Hailing from thirty colleges and universities across the United States — five of which have never had a successful Gates Cambridge Scholarship applicant — the thirty-five scholars will pursue graduate studies at Cambridge University in England, where twenty-two will study for a one-year master's degree and thirteen will pursue their Ph.D. Selected from among more than eight hundred applicants, the fifteen women and twenty men plan to research topics ranging from the health implications of a sugar tax and the role of schools in preventing childhood obesity to antibiotic resistance, new treatments for cystic fibrosis, and bat-borne viruses such as Ebola.
Established in 2001 with a $210 million endowment gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the program selects recipients based on their academic ability and potential for leadership. An additional fifty-five scholars from other countries will be announced in April.
"The thirty-five U.S. scholars-elect are a highly accomplished and diverse group who have already achieved much in terms of their academic studies, leadership abilities, and commitment to improving the lives of others," said Barry Everitt, provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust. "We are sure they will flourish at Cambridge and as Gates Cambridge Scholars — and have substantial impact across many areas in the future. We were especially pleased to see such high-quality applications for the Ph.D. degree."