Privacy notice: scholarship applicants

This statement explains how the Gates Cambridge Trust (‘we’ and ‘our’) handles and uses the personal data we collect from applicants for our awards(‘you’ and ‘your’). We are committed to protecting your personal information and to being transparent about what information we hold. The following statements set out specifically how the Gates Cambridge Trust uses your personal data in relation to applying for a scholarship

What is ‘personal information’?

‘Personal information’ means any information which relates to or identifies you as an individual.

How does this webpage relate to other information about data protection?

When you applied to become a student you were told how the University and the relevant College(s) would use your personal information to process your application and for relate purposes, including with regard to any funding applications. Full details are available from

Who will process my personal information?

The information provided here applies to the use, sharing and disclosure of your personal information by the Gates Cambridge Trust in relation to your application for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

What personal information will be processed?

The Gates Cambridge Trust will keep a record of the details you provided on your application form for admission to the University, any supporting documents requested a part of the admission process, any additional details provided by referees and recorded following any interview process and any additional information provided by you as part of the application process.

Your personal information is created, stored and transmitted securely in a variety of paper and electronic formats, including a database. Access to your personal information is limited to Gates Cambridge Trust staff who have a legitimate interest in it for the purpose of carrying out their contractual duties. The use of your personal information will not be excessive.

What is the purpose and legal basis of the processing?

We will process the personal information provided on your application for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship (which forms part of your application for admission and funding to the University of Cambridge) and the other information referred to above for the purposes of identifying you, processing your application, verifying the information provided, deciding whether to offer you a scholarship, and communicating that outcome.

We may also use or disclose the information provided for the following statutory or public interest purposes:

  • To prevent or detect fraud.
  • For equal opportunities monitoring.
  • To help us to make reasonable adjustments for any disability, as requested by you.
  • To provide statutory returns required by applicable legislation.
  • For research and statistical purposes, but no information which could identify you will be published.

We consider the processing of your personal information for the above purposes to be either necessary for us to take steps with a view to creating a contractual relationship with you (e.g. to assess your application for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship), or necessary for compliance with a legal obligation (e.g. equal opportunities monitoring), or necessary for the performance of tasks we carry out related to our work (e.g. reporting). We require you to provide us with the information we ask for during the application process in order to assess your application properly except where its supply is marked as optional. Scholarship decisions are not automated.

Sensitive information

When we ask for sensitive information (sometimes known as ‘special categories of personal data’), we’ll tell you why we are asking for it. These questions will often be optional. We may ask for information about your:

  • Ethnicity: this is optional data provided by you in the University’s application form. We use it solely for the purposes of equal opportunities monitoring.
  • Health: for example, if you require accessibility adjustments at interview. We use this data that you provide with your consent.
  • Religious beliefs – for example, when signing up to our events and providing your food preferences. We use such data solely for event planning purposes.

 Who will my personal information be shared with?

As described above, your personal information (including photographs of you) is shared with relevant staff at the Gates Cambridge Trust as required. In addition, it is shared as permitted or required by law, on a considered and confidential basis, with a range of external organisations, including:

  • The University of Cambridge and the Cambridge Colleges. Please note that the University and each of the Colleges are separate legal entities for these purposes.
  • Gates Cambridge shortlisters, should your academic department at Cambridge nominate you for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship.
  • Gates Cambridge interviewers, should you be invited to interview for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship.
  • Gates Cambridge Trust auditors, should they request to see your application details.
  • Gates Cambridge Trust Trustees, for governance and reporting.
  • Other funding bodies at Cambridge, who work together as part of the Graduate Funding Competition to best allocate funding across the University. Although these funding bodies will have their own access to your application data.

On occasion, the above types of sharing may involve the transfer of your personal information outside the European Economic Area. Such transfers usually are necessary in order to meet our contractual obligations with you, and are carried out with appropriate safeguards in place to ensure the confidentiality and security of your personal information.

Other than as set out above, we will not normally publish or disclose any personal information about you to other external enquirers or organisations unless you have requested it or consented to it, or unless it is in your vital interest to do so (e.g. in an emergency situation).

How is my personal information used if I am offered a scholarship?

We publish details of all our successful scholars on our website when we announce each new class. This information consists of your name, nationality, degree, subject, College, matriculation year, your biographical details and a photo. We will ask your permission to use this data before we announce the new class of scholars. You may also opt out of this at any time by updating your display preferences in your on-line profile or by contacting us using the details below. We do not publish any details of applicants who were not successful in the Gates Cambridge competition.

We also profile scholars-elect on our website, social media and other channels and in our publications. If you are profiled, you will have been involved in every step of this process and will be asked to agree to the final piece of content before publication.

Further details about how the Gates Cambridge Trust holds and process data for Scholars and alumni is provided below.

How can I access my personal information?

You have the right to access the personal information that is held about you by the Gates Cambridge Trust.

You also have the right to ask us to correct any inaccurate personal information we hold about you, to delete personal information, or to otherwise restrict our processing (including the receipt of direct marketing) or to receive an electronic copy of the personal information you provided to us. Please note that all these rights are qualified in various ways.

How long is my information kept?

We store and process your personal information for the duration of the application period concerned (usually one year). After that, your data is either deleted or anonymised for reporting purposes, unless you become a Gates Cambridge Scholar (see below).

How do I complain?

The Gates Cambridge Trust will take any request, comment or complaint about data protection seriously and will make every effort to find the best solution and comply with legislation and your wishes. In the first instance we ask that you contact us (details below) so we can aim to resolve the issue. But if you are not happy with the way your information is being handled, or with the response received from us, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF (

Who can I contact?

If you have any questions about how your personal information is used, or wish to exercise any of your rights, please contact:

Gates Cambridge
Ground Floor, The Warehouse
33 Bridge Street


This statement was last updated in July 2023. It is reviewed when necessary and at least annually. Any changes will be published here and you will be notified via this webpage.

This page was last updated on 31 August 2023 .