Scholars Elect

Formally accepting/declining your offer of a scholarship

You will have recently received an offer letter by email from the Trust offering you a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. Your offer letter sets out all of the details and conditions – please read it carefully and keep a copy for your records.

Your offer letter contains a decision form that you should sign and return to us.  You can also download the form from this page .  Your Gates Cambridge offer is not final until we have received your signed copy.

By signing this form you are accepting the terms and conditions of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship as set out in your offer letter (which include conditions outlined in the Gates Cambridge Guidelines for Scholars, the University’s policies and the guidelines of your College).  Once we receive your acceptance form we will upload a copy of your offer letter to your student Self-Service account, which will act as proof of you being able to meet your University of Cambridge financial condition – please note that you will still need to sign and upload the University of Cambridge Financial Undertaking form to your student Self-Service account.  If you plan to decline the award we ask that you spend a moment setting out your reasons as this is helpful for our bench marking and reporting.  Please note that all comments will be treated confidentially.

Decision form

Completing your offer conditions

Update 15 July: We are aware that some Scholars will not be able to meet their “Academic” condition at the moment as they do not have evidence of their final results from their current course. The University is sympathetic to this delay and has automatically extended all offer deadlines to 21 August 2020. If you will not be able to meet your offer conditions by this new date, you can apply to the Graduate Admissions Office for a further deadline extension.

Please ensure that you regularly check your student self-service area in the University admissions portal so that you can see the conditions (if any) that are associated with your offer of a place at Cambridge and whether you have any outstanding.  The University will use this portal to alert you to any missing documents or if you need to provide supplementary materials.

Your place at Cambridge and therefore your Gates Cambridge Scholarship are only final once you have met all conditions in your student self-service area.


Applying for your visa and visa reimbursement

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, you may not be able to make your visa application yet.  Please monitor the UK government website for information.

Update 8th July: We have been alerted that in some countries, only premium service centres are currently open – please do not use these services without checking with the Trust.  At this time we are not authorising use of this considerably more expensive visa route and ask students to wait for more appointments to become available, as is expected in the coming weeks.  If you proceed with a visa application through the premium service route you will be liable for the additional cost.

It is likely that you will need a student visa for your studies at Cambridge and therefore your scholarship will cover this cost (including the Immigration Health Surcharge*) at the standard rate.  You can check whether or not you require a visa to study in the UK on the government website. Details and advice about how to apply for a student visa can be found on the University’s international student website (this is the University’s dedicated student visa team – the Trust is not able to provide advice about visas).

You are strongly encouraged to submit your visa application as soon as possible, but no earlier than three months before the start of your course, as processing times during the summer months can be longer.  The Trust covers the cost of standard visa processing, if you wish to use a more expensive priority premium service you will need the pay the difference in cost and provide evidence of the standard visa rate (however, in very exceptional circumstances where a priority service is unavoidable scholars may contact the Trust to see if it can help with these costs).

Residents of certain countries will also be required to take a tuberculosis (TB) test as part of their visa application process and the Trust will reimburse you for this additional cost. You can check if you need to take a TB test on the UK government visa website.

* The Trust covers this cost to allow ‘free at the point of care’ access to the National Health Service; your award does not include private healthcare.

Please note: some courses require you to obtain ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance before you can begin your visa application, in particular students undertaking a PhD-level research degree or Masters course in certain science and technology subjects. Graduate students who are required to apply for ATAS will have it included as a condition of offer and will be able to view an ATAS summary of research and the course JACS code, required for the ATAS application, in their applicant self-service portal.

Reimbursements will usually be made upon your arrival in Cambridge, once you have opened a UK bank account and submitted a complete reimbursement form with supporting documents.

Reimbursement form instructions
Reimbursement form

Arranging your travel to Cambridge

Please note that you should not make any travel plans until the start arrangements for your course are confirmed and you have permission from your College to travel to Cambridge.

Update 27 August: Unfortunately our travel agent, STA Travel UK, has ceased trading with immediate effect.  Please find the updated flight request process below.

Update 17 August: If you have permission from your College to travel to Cambridge, and have made your visa application (if required), the Trust will begin to authorise flights/travel.  Please use the airfare form below to indicate your preferred route and dates. 

Your Gates Cambridge Scholarship covers the cost of your economy class travel to Cambridge.  You will need to research flights for your travel to Cambridge (and home at the end of your studies).  Before confirming or paying for your flight, please submit the Flight Authorisation Form below with your proposed flight details to check that the Trust will be able to reimburse the travel costs that you will incur.  The Trust will then need to review and approve your proposed flight option. Once approved, you can book and pay for the flight. You will then need to submit a reimbursement form with supporting receipts for the Trust to reimburse you the agreed costs by bank transfer.

Scholars should use a flight comparison website, such as Skyskanner –, to investigate the best value travel options available to them. In some cases it may be more appropriate for you to travel by bus or train and if so, please still use the Flight Authorisation Form to check your travel plans with the Trust.

The Trust requests that you are flexible with your choice of route, airline, departure date and departure/arrival airport where possible in order to source a competitively priced ticket.  This information should be evidenced to the Trust in the three journey quotes that you provide in the Flight Authorisation Form.

For example, when travelling to Cambridge you may have the choice of multiple London airports, such as London Stansted, London Heathrow or London Gatwick.  Also, by using the calendar function on travel websites you can view which days are cheaper to travel, it may make a significant difference to your ticket price if you depart a day or two earlier (or later). All savings allow the Trust to make the most effective use of its funds for the benefit of all scholars it supports.

Once you have researched your travel options, please complete the Flight Authorisation Form and submit to our dedicated travel email address – to request permission from the Trust to book your journey.

Flight authorisation form

A note on insurance – your Gates Cambridge Scholarship does not provide insurance for your travel or to cover your personal belongings.  As soon as your travel arrangements are confirmed, we ask that you take out a suitable travel insurance policy in case of any travel delays, loss or damage to your possessions or changes to your plans (particularly in light of the current coronavirus situation).

Reimbursement form instructions
Reimbursement form

Promoting your success

The Trust is keen that you promote your achievement in being selected for this globally prestigious scholarship.  Please read the guidance sheet on Promoting your success for more information.

Promoting your success

Key activities

Update 15 July: Unfortunately for September 2020, due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, we are disappointed to announce that Gates Cambridge Induction and Orientation activities will be moved fully on-line and we have had to cancel our class welcome dinner on 30 September. 

The Trust and Scholars’ Council are making alternative plans, including a variety of virtual induction events for scholars-elect to meet and be introduced to the Gates Cambridge community, and are looking forward to welcoming you virtually! More details will follow shortly.

There are a range of activities you will be informed about, from Orientation in late September all the way through to the Graduation Dinner towards the end of your course – with much in between. You can get a general sense of the key activities from the Experience page. The Scholars’ Council will also be in touch with you about Induction and Orientation in the coming months.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about your Scholarship please email  and we will be happy to answer them.