Privacy notice: Scholars-elect, Scholars and Alumni

This statement explains how the Gates Cambridge Trust (‘we’ and ‘our’) handles and uses the personal data we collect for Scholars that we fund and alumni who are part of the Gates Cambridge community (‘you’ and ‘your’). We are committed to protecting your personal information and to being transparent about what information we hold. The following statement sets out specifically how the Gates Cambridge Trust uses your personal data in relation to being a recipient of a scholarship and being part of the alumni network.

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 related purposes, including with regard to any funding applications. Full details are available from

Who will process my personal information?

The information published here applies to the use, sharing and disclosure of your personal information by the Gates Cambridge Trust.

What personal information will be processed?

The Gates Cambridge Trust will keep a record of the details you provided on your application form, any supporting documents requested as part of the admissions process and additional details provided by any referees and recorded following any interview process. We will also maintain records about your studies at Cambridge. This personal information will include data such as your name, home address, date of birth, course studied, payments made to you or on your behalf, and information about your progress on the course.

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.

In addition, the public Directory on our website allows scholars-elect, scholars and alumni to maintain a public profile page on our website. Your on-line profile contains information relating to your course at Cambridge, previous education, biographical details (e.g. nationality, brief bio) and a photo. You can choose to display all, some or none your public profile by logging into to your profile via our website and updating your settings – or by emailing the Trust. You have full control over what information is and is not displayed on our website.

From time to time, we may augment the data we hold on scholars and alumni with publicly available data (e.g. a published institutional contact address) for the purpose of enabling participation in the Gates Cambridge community.

What is the purpose and legal basis of the processing?

The Gates Cambridge Trust will process your personal information for a range of contractual, statutory and reporting purposes, including the following:

  • To deliver and administer your scholarship and record the details of your progress with your studies.
  • To administer the financial aspect of your relationship with us.
  • To enable your participation within the Gates Cambridge community (e.g. events).
  • To communicate effectively with you by post, email and phone, including the distribution of relevant newsletters and circulars.
  • To compile statistics and conduct surveys and research for internal and statutory reporting purposes.
  • To fulfil and monitor our responsibilities under equalities, immigration and public safety legislation.
  • To promote the work of the Gates Cambridge Trust.


We consider the processing of your personal information for these purposes to be either necessary for the performance of our contractual obligations with you, or necessary for compliance with a legal obligation, or necessary for the pursuit of the legitimate interests of the Gates Cambridge Trust or an external organisation or individual who may provide a particular service (e.g. to pay funds to you and to enable your access to your on-line profile on our website). If we require your consent for any specific use of your personal information, we will collect it at the appropriate time and you can withdraw this at any time. We will not use your personal information to carry out any wholly automated decision-making that affects you.

The Gates Cambridge Trust does not currently engage in fundraising and will therefore neither solicit you for money nor conduct targeted internet searches regarding your wealth, income or related information.

In addition, the Gates Cambridge Trust, Scholars’ Council and Alumni Association will keep you up to date with events, opportunities and benefits. You can control the information you receive by logging in to your on-line profile and choosing your communications preferences and/or by unsubscribing from emails we send.

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 are applying for funding from the Trust for additional support for health reasons. 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 Trust auditors, should they request to see your awards and payment details for the purposes of auditing our accounts.
  • Gates Cambridge Trust Trustees, for governance and reporting purposes.
  • 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.
  • If required by law, relevant Government Departments (e.g. Department of Education, Home Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department of Health).
  • On occasion and where necessary, subsidiary companies of the University.
  • Companies or organisations providing specific services to, or on behalf of, the Gates Cambridge Trust (e.g. an organisation that hosts our members’ website).
  • Cambridge University Development and Alumni Relations Office (CUDAR). We work closely with CUDAR to provide our shared alumni with a coordinated approach. Any transmission of data to or from CUDAR is managed through agreed processes which comply with relevant data protection legislation. CUDAR has its own data protection statement and procedures, which can be found here:
  • Where an event is organised in partnership with the Gates Cambridge Scholars’ Council (e.g. orientation for new scholars) or Gates Cambridge Alumni Association (e.g. welcome events) and your data will be shared with these bodies, we will make this clear on the registration form.


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 in publicity and promotions?

On our public website we publish details of all our successful scholars on our New Scholars page to promote the programme and your success. This information consists of your name, nationality, degree, subject, College, matriculation year, your biographical details and a photo. You may 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 also profile scholars-elect, scholars and alumni 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.

In addition we host events for Scholars and alumni throughout the year, and photographers are often present. Photographs (of groups and individuals) taken at these events may be published on our website and in other publicity material and may be shared with the organisations listed above. If at any time you do not wish your photograph to be used for publicity purposes please do inform us.

How is my personal information used after I graduate?

After you graduate your contact and core personal details, in addition to details of the scholarship, are added to our alumni database and retained indefinitely in order to provide you with lifelong access to the Gates Cambridge community. Your data is used by us for a number of interdependent purposes in support of alumni relations. These include:

  • Sending you publications
  • Conducting surveys
  • Sending you invitations to alumni events and information about other relevant opportunities
  • Internal record keeping, including the management of any feedback or complaints

If you have concerns or queries about any of these purposes, or how we communicate with you, please contact us using the details listed below. We will always respect a request by you to stop processing your personal data.

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?

While you are a current scholar (i.e. being paid by us) we are required to store and process your personal information for the tenure of your award and for six years thereafter (as required for statutory auditing purposes).

Once you become an alumnus/na we store your data indefinitely in order to provide you with access to the Gates Cambridge community (e.g. emails and access to your on-line profile on our website). If you request us to remove you from our database – and therefore your access to the Gates Cambridge – community – we will do this, although we will retain some basic data about you for reporting and to ensure we do not accidentally contact you in future.

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 February 2024. 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 9 February 2024.