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Graduate funding

Graduate Funding Opportunities

The Faculty of Divinity is delighted to announce a range of funding opportunities for PhD and MPhil students applying to start research in the field of theological and religious studies at the University of Cambridge in the academic year 2018-2019. The university’s competitions for Arts and Humanities Research Council awards and Cambridge Trust awards are all open to eligible applicants to the Faculty.

Arts and Humities Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership at Cambridge

AHRC doctoral awards cover fees for Home or EU students, and also maintenance at the university’s standard rates for Home students only. You should fill in the funding box on the application form but also complete and submit the special AHRC application form. See full details of how to apply for the Cambridge AHRC awards.

Cambridge Trust awards

You should fill in the funding box on the application form.  See important information on Cambridge Trust awards.

Gates Cambridge Scholarships

Your should fill in the funding box on the application form also complete the personal statement.  See important information on  Gates Cambridge Scholarships. Gates Cambridge Scholars are expected to demonstrate not only academic excellence but also leadership potential and a commitment to improving the lives of others, and it is important to use the Gates section of the application form to convey this information to the assessors.

The deadline for applications for Round 1 of the Gates Cambridge competition (for US citizens normally resident in the USA) is 11 October, and the deadline for Round 2 (for citizens of all eligible countries other than USA, and US citizens normally resident outside the USA) is 6 December 2017.

Background

Gates Cambridge Scholarships are highly prestigious awards and competition is fierce. There are two rounds: for US nationals and for non-US international students. The scholarships are awarded to applicants who can demonstrate excellence in all four Gates’ criteria: outstanding intellectual ability; leadership potential; a commitment to improving the lives of others; and, a good fit between the applicant's qualifications and aspirations and the postgraduate programme at Cambridge for which they are applying. Full details about the scholarships and the selection procedure are found at the Gates Cambridge Scholarships web site.

Applying for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Because the Cambridge application form places strong emphasis on intellectual ability, the Gates Trust has requested that candidates fill in a statement supporting their application for a Gates Cambridge Scholarships (up to 500 words) and an additional reference. These should make particular reference to the Gates’ criteria that are not covered elsewhere in the Cambridge application form, viz. leadership potential and a commitment to improving the lives of others.

Common mistakes made in applying for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship

  • Seeking to impress academically in the Gates box on the application form. There are numerous pages on the application form that should demonstrate your academic abilities. The Gates box and reference are the only places where you can demonstrate your service for others and leadership. There is no need to make a further case for your intellectual qualities.

  • Failing to detail the nature of service or leadership. Assessors view significant quantitative information about your academic study: academic grades, professors’ assessment of how students compare to their cohort, degrees studied, languages learnt and to what level. Similar detail should be given about service and leadership. What did you do? How did it make a difference? How many years did you undertake the role? How many people were in the team you led?

  • Assuming knowledge on the part of the assessors. Applicants often enumerate service and leadership in just a single sentence, and so fail to provide the detail that is needed and assume assessors will understand the service undertaken. Theologians and RS scholars often fail to describe what leadership and service can be seen in a mission trip, being a minister of religion or Sunday school teaching.

  • Choosing a referee who comments on academic ability only. Two academic references are required for any application for postgraduate study in Cambridge. The Gates reference needs to specifically address leadership potential and commitment to improving the lives of others.

  • Writing an aspirational statement about future leadership or service. Commitment to others and leadership potential are demonstrated through past activities, however modest.

  • Having a narrow sense of what leadership and commitment to the lives of others means. Starting an international charity and managing a team of thirty people are not the only means of demonstrating leadership and service. In addition, note that ‘others’ has not been restricted to human beings.

Awards from the Faculty of Divinity

You will be considered for funding when you are offered a place on the M.Phil. or Ph.D. degrees

Funding decisions are taken on the basis of an assessment of academic ability and research potential, examination results, references and interview but also consideration is given to the suitability of your proposed topic within the Faculty’s research priorities and the availability of expert supervisors.

Barnard Randolph Studentships in Christian Theology

Apply to the Faculty's MPhil in Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion to take the Christian Theology stream for 2018/2019.  The maximum possible value of a Barnard Randolph Studentship for the academic year 2018-19 would be £10,800 (the course fee at the Home/EU rate).

The Burney Studentship in Philosophy of Religion

Applying or taking the M.Phil. or Ph.D. degree in the Philosophy of Religion field.  The studentship is for one year but may be given for one further year subject to satisfactory progress.  The maximum amount is £13,000.

Current Students should send your current CV and two academic references to Dr Peter Haland by 13 February 2018.

Applicants should fill in the funding box on the application form saying that you want to be considered for Burney funding.

Bethune-Baker Home/EU MPhil Studentship

Apply to the Faculty's MPhil in Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion to do any area of Theology for 2018/2019. You should fill in the funding box on the application form saying you want to be considered for Bethune-Baker funding.  The sum awarded will cover the cost of fees (£10,800) at the Home/EU rate.

Shapiro Studentships in Jewish Studies

Apply to the Faculty’s MPhil in Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion to do Jewish Studies for 2018/2019.   You should fill in the funding box on the application form saying you want to be considered for Shapiro funding.  The maximum possible value would be £10,800 (the course fee at the Home/EU rate).

Westminster College, Cambridge: Lewis and Gibson Scholarship

This Scholarship has its own page.

C.F.D. Moule MPhil Studentship

Apply to the Faculty's MPhil in Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion to take the New Testament stream. The studentship is funded by the CFD Moule Memorial Fund which is administered by Clare College.  You should fill in the funding box on the application form saying you want to be considered for C.F.D. Moule funding.  The sum awarded will be £12,000 and the successful candidate will be a member of Clare College.