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Churchill Scholarship

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The Winston Churchill Foundation of the U.S., established in 1959, supports outstanding U.S. students to do graduate work in engineering, mathematics, and the sciences at Churchill College, Cambridge University. Each year Stanford can nominate two applicants for the Churchill Scholarship, which provides for one year of tuition and expenses.  

Churchill funds 18 scholarships per year, comprised of 16 Churchill Scholarships in science, mathematics, and engineering, and two Kanders Churchill Scholarships in science policy. The scholarship supports one year of Master’s study (courses run between 9 and 12 months) at the University of Cambridge for an MPhil (Master of Philosophy) or MASt (Master of Advanced Study). The standard MPhil is a research degree that entails full-time research in a lab and culminates in a thesis and a viva (an oral examination). The MASt is a taught course comprised of lectures and written examinations. 

Churchill Scholarships enable American students of exceptional ability to study at one of the world's great universities. The Scholarships also provide the opportunity to experience the profound educational benefits which come from living abroad, adapting to a different way of life, and seeing the world, one's own country, and oneself from a new perspective. 


The Churchill Scholarship campus deadline is October 10, 2024. 

The Churchill Scholarship national deadline is November 1, 2024.

Award Value 

The Churchill Scholarship covers tuition, roundtrip airfare to the UK, visa fees and health surcharge, and a stipend that is set 5% higher than the UK Research Council standard. Recipients are eligible to apply for a $4,000 special research grant. The total value is around $65,000. 

The Foundation also offers the possibility of a Special Research Grant that may cover travel for presentations at international conferences, short stays at another university or institute for special research, and other activities. Married students should consult with the Foundation about additional support. 


Applicants must be: 

  • U.S. citizens at the time they begin their study at Cambridge 
  • Senior enrolled in or recent graduate (within the past 12 months) from a participating college or university (Stanford is a nominating institution) 
  • Nominated by that institution. 

Award Criteria 

As stated by the Churchill Foundation, the criteria for the scholarships are: 

Outstanding academic achievement. There is no minimum GPA, though most applicants have a very high average. The Committee looks at achievement in STEM courses, especially in the major, as indicated by course grades and recommendation letters. 

Proven talent in research. Applicants in the sciences and engineering will demonstrate extensive laboratory experience, internships, or other related work, while applicants in mathematics will show substantial independent work or other projects. The Committee looks for originality and creativity. 

Outstanding personal qualities. Understanding the time commitment required by research, the Churchill Foundation does not seek so-called “well-rounded applicants”; instead, it seeks applicants with what we call interesting “jagged edges.” The Committee takes into account interests and achievements outside of research, but it does not favor any particular kind of activity. 

The Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States is committed to a policy against discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender, marital or parental status, race, color, religion, national origin, or disability or any other characteristic protected by law. 

The Foundation does not require a minimum GPA, but recent Churchill Scholars have had a GPA of at least 3.7, but usually have 3.9 or above. 

Preliminary Steps 

If you are an enrolled Stanford student, you must apply through the Office of Global Scholarships (OGS), 2nd floor of the Bechtel International Center. If you are a recent graduate of Stanford, you may also apply through the OGS. The following is a list of preliminary steps to take if you are interested in applying: 

  • Complete Churchill Scholarship Intent to Apply Form 
  • Read the Should I apply? Guide. It includes Important information, which can help you determine if the Churchill Scholarship is right for you, can be found here: Churchill - Should I Apply Handout 
  • Consult an OGS staff member if you have any questions regarding the application or application process. 
  • Explore other sources of funding (e.g. Fulbright, Marshall, Gates, Cambridge Trust, Rotary) and solicit academic advice from your academic advisor, and other faculty. 

Campus Application Process 

Churchill applicants must submit the following by our campus deadline: 

  • University of Cambridge Application Form (Applicant Portal available on the Cambridge website at Stanford applicants must select course of study and apply to Cambridge by our campus deadline) 
  • Churchill Scholarship Online Application (Stanford applicants register and complete this application at (See list of application materials below) 
  • Four Academic Letters of Recommendation - 4 people who are directly familiar with your academic or research work should submit their letters through the Churchill online portal by our campus deadline. 

Application Materials to submit online: 

  • Application form 
  • Proposed program of study essay (1 page) 
  • Academic and Research History essay (up to 2 pages) 
  • Correspondence with the laboratory supervisor at Cambridge (email is acceptable). It should indicate a willingness to accept the student into his or her laboratory, pending a successful application. 
  • Official Transcripts (current and previous institutions, study abroad or summer program transcripts if not already included on institution’s transcript.) 

Application Materials to submit via email to our Office of Global Scholarships at 

  1. PDF of application (to be downloaded from Churchill application system once you submit your application) 
  2. Stanford Churchill Cover Sheet (available from OGS) 
  3. Stanford Nomination form waiver (available from OGS)  

National Process 

Applications from nominated individuals will be reviewed by a screening committee composed of previous Churchill Scholars (mainly academic scientists). Shortlisted applicants have a short phone interview, and winners are announced in late January. 

The Office of Global Scholarships advisors are available to provide guidance on your application.