FAQs for new and current Trust scholars
Please see below a selection of FAQs.
Awardees should also refer to the Trust's Guidelines for Scholars for full guidance.
I have received my scholarship offer letter. What do I need to do to formally accept?
Congratulations! Your offer letter sets out all of the details and conditions so please read it carefully and keep a copy for your records. You may need to provide this letter as evidence of your funding if you are applying for a student visa, as this information will not be provided in your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies), issued by the University to support your visa application.
Your offer letter should have been sent with an acceptance form. If you did not receive this, please let us know. Your Cambridge Trust scholarship is not final until we have received your signed form.
By signing this form you are accepting the terms and conditions of your Trust scholarship, as set out in your offer letter (and any additional terms and conditions which may be included in the acceptance form itself).
If your award is offered in partnership with a funding partner (as stated in the Details of Award section of your offer letter), please be aware that this is an external funder which may impose different or additional conditions on your scholarship.
How do I meet my financial condition for admission?
We will upload a copy of your offer letter to your student self-service account, which will act as proof of your Trust funding for your financial condition.
IMPORTANT: To meet your financial condition you may be required to complete a Financial Undertaking Form. Please consult A Guide to your Offer and its Conditions: Entry in 2023/24 (section 5 - Your financial condition and the Financial Undertaking Form) to check if this applies to you. Should it be required, you can find the Financial Undertaking Form here: Postgraduate Admissions: Financial Undertaking Form.
What do I need to do to complete my offer conditions for admission?
Your Cambridge Trust scholarship is dependent on your meeting all of the conditions of admission by the relevant deadline.
Please make sure that you regularly check your student self-service area in the University's admissions portal so that you can see any conditions that are associated with your offer of a place at Cambridge and whether you have any outstanding. The University will alert you to any missing documents or if you need to provide supplementary materials.
Can the Trust help me with visa and immigration issues?
If you require entry clearance to study in the UK, you will need sponsorship from the University. Your Scholarship offer letter does not constitute sponsorship. You will require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). The University’s Postgraduate Admissions Office issues CAS for new postgraduate students and postgraduate students continuing to a new course. The International Student Office issues all other CAS. However, please be aware, you may need to provide your offer letter as evidence of your funding if you are applying for a student visa, as this information will not be provided in your CAS, issued by the University to support your application.
The University’s International Student Office provides a free visa advice service to all applicants with an offer to study at Cambridge, current students and family members. Contact the team at email@example.com for advice on student visas (formerly called a ‘Tier 4’ visa) and other related immigration matters including how, when and where to apply for a student visa; checking application forms and supporting documents before submission; what to do if an application is refused; what to do if a passport or visa is lost; and visas for dependants.
Further information including a guide to applying for or extending a current student visa can be found on the International Students’ website.
All international students are required by the UK Government to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge, which entitles you to use the NHS in the UK for the duration of the visa granted. Full details can be found on the International Students’ webpage.
You are encouraged to submit your visa application as soon as possible, but no earlier than six months before the start of your course, as processing times during the summer months can be longer.
I need to apply for ATAS clearance. Can the Trust help with this?
If you are applying for a PhD/Masters-level course in certain science or technology subject areas and you will be studying in the UK on a visa, you will need to apply for ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance. The following applicants are exempt:
- those who have been granted indefinite leave to remain;
- nationals of the European Economic Area and Switzerland;
- nationals of the following countries: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA, Singapore, Japan, South Korea.
For full details please see the Postgraduate Admissions’ webpage here.
Graduate students who are required to apply for ATAS will have it included as a condition of offer and will be able to view an ATAS summary of research and the course JACS code, required for the ATAS application, in their applicant self-service portal.
I no longer plan on coming to Cambridge. Do I need to inform the Trust?
Yes please. The Trust is not automatically notified if you withdraw your application for admission, so if you have been made an offer of a Cambridge Trust scholarship and you are no longer coming to Cambridge, we would ask you to let us know by email that you wish to decline your scholarship. For our records, it is useful for us to know the reason you are declining you award and/or where you will be studying instead, if you are happy to share this information.
I have been offered a scholarship by the Trust, but I would like to defer the start of my studies in Cambridge for a year. Can I keep my scholarship and start in the next academic year?
Your scholarship must be taken up in the academic year for which it was awarded. Scholarships cannot usually be deferred to the next academic year.
