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Graduate funding

Graduate Funding Opportunities

PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS FROM THE FACULTY OF DIVINITY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE 

The Faculty is pleased to announce the following studentships available for specific subject areas. These are prestigious awards only given to those demonstrating the highest levels of academic excellence and promise. 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.

ANNUAL AWARDS for entry in 2021

CHRISTIANITY

New Testament Studies

The Kirby Laing Studentship in New Testament (PhD) will be offered to an exceptional candidate applying for a PhD in any area of New Testament Studies. The topic of the doctoral dissertation should focus on any area of the New Testament. The studentship will contribute to the cost of fees and maintenance for a PhD at the University’s home/EU rate. It is tenable for one year and will be renewed for a further two subject to satisfactory progress.

History of Christianity

The Hort Studentship in Patristics is for exceptional candidates applying to undertake postgraduate work in the field of Patristics. The Managers will make one or more grants of up to £6000 which will partially cover the costs of the degree.

Christian Theology

The Bethune-Baker studentship (MPhil) will be awarded to support an exceptional candidate in any area of Christian Theology in the MPhil in Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion, if a suitably qualified person is found. The sum awarded will contribute to the cost of fees at the Home/EU rate.

The Theological Studies studentship (MPhil) will be offered for funding in any area of Christian Theology in the MPhil in Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion for a an outstanding student, if a suitably qualified candidate is found. The sum awarded will contribute to the cost of maintenance.

 

COMPARATIVE RELIGIOUS STUDIES

The Peregrine Maitland studentship is currently occupied and not available for entry in 2021. This studentship is open to candidates demonstrating excellence for graduate study whose research concerns the study of subjects arising from or affecting the spread of the Christian Religion, the comparison of the Christian Religion with other religions, and the contact of Christian and other civilisations.

The Sultan Qaboos Studentship in Abrahamic Religions and Shared Values (PhD) will be offered for funding towards a PhD, if an outstanding candidate is available. The topic of the doctoral dissertation should focus on relations between at least two of the three religious traditions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), with a preference for the modern period. The studentship will contribute to the cost of fees and maintenance for a PhD at the University’s home/EU rate. It is tenable for one year and will be renewed for a further two subject to satisfactory progress.  

 

ISLAM

The Sheikh Zayed Studentship in Islamic Studies (MPhil) is in any area of Islamic Studies in the MPhil in Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion. The sum awarded will contribute to the cost of fees (up to £12,159) at the Home/EU rate.

The Sheikh Zayed Studentship in Islamic Studies (PhD) will be offered for funding towards a PhD. The studentship will contribute to the cost of fees and maintenance, at the University’s home/EU rate, for an exceptional candidate applying for a PhD. It is tenable for one year and will be renewed for a further two subject to satisfactory progress.

The Hartwell Studentship in Islamic Studies (PhD) will be offered for funding towards a PhD from October 2021. The studentship will contribute to the cost of fees and maintenance for a PhD at the University’s overseas rate. It is tenable for one year and will be renewed for a further two subject to satisfactory progress.  

 

JUDAISM

Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) Studies

The Crosse Studentship (PhD), originally earmarked for the Holy Scriptures in Greek and Hebrew, Ecclesiastical History and Christian Doctrine, will be offered as a prestigious PhD award in Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) Studies, if a suitably qualified candidate applies. The studentship will contribute to the cost of fees and maintenance for a PhD at the University’s home/EU rate. It is tenable for one year and will be renewed for a further two subject to satisfactory progress.

Jewish Studies

The Shapiro Studentship in Jewish Studies (MPhil) is for an outstanding candidate to study in any area of Jewish Studies in the MPhil in Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion. The sum awarded will contribute to the cost of fees at the Home/EU rate.

The Polonsky-Coexist Studentship in Jewish Studies (PhD) will be offered to an exceptional candidate applying for a PhD in any area of Jewish Studies. The topic of the doctoral dissertation should focus on any area of Jewish Studies. The studentship will contribute to the cost of fees and maintenance for a PhD at the University’s home/EU rate. It is tenable for one year and will be renewed for a further two subject to satisfactory progress.

