Winston C. Churchill Foundation Scholarship

History   |   Description   |    Eligibility   |    How to   |   Application   |    Checklist

Winston Churchill

History and Purpose

Established in 1959, the Winston Churchill Foundation was founded by American friends of Churchill, who wanted to fulfill his wish of always having young American graduate students at Churchill College at the University of Cambridge. The Foundation’s Scholarship Program offers American citizens of exceptional ability and outstanding achievement the opportunity to pursue graduate studies in engineering, mathematics, or the sciences at Cambridge. One of the newer colleges at the University of Cambridge, Churchill College was built as the national and Commonwealth tribute to Sir Winston, who in the years after the Second World War presciently recognized the growing importance of science and technology for prosperity and security.

The Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States is a not-for-profit organization classified as a public charity and is supported by gifts and grants from alumni, friends, and corporations.

Description of Churchill Scholarships

At least fourteen Churchill Scholarships are offered annually and are tenable from nine to twelve months, in accordance with the academic program chosen. It covers all University and College fees (currently about $26,000). In addition, Churchill Scholars receive a living allowance of £11,000 if enrolled in a nine-month program, £12,000 if enrolled in a ten- or eleven-month program, and £13,000 if enrolled in a full-year program. They receive an allowance of up to $1,100 for travel to and from the United Kingdom, as well as reimbursement of applications fees for a UK visa (currently up to $477). In addition, the Foundation now offers a Travel Award of $500 to enable Churchill Scholars to take better advantage of opportunities to travel during the scholarship year. In sum, the value is between $45,000 and $60,000 depending on the exchange rate. The Foundation also offers the possibility of a Special Research Grant of up to $2,000.

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Eligibility requirements


Applicants must be/have:

  • Senior or recent graduate from a foundation-approved institution (MHC is approved!) who will have obtained a bachelor’s degree before the time of the grant; must be between 19 and 26 years of age; may not have PhD
  • U.S. citizens (either native born or naturalized)
  • Exceptional academic talent and outstanding achievement, especially in the major, as indicated by course grades. No minimum GPA, but recent Churchill Scholars have had a GPA of at least 3.7 and usually have 3.9 or above.
  • A capacity to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the sciences, engineering, or mathematics by pursuing original, creative work at an advanced level as demonstrated by awards, prizes, research, and letters of recommendation. Applicants in the sciences and engineering will have extensive laboratory experience, internships, or other related work; math applicants will show substantial independent work or other projects
  • Outstanding personal qualities; while applicants are not expected to be “well-rounded,” they often display talents and activities outside of academic pursuits, especially in music, athletics, and social service

How to apply

All applicants (seniors and alumnae) must apply through a campus process, facilitated by Fellowships Advisor (FA) Christine Overstreet and be endorsed by the College (represented by the Committee on Fellowships, chaired by the Dean of Studies). The campus process includes attendance at information sessions for UK Fellowships and Graduate Study; feedback on essay drafts and other application materials; an interview with the campus Committee on Fellowships; and final submission by the FA of the application materials and College endorsement letter. Note that deadlines for the campus process are much earlier than the Churchill Scholarship application deadline.

Application components

IMPORTANT NOTE: Following the Churchill Foundation’s prescribed format for all materials is absolutely critical.

  • A completed online application form where the candidate enters biographical data; education background; proposed programme(s) of study; names of recommenders; publications and presentations, non-academic interests, career plans, and previous foreign travel, other graduate programmes and fellowships to which she is applying. (Application to the University of Cambridge is a separate, necessary process!)
  • A Proposed Programme of Study essay (1 page)
  • A Personal Statement – essay (2 pages)
  • Scholarships, Prizes, Awards, and Other Distinctions listing (no more than 1 page)
  • Research/Employment Experience (no more than 1 page)
  • Four academic recommendations – must answer the questions posed on the Churchill recommendation form
  • A Letter of Interest or commitment from a director of a laboratory at Cambridge, if relevant
  • Official Transcripts – from all undergraduate study sources
  • GRE scores mailed directly to the foundation

Campus Process and Checklist

Please note that for all deadlines, submission time is 12:00 noon

Timeframe Task(s) to Complete
During Spring semester Attend UK Fellowships info session/abroad students watch tutorial/Skype FA
by May 5 Meet with FA in the Spring prior to the fall application season to review application instructions and eligibility; register intention to apply
May/June/July Research departments/programmes at University of Cambridge
  Prepare for and plan to take GRE/MCAT to submit scores by December
April/May/June Solicit recommenders in disciplines related to the application, in person or via email and give them the signed Churchill form (also see NSF-REU recommender stipulation) - inform FA of names (at this point, you only need to secure their agreement to write the recommendation)
By June 1 Order transcripts (including MHC) from all college study and have sent to FA
  Begin online application (usually available by this date)
By July 1 Send draft of application; first drafts of personal statement, proposed program of study, research experience, and scholarships/awards pages as one additional word document via email to FA for feedback; solicit faculty feedback on Proposed Program of Study
Early September Apply separately to University of Cambridge (no later than mid-October)
By October 11 Deliver to FA printed copy of application form and all materials; GRE scores)
  Recommenders send letters with Churchill form to FA (can send via email to FA at this point, but hard copies will need to be submitted soon after)
October 21-25 Interview with campus Committee on Fellowships (20 minutes); MHC may nominate two candidates; if selected, begin revisions on application materials
By October 31 Complete revisions to online application and statements; provide hard, printed copy, single-sided, to FA
  Recommenders’ hard copies on letterhead due to FA
By November 12 FA prepares pdf of all application materials and sends to Foundation via email as one document with endorsement letter
Early December GRE (or MCAT) scores should be submitted directly to the Churchill Foundation
January Churchill Screening Committee conducts phone interviews with finalists; award notification follows soon afterward
April Awards officially announced