If PhD scholars wish to begin their studies after 1 October of the academic year, they must seek the agreement of their supervisor, Faculty/Department and the Student Registry. The scholarship must be taken up in the academic year for which it was awarded (e.g. Michaelmas Term, Lent Term or Easter Term start within that academic year).
If you wish to reapply for admission in the next academic year, your application will be considered again by the Trust.
How and when is my scholarship paid?
University Composition Fee (UCF)
The fee element of any scholarship (this includes University and College Fees), where applicable, is paid directly by the Trust to the relevant College during the Lent term. It does not include any expenses incurred by you at your College (such as accommodation, meals, kitchen fixed charge, etc.). If you have a query about fee payments due from the Trust to your College, please contact your College Tutor.
If your scholarship includes a maintenance allowance, or a contribution towards maintenance, it will be paid as follows (once the Trust receives your UK bank account details and confirmation that you have started your course):
Study course of 11 months or more
4 instalments, at equal intervals throughout the year
Study course of up to 10 months, and Undergraduate or affiliated course
3 instalments, at equal intervals throughout the year
Maintenance will be paid quarterly (e.g. every 3 months) by bank transfer (BACS) into your UK bank account. Please complete the BACS form (which you should have received with your offer letter) as soon as you open a UK bank account and send this form with confirmation that the bank account is in your name (bank statement with transactions covered, or confirmation letter from your bank) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Payment Date (on or before*)
* If the proposed payment date falls on a weekend, payment will be made on the previous working day.
** New Scholars – your first maintenance payment cannot be made until you have opened a UK bank account and sent us your bank details, and we have had confirmation from your college that you have started your course (which we will request from the college). This payment will be made as soon as we have this information, but may be later than your start date. We suggest that you arrive with some funds in place to cover this period.
- It is your responsibility to budget accordingly, particularly if you have a private rental agreement, to ensure that you have enough money to cover your expenses between receiving your maintenance payment.
- Please be aware that the maintenance payment is sufficient for a single person and does not cover dependents.
- Please inform the Trust Finance Department if you have not received your maintenance payment by the due date.
- Please note the Trust cannot change the dates on which payments of allowances are made. Only in very exceptional circumstances may you request payment in advance of the scheduled date, you must seek advice and assistance from your College Tutor in the first instance.
I do not have a UK bank account. How do I get one?
Guidance and information on opening a UK bank account can be found here. This can be done when you arrive in the UK.
The Trust is also able to make payments into the following online banks:
- Metro bank
If you have any questions about opening a UK bank account, please contact our Finance Team.
I have an award from another source. What do I do?
You must inform the Trust if you are offered funding from other sources for your study at Cambridge at any time before or during the tenure of your scholarship from the Trust. Failure to provide full details may lead to the cancellation by the Trust of your scholarship.
If you receive another scholarship which meets the full costs of study at Cambridge i.e. University Composition Fee, approved College fees (where applicable) and maintenance sufficient for a single student, you will be given the opportunity to choose which award you will accept. In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate a share of costs with the other awarding body and to hold both awards alongside each other, but If you are successful in obtaining a scholarship from another source, the Trust reserves the right to adjust the value of your scholarship.
If you receive a full-cost scholarship from any source other than Gates Cambridge or the Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarship programme, the offer of an award from the Trust will lapse and you will be offered the status of Honorary Trust Scholar. This entitles you to become a member of the Trust's community of scholars and attend the Trust's events but bears no monetary value.
If you have accepted a Gates Cambridge Scholarship or a Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarship, any offer of an award from the Trust will immediately lapse and you will not be offered ‘Honorary’ status.
If you are awarded a minor scholarship (part-funding) from another source, the Trust reserves the right to adjust the value of your scholarship. If you receive a full maintenance allowance from the Trust, you will be allowed to retain the other scholarship at the Trust's discretion (i.e. as a contribution to other expenses such as conferences, fieldwork etc.). If you receive other awards of a higher monetary value, the Trust may reduce your scholarship in order to re-allocate funds to support other scholars.
I have been asked to attend an ADTIS language course before or during my studies at Cambridge. Will the Trust pay for this?
The resources of the Trust are limited, and our aim is to enable as many suitable applicants as possible to be able to study at Cambridge. So we are not able to make grants towards ADTIS language courses for scholars.
Can the Trust help me with my travel to the UK?
