle East to brain tumour biology (glioblastoma) and antibiotic resistance.
The postgraduate scholarship programme was established through a US$210 million donation to the University of Cambridge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2001, which remains the largest single donation to a UK university. Competition for places is fierce and the programme is unique in its emphasis on social leadership as well as outstanding academic ability.
The successful 40 candidates, 27 of whom will study for one-year master's degree courses and 13 of whom will pursue PhD degrees, were whittled down from an initial field of 755 applicants. The 90 shortlisted candidates were interviewed by US and Cambridge academics in Washington DC at the end of January.
The US Scholars will join 55 Scholars from other parts of the world, who will be announced later this year. At any one time the Gates Cambridge Trust aims to support 225 Scholars at the University of Cambridge – one of the most ancient and prestigious universities in the world.
Professor Barry Everitt, Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust, said: "We are absolutely delighted to announce our new US Scholars. They are an extremely diverse group of outstanding individuals who are both intellectually exceptional and show a dedication to improving the lives of others. We look to them as future leaders who will change the world for the better.”
*Bios and photos of the new US Scholars are available at http://www.gatescambridge.org/our-scholars/new-scholars.aspx