The Winston Churchill Scholarship

UCI (Big 10 Pre-Application) Advising Deadline:

April 6, 2020 at 12:00 noon Pacific Time (U.S. & all other countries of citizenship) for Fall 2021 admissions

Access the Big 10 Pre-Application between late February – early April annually to begin the optional advising process.

For Reference Only: 2019  Application Process Overview

The Churchill Scholarship funds 15 one-year scholarships for research-based graduate 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.

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. Current seniors or recent UCI alumni may also apply. You must finish your bachelor’s degree before enrollment. However, you do NOT need to have earned a bachelor’s degree by the time you 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 recipients have had exceptional academic achievement with a 3.9+ GPA and demonstrate professional competence and dedication to the field of study through publications and presentations, leadership or mentoring roles in academic or service organizations, 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 research, science-focused awards and prizes, and letters of recommendation. An ideal applicant is also committed to and excelling in other activities (such as music, athletics, or community service) outside of their academic interests.

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

Selection Procedure
Working with SOP advisors is mandatory, as campus nomination is required. To begin the SOP advising process, juniors, graduating seniors, and alumni within 1 year of graduation complete a Big 10 Pre-Application. In April and May, SOP staff review Pre-Applications and meet with potential applicants 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 drafts of your application and receive strategic coaching from SOP staff. As time permits, SOP staff may also offer advising to your recommendation letter writers. For detailed information about each stage of the application process, please view the Application Process Overview.

Churchill scholarship applications are submitted in two parts:

First, the applicant is responsible for submitting his/her Cambridge graduate application for admission, including two academic letters of recommendation and transcripts, to Cambridge University by mid-October (exact date not yet established). The Churchill Scholarship Committee will not review your Cambridge application in determining your scholarship award. Please note that you must check Churchill College as your first choice on the Cambridge application. Please treat the Churchill application as a stand-alone document (thus the need for separate letters of recommendation and transcripts). However, 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. Referees will submit these letters to the SOP directly.

The UCI Churchill committee will interview candidates to determine whether their applications have earned campus endorsement (nomination). 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. The SOP 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.

Recent Recipients and Selection Procedures
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. Shortlisted candidates will be scheduled, usually in the second week of January, for a phone interview with the Director of the Foundation.

The Cambridge Board of Graduate Studies and the appropriate department at Cambridge also 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). Approximately 15 students receive funding each year.

A yearlong scholarship for approximately $60,000 total. It covers all tuition fees (currently about $40,000). Students also receive a living allowance based on the duration of the program (£14,777 if enrolled in a twelve-month program). A travel allowance of up to $1,500 will also be granted, as well as a $500 supplement for visa and health reimbursement. 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.

For more information
Please visit the Churchill Scholarship website.

Access the Big 10 Pre-Application between late February – early April annually to begin the application process.

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

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