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Careers in cosmology and astrophysics normally attract those with a vocation for the subject who intend to become academics at a major university or research institution. Some students from oversees intend to return to their country of birth to contribute to the education of the next generations of scientists. Funding to undertake a PhD in the subject relies on resources from national research organisations and a number of philanthropic foundations. The Institute of Astronomy is fortunate to be able to offer postgraduate degrees, PhD (three years), MPhil and MASt. (both one year), generously funded by a number of philanthropic organisations.

Boustany Foundation

Our most recent partnership is with the Boustany Foundation in Monaco. The Foundation's goals include contributing to the development of talented individuals and the aid of children in need worldwide. Through the generosity of Fadi Boustany a scholarship programme was established in 2009 to fund a scholar to undertake a PhD in astrophysics at the Institute of Astronomy. A collaboration with the Cambridge Trusts and the Institute of Astronomy provides full-funding for a student from overseas. The successful scholar becomes a member of Pembroke College in Cambridge and, during the first year of the PhD, will undertake an internship with Foundation Boustany in Monaco, contributing to the mission of the Foundation. A new scholarship is available every three years and the next application deadline will be the beginning of December 2024 for entry to the University of Cambridge in October 2025.

Boustany Scholars at the Institute of Astronomy share their experiences.

The Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States

The Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States has been awarding full-cost scholarships to students from the USA to undertake our one-year MPhil by research degree for more than three decades. Churchill Scholars are members of Churchill College, our immediate neighbour on Madingley Road. Applicants apply to the Foundation in the fall of the year before they intend to come to Cambridge. It is essential that applicants have communicated with the Institute of Astronomy in order to identify an MPhil supervisor with an appropriate project before they submit their applications to the Foundation and the University of Cambridge.

The majority of Churchill Scholars return to the United States to embark on a PhD on completion of their MPhil in Cambridge. It is now also possible to undertake the taught masters-level MASt. degree in Astrophysics and this route would be suitable for a USA student who wishes to undertake a PhD in the United Kingdom or elsewhere in Europe.