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Thank you for taking the time to write a letter of recommendation for a nationally competitive scholarship application. Yours is a valuable contribution to this formative process and we appreciate your advocacy on behalf of the applicant.

Please be aware, it is a matter of NCS policy that applicants must waive their right to see your letter of recommendation. We also cannot accept letters authored by applicants; the endorsement must be from the letter-signer.

At any time in the process, from brainstorming the first draft to finalizing your letter, we are delighted to help. Please contact if you would like to discuss further or for questions or concerns.

Special ConsiderationsNote that the Gates-Cambridge Scholarship application is integrated with the admissions application for Cambridge. However, Gates-Cambridge applicants must submit both parts of the application by the Gates deadline which may fall before the admissions deadline set by the department.
  • Academic Excellence
  • Reasons for Choice of Course (ie, Degree)
  • Commitment to Improving the Lives of Others
  • Capacity for Leadership
See the Gates-Cambridge website for more detail
Endorsement Required?No
Number of Recommendation LettersThe Gates section of the Cambridge application requires one letter of recommendation. Two additional letters will be submitted to support the admissions section.
Application Deadlines

US citizens: TBA

Non-US citizens: TBA



You will receive a link by email from the national foundation (check your spam folder) and must submit the letter online by the application deadline. No exceptions are made for late materials. It should be a signed PDF on letterhead. NCS cannot submit the letter on your behalf.

Please address your letter to the “Members of the Gates-Cambridge Scholarship Selection Committee”

  • How does the applicant meet the Gates-Cambridge criteria?  What is outstanding about their scholarship, leadership, and/or character?
  • Why is Cambridge the best place for them to study?
  • How does their study plan fit into their future ambitions?
  • What examples can you share that illustrate your strong endorsement for the candidate?
  • How does this applicant compare to other people you have taught/supervised?