The Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States

Scholarship Application Instructions

These are the instructions, effective April, 2008, for the Scholarship Application of the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States. The application, the instructions, and the letter of recommendation form supersede all earlier versions.

The next application deadlines for the Churchill Scholarship are

November 12, 2008

November 10, 2009

November 9, 2010

November 8, 2011

November 13, 2012

These are the dates by which the application must be received. They are not postmark dates.

Please note that each institution participating in the Churchill Scholarship Program sets its own internal deadline for its local review of the Churchill Scholarship application and nomination of candidates.

Procedures for Applying for the Churchill Scholarship – First, applicants must apply separately for admission to the University of Cambridge no later than mid-October; it possible to apply on line (with a fee of £25, or approximately $50) or on paper (for which there is no fee). The directions for the Cambridge application are not pellucid (for example, the deadline for the on line application is two weeks before that of the paper application) and you are urged to read the instructions with great care.

The University’s Web site provides all requirements, details, and deadlines. Applicants for the Churchill Scholarship must indicate Churchill College as their first choice in Section A(4) “College membership.” In Section B(3) they should indicate that they are applying for a Churchill Scholarship from the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States: indicate “Yes” as tenable at the University of Cambridge; leave blank the section “Awarded”; indicate one (1) year for Tenure; indicate March of the appropriate year for Date; and indicate £22,000-£25,000 as the value of the scholarship.

Please be aware that if you wish to apply to a Cambridge department for an MPhil or a PhD, you will be required to submit two different (though essentially identical) applications. It would be prudent to seek additional information from the department to which you are making application.

Next, the Churchill Application Form is available on line. You must register You can then prepare the applications in stages and save your work. You should fill out the form, print it, sign it, and submit it to the appropriate individual or committee responsible for reviewing the application and then nominating no more than two students for consideration. You need not submit the Churchill application electronically until you know you have been nominated by your college or university. If you submit your application too early or when it is not complete, please email the Foundation at, and the incorrect submission will be deleted; you may then resubmit your application when it is ready and when you have been nominated.

Please address technical questions regarding the on line application to Mr. Vijay Renganathan ( All programmatic questions should be directed only to the Foundation (

After your application has been reviewed locally, your Scholarship Advisor will send the endorsed application to the following address:

The Churchill Scholarship Program

U.S. Student Programs

Institute of International Education

809 United Nations Plaza

New York, NY 10017-3580

Telephone: 212-984-5442

A completed application consists of the following materials, all of which — except for the GRE scores — must be submitted through the Churchill Foundation Representative at your institution:

One (1) completed and signed Churchill Foundation Application Form with one passport-sized photograph attached

Four (4) letters of reference — two more than the Cambridge Application. The Foundation requests four academic recommendations from teachers, laboratory directors, and others with whom you have pursued your research and studies. Please do not submit personal recommendations, since the academic reference should include that information. The Scholarship Recommendation Reports are available in pdf and Word format on the Foundation’s Web site. Those whom you have selected for your recommendation should send their letters directly to your Scholarship Advisor. If they wish, they may write letters of recommendation on departmental letterhead.

One (1) official transcript from each institution you have attended. The transcript(s) should be also sent directly to your campus Churchill Foundation Representative.

Graduate Record Examination Scores on the General Test. Select a test date so that the Churchill Foundation receives the scores no later than the end of November. The Institution Code List number for the Winston Churchill Foundation is 3922. Scores on the GRE taken in the past two years are acceptable. MCAT scores may be substituted for the GRE; you may have a copy of your MCAT sent with your application.

Other Instructions

The list of scholarships and awards and the description of your research experience are no longer part of the on line application and should be inserted into the printed application to be submitted by your college or university.

Scholarships, Awards, etc. Please use no more than one sheet of paper to describe your scholarships and awards. If a scholarship or award is nationally known (e.g., the Goldwater Scholarship, Phi Beta Kappa, etc.) list the award and the date of the award. If a scholarship or award is local to your college or university or is not otherwise well known, please list the award and the date of the award and briefly describe the reason for the award (e.g., junior with the highest GPA, Chemistry major with the highest GPA, outstanding physics student in the sophomore class, best essay in the sciences, best undergraduate engineering project, etc.).

Research Experience. Once again, please use no more than one sheet of paper to describe briefly research experience. Use the following format to describe your research experience and internships:

June‐August, 2007 ‐ NSF REU - Prof. Louise Smith, Department of Physics, ABC University ‐ brief description of your work.

Summer 2008 - independent study on Lie algebra using XYZ’s textbook.

Spring semester – revised for publication paper written with A, B, and C on protein assembly mechanisms for the Journal of XYZ Science.

Do not hesitate to include work you have done on your own outside of formal programs.

Future Career Plans – Briefly describe your vocational aspirations: pursuing a PhD, an MD, or an MD‐PhD degree, working at a research institute, teaching in a research university and training graduate students, teaching in a liberal arts college, etc. The Foundation and the Screening Committee do not expect you to have the remainder of your life mapped out.

Letters of Reference. Along with the Personal Statement, the letters of reference are the most important part of your application. You should solicit your four letters from teachers and laboratory directors with whom you have worked closely and who know your work well. It is useful for you to share your resume and even a draft of your Research Plan and Personal Statement with these individuals. You should be sure to inform them what the Churchill Scholarship is so that they can write an appropriate letter on your behalf. Generic letters are not useful.

Proposed Program of Study. In addition to naming the Program and Department to which you are applying at Cambridge, you should describe in detail what you would like to accomplish during your year. If you are applying for one of the research‐based programs, please provide whatever information you have about laboratory placement, including the name of the professor who runs the lab. While your plan will necessarily be detailed and even technical, it should be comprehensible to a highly educated reader in another field, especially since it is not possible to represent every academic field on the Screening Committee.

The Personal Statement. The Personal Statement is essentially an intellectual autobiography in which you have the opportunity to describe perhaps the development of your academic interests, perhaps the importance of research for you, perhaps someone whose work has influenced you, or some other crucial aspect of your work in the sciences, engineering, or mathematics. While the Personal Statement is primarily about your intellectual passions, do not hesitate to discuss other work and activities that provide a picture of who you are and who you want to be.

The Review Process. Applications for the Churchill Scholarship are reviewed by a ad hoc Screening Committee composed of previous Churchill Scholars, who are, for the most part, academic scientists. Obviously they know Cambridge and Churchill College well, and they are looking for future Churchill Scholars who will benefit from the intellectual challenges of a year of study and research in Cambridge and who will contribute to the life of the College.

Applicants often ask, “What is the Foundation looking for?” Since virtually all of the applicants for the Churchill Scholarship are outstanding students, the factors that make an applicant stand out are a certain intellectual spark, a commitment to making a serious contribution to your field of inquiry, the promise of intellectual leadership, and less easily defined personal qualities that suggest you will benefit from a year in Cambridge and that Churchill College and Cambridge will also benefit from your year there.

Good luck!