If your award covers the cost of travel to Cambridge this will be specified in your award letter.
If your award does not provide funding for travel, it is your responsibility to make and pay for all necessary arrangements for travel to the UK, and to return home on completion of your course of study at Cambridge. You should not, under any circumstances, make unbreakable arrangements to travel to Cambridge before your admission to the University has been confirmed.
You are responsible for obtaining the necessary travel documents for travel from your home country to the UK (e.g. visa to enter the UK, and exit permit from your own country), and you should ensure that you apply for these documents in good time.
You must ask your College and, in the case of postgraduate students, your Department or Faculty for advice about the date by which you should arrive in Cambridge in order to be ready for the start of the academic year. If you wish to come into residence in Cambridge at any time other than the date suggested you must obtain the permission of the College, and, in the case of postgraduate students who require a student visa, of Postgraduate Admissions.
Travel to Cambridge
When you have arrived in the UK, have received your luggage, have been through immigration and are ready to travel from the airport, you can either travel to Cambridge by train or by coach.
To travel to Cambridge by Train - this link will provide you the details of train times and prices: https://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/planjourney/search
To travel from Heathrow Airport to Cambridge Parkside (City Centre of Cambridge) by National Express Coaches. Follow this link for times and prices: https://www.nationalexpress.com/en - select: Heathrow Airport LHR and your Terminal number to Cambridge Parkside (City Centre) to get coach times and prices.
If there is an agreement in place for the Trust to refund any travel expenses, please retain your receipts for reimbursement.
When you arrive in Cambridge:
You might wish to travel from the train station or from the coach stop at Parkside to your College by taxi. You can call this number for – Panther Taxis 01223 715715 – If you do not have enough £ Sterling in cash, please say to the telephone operator of Panther Taxis that you wish to pay by debit card, this is so that they make sure that the driver who comes to meet you, has the facility in his car to enable you to pay by debit card. This cost is not refundable.
I have just arrived in Cambridge. Is there any information for new students?
There are many sources of information and support available for students at Cambridge. For example, your College Tutor can help you with many matters to do with your life in Cambridge and your Director of Studies or Supervisor can support you with your academic work. Disabled students can also get in touch with the Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre (ADRC) for advice.
Newcomers and Visiting Scholars is a volunteer run group for University members and their families. For details please see here.
I am bringing my spouse / dependants / family with me. Does the Trust offer an allowance for this?
The Trust’s awards generally do not cover allowances for a spouse, children or other dependents. You are responsible for obtaining the necessary permission from the University, College and immigration to allow them to join you in Cambridge.
For applicants – you will need to provide additional financial guarantees of the extra financial support required, and have the consent of your College. For full information please see here.
The University offers an Information Service to families of the University providing information on a variety of different areas relating to family life in Cambridge. For details please see here.
The University’s Childcare Office oversees the facilities and assistance offered to University staff and students with children. For details please see here.
Current scholars in residence
What do I do if my student status changes?
For postgraduates, applications for changes such as intermission (a break from study), permission to work away from Cambridge, or an extension to your submission date are considered changes to your student status. Information on this can be found here.
Please make sure that you keep the Trust informed of any changes, as we are not automatically informed, and a change in status may affect your scholarship.
I need a letter from the Trust for visa renewal / rental agreement / etc., how do I get this?
The Trust can provide letters for you when needed for visa renewals, rental agreements, etc. Please contact the Scholarships Team for information.
Please note, the Trust is not able to act as guarantor for rental agreements or similar.
Please check the University's webpages as you may be able to request a verification letter from the University using their online service.
I require financial assistance with extension / conference / hardship / etc. How do I apply for this?
For information on all financial assistance, please visit our section on Financial Assistance for Trust Scholars.
I am currently a scholar receiving funding from the Trust, and there is an issue which I would like to discuss with a member of staff at the Trust. How do I make an appointment?
Firstly, please check that your query is not answered on this website, either here in the FAQ section, or in the Guidelines for scholars. If you have not found an answer, please contact the Scholarships Team in the first instance.
When contacting the Scholarships Team, we ask that you do so initially via email. We will deal with your enquiry as quickly as possible, and respond via the most appropriate method, whether via email or by arranging a call via Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Please contact the Scholarships Team providing your University Student Number or application number, so that we can access all relevant information before being in contact with you.
If you would like to chat to our Scholarships Team:Contact us