Churchill Scholarship


About the Churchill Scholarship
Eligibility & Criteria for Selection
Campus Endorsement Process
Applicant Resources
Previous USC Recipients
AHF Advising

About the Churchill Scholarship

Per the Winston Churchill Foundation website:

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.

USC is a Participating Institution and may nominate up to two candidates each year for the Churchill Scholarship.


Per the Winston Churchill Foundation website:

  • Must be a citizen of the United States, either native born or naturalized
  • 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 (at the time of application)
  • 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

Criteria for Selection

  • Outstanding academic achievement, especially in the major, as indicated by course grades. 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.
  • 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 Application Components:

  • Biographical & Academic Information
  • USC Grade Report
  • Resume
  • Proposed Program of Study (1 page): Your task here is to 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.
  • Submit four letters of reference by the USC Campus Endorsement deadline. Once you have provided the contact information for your referees, an email from the automated system will be sent inviting them to upload a letter.
  • A copy of any 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. (optional)

University of Cambridge Deadline (for USC nominees only)

Generally Mid-October (exact date TBD)

National Deadline (for USC nominees only)

October 31, 2019 

Applicant Resources:

Other Considerations:

  • Competitive applicants to the Churchill Scholarship are performing at the level of advanced graduate students.
  • Ideally, letters of recommendation come from supervisors/mentors/professors both inside and outside of USC.
  • Churchill Scholarship recipients have substantial research and publication experience. Churchill recognizes that the form publications take can look different across fields.

Previous Churchill Scholarship Recipient:

Daniel (DJ) Strouse, 2011-2012
Majors: Mathematics & Physics
Cambridge Department: Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

First USC Student to Receive Churchill Scholarship

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