Churchill Scholarships

for graduate study in engineering, mathematics and the sciences

The campus deadline will be in mid-October of 2017.  By that time, all applicants should have taken the GRE.

William and Mary has been invited to nominate up to two candidates for the Churchill Scholarship this year. The Churchill Scholarship provides one year of support for a postgraduate degree in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics at the University of Cambridge. At least fourteen Churchill Scholarships are offered annually.


Fields include, but are not limited to, Astronomy, Biochemistry, Biological Anthropology, Chemistry, Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Genetics, Computational Biology, Computer Science, Earth Sciences and Geography, Engineering, Environmental Science, Epidemiology, Genetics, Mathematics (Applied, Theoretical, and Statistics), Pathology, Pharmacology, Physics (Experimental and Theoretical), Physiology, Development, and Neuroscience, Plant Sciences, Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, and Zoology.  Most programs in the sciences and engineering are research degrees with a thesis and oral examination; applicants should seek appropriate placement in a laboratory before applying. The programs in theoretical and applied mathematics, including theoretical physics, have lectures and final written examinations.

A more extensive list of eligible programs is available here:  


The Scholarship is tenable from nine to twelve months, in accordance with the academic program.  The Churchill Scholarship is worth between $45,000 and $50,000, depending on the exchange rate. It covers all University and College fees (currently about $25,000) at Churchill College, Cambridge University. 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 $1,000 for travel to and from the United Kingdom, as well as reimbursement of applications fees for a UK visa (currently up to $433). In addition, the Foundation now offers a Travel Award of $500 to enable Churchill Scholars to take better advantage of opportunities to travel in the United Kingdom, on the Continent, and wherever else good airfares lead them.  TheFoundation also offers the possibility of a Special Research Grant of up to $2,000; this grant may cover travel for presentations at international conferences, short stays at another university or institute for special research, and other activities.


An applicant for the Churchill Scholarship must be a citizen of the United States, either native born or naturalized, and must be a senior who is enrolled in one of the Participating Institutions in the Scholarship Program or be a student who has graduated from one of those institutions within the past 12 months. Upon taking up the Churchill Scholarship, a Churchill Scholar must hold a bachelor's degree or an equivalent, and may not have attained a doctorate.


Exceptional academic talent and outstanding achievement, especially in the major, as indicated by course grades. Applicants for the William & Mary nomination should have a GPA of at least 3.9. While the Foundation does not require a 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 demonstrate extensive laboratory experience, internships, or other related work, while applicants in mathematics will show substantial independent work or other projects.

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.” Nonetheless, it should be noted that successful applicants display a bewildering array of talents activities outside of academic pursuits, especially in music, athletics, social service, among other activities.


The Churchill Foundation wrote to many Churchill Scholars who have finished MD or MD-PhD programs or who are in the midst of their medical studies.  Overwhelmingly and unequivocally, the Churchill Scholars replied that their year at Cambridge was vitally important to them intellectually, socially, and personally and that its benefits far outweighed any concerns of yet another year of study. Many of them noted that few medical school students finish their education in a lockstep manner and that a year off for research, for national or international community health work, another academic degree in public health, business, public policy or law, or even personal travel is increasingly common.

See a sample of the comments from these Churchill Scholars here:


NOTE: Those interested in applying for the Churchill must apply separately to the University of Cambridge.

The W&M campus deadline for the 2018-2019 Churchill Scholarship will be in mid-October of 2017.  Interested students should contact to discuss their application as early as possible.

In order to be considered for nomination from the College, candidates must submit the following:

  •  application form
  • official transcripts from all undergraduate work including study abroad; W&M transcript must include fall 2016 course registration
  • four letters of recommendation

Interested applicants must take the GRE General Test or MCAT in time for the Churchill Foundation to receive the results by the end of December.

A campus committee will review the applications and select the College's nominee(s).  At the national level, applications for the Churchill Scholarship are reviewed by an ad hoc Screening Committee composed of former Churchill Scholars, who are, for the most part, academic scientists.

More information on the Winston Churchill Foundation and the Churchill Scholarships is available on the official website.