The Winston Churchill Scholarship


Pre-Application Deadline: 4/3/2017 Noon (Due to SOP)
Please Use: 2017 Application Process Overview
Consult our Sample Pre-Application

The Churchill Scholarship is run by the Winston Churchill Foundation and funds 14 one year scholarships for study in Cambridge leading to a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or a Master of Advanced Study (MASt) in the science, mathematics, and engineering fields. The scholarship was created at the request of Sir Winston Churchill to help American students study at Cambridge.

Who is Eligible
Undergraduates who are U.S. citizens may apply. Begin the process during the spring before your final year on campus by submitting a Pre-Application. See SELECTION PROCEDURE section of page for more information. If you win the scholarship, you will travel shortly after having graduated. (Churchill states candidates are to have earned a bachelor’s degree — but cannot have obtained a doctorate degree yet — by the time of travel. You do NOT need to have earned a bachelor’s degree to apply.) Current seniors or recent UCI alumni may also apply.

Please note that external scholarship agencies will consider all of your credit-bearing coursework from any college or institution as part of the review process (including CSU, community colleges, private colleges or other UC campuses/Extension programs, and including units earned while in high school). Grades from other colleges will be included in calculation of your overall GPA for eligibility purposes.

Recent winners have had exceptional academic achievement with a 3.9+ GPA. Applicants with a GPA below 3.9 must be able to demonstrate professional competence and dedication to the field of study through leadership or mentoring roles in academic or service organizations, publications or performances, and/or significant work experience/internships related to the major.

Furthermore, a candidate for the Churchill scholarship must also display a “proven talent in research and a capacity to contribute to the advancement of knowledge” through the pursuance of “original, creative work at an advanced level.” This may be demonstrated through awards, prizes, research, and letters of recommendation. An ideal applicant is also committed to and excelling in other activities (such as music, athletics, and social services) outside of their academic interests.

UCI may nominate two students annually for funding consideration at the national level.

Selection Procedure
The first step in applying is to complete a Pre-Application, accessible each year throughout March. In April and May, SOP staff review Pre-Applications and meet with students to discuss their candidacy and subsequent steps. For detailed information about each stage of the application process — including the roles of campus endorsement and evaluation — please view the Application Process Overview.

After completing the Pre-App and meeting with SOP staff to discuss your candidacy, you will work on the formal application. Churchill scholarship applications are submitted in two parts:

First, the applicant is responsible for mailing his/her Cambridge application for admission to Cambridge University (including all original transcripts in sealed envelopes and two recommendations in appropriately marked, signed, sealed envelopes, along with any other required materials such as writing samples). In all cases, the materials must be received at Cambridge by mid-October (exact date not yet established). The Churchill Scholarship Committee will not review your Cambridge application in determining your scholarship award. Please treat the Churchill application as a stand-alone document (thus the need for separate letters of recommendation and transcripts).

Please note that you must check Churchill College as your first choice on the Cambridge application. Also, in section B(3), you should indicate that you are applying for a Churchill Scholarship through the Winston Churchill Foundation, indicate one year for tenure, indicate March for the date, and indicate £30,000-32,000 as the value of the scholarship. Letters should be written to the attention of the “Board of Graduate Studies.” The Scholarship Opportunities Program requires a copy of your Cambridge application prior to submission.

Secondly, you must submit to the SOP a complete Churchill Scholarship application to be considered for UC Irvine endorsement, which the Churchill Foundation requires candidates to obtain to move forward in the competition. All materials (including letters) must be submitted to the SOP. These consist of the application form and personal statement, a one-page listing of scholarships and awards, and a one-page listing of research experiences, internships, and publications, transcripts from all colleges attended, and 4 academic letters of reference.

Two of the academic letters of recommendation for the Scholarship application will presumably will be from the same letter writers who wrote letters supporting your Cambridge University application. However, each of the four letters must be written specifically for the Churchill Scholarship and accompanied by the official Churchill reference cover sheet that the applicant has signed (the letter writers may not just use a copy of the letter they provided for admission to Cambridge). Letters should be written to the attention of the “Churchill Scholarship Selection Committee” and be specifically tailored toward your application as a Churchill Scholar. Students may hand deliver the letters in signed, sealed envelopes or referees may submit them to the SOP directly.

The final draft includes the above application materials, 4 signed letters of recommendation on departmental letterhead, official transcript(s), and a copy of your GRE report for the general test (MCAT scores may be substituted for the GRE).

The UCI Churchill committee will interview candidates to determine whether their applications have earned campus endorsement. The University will endorse up to two candidates whom the Committee feels have the potential to be Churchill Scholars and will offer feedback for refining the application before submission to the Churchill Foundation for funding consideration.

Who Wins
SOP staff and the office of the Dean of the Division of Undergraduate Education will write comprehensive nomination letters for each endorsed candidate and will send your complete application materials (including reference letters) and the nomination letter to the Churchill Foundation.

The national Churchill Foundation Scholarship Screening Committee, comprising former Churchill Scholars, evaluates the applications and very selectively endorses those considered most qualified for a scholarship. Students who make the short list will be notified in early 2017 and will be scheduled, usually in the second week of January, for a phone interview with the Director of the Foundation.

Then, the Cambridge Board of Graduate Studies and the appropriate department at Cambridge will review the applications of nationally endorsed candidates, consider the availability of appropriate supervision and laboratory space, and decide who is eligible for admission to the University. Based on this information, the Winston Churchill Foundation makes final decisions on Churchill Scholarship winners and announces them by mid-March (though in recent years, this was completed by March 1). Fourteen students win each year.

A yearlong scholarship for $50,000 – $60,000 total. It covers all tuition fees (currently about $25,000). Students also receive a living allowance based on the duration of the program. Students will receive £13,000 if enrolled in a twelve-month program, £12,000 for the eleven-month programs, and £10,000 for the nine-month programs. A travel allowance of up to $1,500 will also be granted, as well as a $500 personal travel allowance for travel within Europe. There is also a possible Special Research Grant of up to $2,000 which will cover travel for presentations at international conferences, short stays at another university or institute for special research, and other activities.

World Wide Web
Further information and applications are available at the Churchill website.

Access the Big 10 Pre-Application between March 3 – April 3, 2017 at 12 NOON to begin the Churchill application process.

For more information, contact the Scholarship Opportunities Program at 824-0189. We are located within the Center for Excellence in Writing & Communication, on the first floor of Ayala Science Library (Building 520).

SOP is able to advise competitive undergraduate candidates at UC Irvine only.