 

PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION

The Burney Studentships are available for those who are applying to take the MPhil in the field of Philosophy of Religion. At least one grant, up to the maximum of the costs of Home fees, may be made.

How to apply?

Applications should be made in the usual way through the Postgraduate Admissions Office. Please indicate in the funding box on the application form for admission for which award you are applying.

 

Awards funding bodies and trusts

The university’s competitions for Arts and Humanities Research Council awards and Cambridge Trust awards are all open to eligible applicants to the Faculty. Prospective applicants may also find it helpful to consult the web pages on graduate funding maintained by the University's Postgraduate Admissions Office. 

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. 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. The deadline is 3rd December 2020. See important information on Cambridge Trust awards.

 

Gates Cambridge Scholarships

You should fill in the funding box on the application form and 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 14th October 2020, and the deadline for Round 2 (for citizens of all eligible countries other than USA, and US citizens normally resident outside the USA) is 3rd December 2020.

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.

Important point to bear in mind when applying for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship

    • Do not reiterate your academic achievements in the Gates section of 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.
    • Make sure that you 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?
    • Don't assume 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 scholars in Religious Studies often fail to describe what leadership and service can be seen in a mission trip, being a minister of religion or teaching in a religious context.
    • Don't choose as your Gates referee another person who comments on your academic ability. Two academic references are required for any application for postgraduate study in Cambridge. The Gates reference needs specifically to address leadership potential and commitment to improving the lives of others. Your Gates referee may need to be informed that they need to speak to the evidence of you leadership and service for others. Community leaders often get the wrong idea about what they need to do for a "Cambridge application" and write about academic ability, when what is needed is detail about community involvement.
    • Don't write an aspirational statement about future leadership or service. Commitment to others and leadership potential are demonstrated through past activities, however modest. Past leadership or service especially if sustained over a period of time makes more of an impression. The more detail the better.
    • Don't have 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. It can be small things, such as serving in a soup kitchen as part of a team or helping a struggling school pupil with their studies. In addition, note that ‘others’ has not been restricted to human beings.

College Awards

Several Cambridge colleges have historical funds to support graduate studies in theology, religion and philosophy of religion. Prospective students are encouraged to consult college web pages and consult the Cambridge Funding Search.

Polkinghorne Studentship in the Philosophy of Religion

Queens' College, Cambridge, is offering a Polkinghorne Studentship to support a student on the Philosophy of Religion pathway in the Faculty's MPhil in Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion in the academic year 2020/2021.  The award is open to Home, EU, or Overseas students, but the value of the studentship will be limited to £11,460 (the level of the Home/EU fee rate for 2020-2021).  The award will be made on the basis of the Faculty of Divinity's assessment of the academic ability and research potential of applicants.  The studentship is tenable only at Queens' College, and preference may be given to an applicant who makes Queens' College their first choice.  Applicants should apply for the MPhil programme via the University's Graduate Applicant Portal, indicating that they wish to be considered for funding.  The submission deadline for applicants wishing to be considered for funding is 3rd December 2020.

This studentship has been made possible by the endowment generously bestowed upon Queens' College by its former President, the Reverend Dr John Polkinghorne, KBE, FRS.

Trinity Studentship in Theology

Apply to study for a PhD in the Faculty.  The studentship is administered by Trinity College and successfully applicants will be a member of Trinity.  The studentship will cover fees and maintenance.  The deadline for this studentship is Friday, 15th January 2021. 

Cambridge Theological Federation Awards

       Some members and associate members of the Cambridge Theological Federation also offer awards in support of graduate studies.

Westminster College, Cambridge: Lewis and Gibson Scholarship

This Scholarship has its own page.

The Woolf Institute

The Woolf Institute and the Cambridge Trust co-fund PhD students who are selected from amongst applicants in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Their research must be relevant to the focus of the Woolf Institute – the multi-disciplinary study of relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims. Although such students may undertake their research in any relevant Faculty, those in Divinity are eligible for consideration. For further information, see the information provided by the Woolf Institute here.