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

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

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 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.

Full-time students who hold a European Healthcare Insurance Card (EHIC) issued in an EU country will be able to apply for an Immigration Health Surcharge refund from the UK government from 22 January 2022. Any eligible scholar who chooses to apply for this refund must inform the Trust so that arrangements can be made for any reimbursed funds to be returned to the Trust.

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 06 September 2021 – Covid testing for UK arrivals:
The Trust understands that incoming students from Green and Amber list countries are required to book and take either one or two Covid tests (depending on their vaccination status) on arrival in the UK.

The UK government has a number of approved test providers that will allow you to self-test but the prices vary considerably.  As such, the Trust has set a maximum reimbursement for this Covid testing as follows;
Day 2 & 8 testing – reimburse up to £100
Day 2 testing only – reimburse up to £50

The Trust will not reimburse any “Test to release” on Day 5 costs as this is an optional test. Scholars may book this if they wish with their own personal funds.

Scholars arriving from Red list countries will automatically receive Day 2 & Day 8 tests as part of their hotel quarantine package and do not need to purchase any extra tests.

Your Gates Cambridge Scholarship covers the cost of your economy class travel to Cambridge at the start and end of your course, with one checked bag.

As of 06 August 2021, the Trust has a new travel agent – Clarity Travel.  If you have fully met your University offer conditions, you may now contact Clarity Travel to begin organising your journey.  Scholars who will be travelling to Cambridge from Coronavirus red zone countries, when a compulsory, UK hotel quarantine is required, must obtain permission from the Trust before making any bookings and incurring these additional expenses.  The Trust will only reimburse authorised travel plans.

Travel booking option 1 (preferred)

Please complete the Clarity travel form for students with your passport details and the details of your journey and email to Clarity Travel who will then work with you to find a suitable ticket. Please note that Clarity Travel business hours are Monday to Friday, 9.00am – 5.30pm.

Once your travel option is agreed, Clarity Travel will contact the Trust for authorisation to book and invoice the Trust.

Your e-ticket will then be issued directly to you. If you wish, you can also download the Go2Mobile guide to manage your ticket on your mobile phone and to receive travel alerts.

Please note that your 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).

Travel booking option 2

For students who are travelling with family, it may be more convenient for you to book your own travel tickets and be reimbursed by the Trust on your arrival.

If this is the case, 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.

The Trust will cover the cost of one checked bag, if it is not included with your travel ticket, but it does not pay for any further bags or excess luggage costs.

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

Please note that your 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

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.

Please be aware that due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic and uncertainty about what activities will be allowed in late September 2021, the Trust and Scholars’ Council are making plans for a hybrid Orientation programme, including a variety of virtual induction events for scholars-elect to meet and be introduced to the Gates Cambridge community. More details will follow in the coming months.

Any questions?

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