Churchill Scholarship


About the Churchill Scholarship
Basic Eligibility & Selection Criteria
Campus Endorsement Process
Application Components
Application Timeline
Applicant Resources
Apply for Churchill Scholarship USC Endorsement
USC Recipients
AHF Advising


University Endorsement Required

About the Churchill Scholarship

The Churchill Scholarship provides funding to American students for a year of Master’s study in science, mathematics, and engineering at the University of Cambridge, based at Churchill College. The Scholarship was set up at the request of Sir Winston Churchill in order to fulfill his vision of US-UK scientific exchange with the goal of advancing science and technology on both sides of the Atlantic, helping to ensure our future prosperity and security.

Basic Eligibility

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 institutions participating in the Scholarship Program or 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.

Selection Criteria

  • Outstanding academic achievement, especially in the major, as indicated by course grades. The Foundation does not require a minimum GPA, but the average GPA of recipients is 3.95.
  • Proven talent in research and 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 and activities outside of academic pursuits, especially in music, athletics, social service, among other activities.

Campus Endorsement Process

Campus endorsement is a competitive process and not guaranteed. Students seeking USC nomination must submit certain application components by the campus endorsement deadline. USC may nominate up to two candidates each year for the Churchill Scholarship.

The campus deadline to apply for Churchill Scholarship endorsement for the 2022-2023 grant year is June 1, 2021.

Additional Guidelines:

Applicants are evaluated by a committee panel of USC faculty. The panel has endorsed students from a wide range of majors, career goals and leadership experiences. While there is no standard portfolio for a successful candidate, there are some general evaluation guidelines that the faculty committee typically follows:

  • Performing at the level of an advanced graduate student.
  • Letters of recommendation that represent work both inside and outside of USC.
  • Substantial research and publication experience. (The committee recognizes that the form publications take can look different across fields.)

Application Components:

All candidates must receive campus endorsement from the university in order to apply for the Churchill Scholarship. Endorsed candidates must apply separately to the University of Cambridge in mid-October (learn more). A complete Churchill Scholarship application includes the following components:

  • Biographical & Academic Information
  • Future Career Plans (limit 200 words)
  • Research/Employment Experience (limit 800 words)
  • Scholarships, Prizes, Awards, and Other Distinctions (limit 800 words)
  • Non-Academic Interests and Activities (limit 350 words)
  • Dissemination – Publications, Oral Presentations, Poster Presentations (no word limits)
  • Transcript(s)
  • Proposed Program of Study (1 page): Make your own case for the program you are choosing, based upon your previous research and study.  This essay is not an opportunity merely to restate the work of the particular laboratory in which you wish to work. It should, instead, describe what you wish to investigate and what you wish to accomplish in the context of that laboratory. Include brief citations in this section only if they are critical for understanding your purpose.
  • Personal Statement (2 pages): This Statement can be an intellectual autobiography in which you describe the development of your academic interests, the importance of your research for you, someone whose work inspired you, or some other critical aspect of your work in the sciences, mathematics, or engineering. Please do not repeat information from the Proposed Program of Study. This is a good place for you to describe what you actually did in the course of your independent research, so that the Selection Committee has a good understanding of your research activities to date. While the Personal Statement is primarily about your intellectual passions, you should feel free to discuss other work and activities that provide a fuller picture of who you are and who you want to be.
  • Four academic letters of reference
  • A copy of correspondence (email is acceptable) with the laboratory supervisor at Cambridge indicating a willingness to accept you into his or her laboratory, pending a successful application.

Application Timeline

USC Campus Endorsement Application

  • June 1, 2021 by 11:59pm: Campus Endorsement application deadline  
  • Mid-June: Campus Endorsement Interview for competitive applicants

Churchill Scholarship National Application 

  • Early May: Churchill Scholarship application opens
  • Mid-October: University of Cambridge deadline (The Churchill Scholarship is only tenable at Churchill College, so you must put Churchill College as your first choice on the Cambridge application.)
  • Late October: National deadline for applicants to submit Churchill Scholarship application
  • December/January: Phone interviews of shortlisted candidates
  • Early February: Awards announced

Applicant Resources:

Before you apply, complete an extensive review of the Churchill Scholarship website with special attention to the following pages:

Apply for Churchill Scholarship USC Endorsement

Campus Endorsement Application Deadline: June 1, 2021 by 11:59pm

Churchill Campus Endorsement Application Coming Soon

USC Recipients

2011: Daniel (DJ) Strouse
Majors: Mathematics & Physics
Cambridge Department: Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

AHF Advising

Advisement Period: April-May

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