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Kennedy Scholarships


Please note that the closing date has passed. Next year's timetable is likely to be similar.

A Fund was set up in Great Britain by public subscription in 1965 to commemorate President John F.Kennedy. A Memorial was created at Runnymede in perpetuity; and, in addition, up to twelve scholarships from Britain to the United States are offered to United Kingdom graduates annually.

The scholarships are tenable at Harvard or MIT. Boston was President Kennedy's home and Harvard his University. And it was at Harvard that the Kennedy family provided for the establishment of the Institute of Politics within the Kennedy School of Government.

The Trustees, when awarding the Scholarships, bear in mind President Kennedy's lasting interest in the disciplines of humane studies, of economics and of modern technology.

Prospectus for 1998-99

Kennedy Scholarships, up to twelve in number, and tenable for one year will be awarded for the academic year 1998-99 at Harvard University and MIT. In certain circumstances, students who are applying for PhD or two years' Masters' programmes may be considered for extra funding to help support a second year of study. A Kennedy Scholar admitted to MIT in the School of Engineering or School of Sciences, who is in good standing at the end of the first year of study, will normally be able to get support for a second and subsequent years by appointment as a Research Assistant or, in some departments, as a Teaching Assistant. Kennedy Scholars registered on Ph.D. programmes at Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences are also sometimes able to fund further study by obtaining Research or Teaching Assistantships.
(a) Candidates must, at the same time as applying for a Kennedy Scholarship, make a separate and independent application for admission direct to Harvard or MIT. Lists of the addresses of admissions offices are available from the Secretary of the Trust. A Kennedy Scholarship provides funding, but except in the situations described below, does not carry automatic admission to Harvard or MIT.
(b) Candidates wishing to study as Special Students at the John F.Kennedy School of Government at Harvard will gain automatic admission on being awarded a Scholarship. They will not need to make an independent application as instructed above. Applicants who are selected as Kennedy Scholars and who wish to study as Special Students on the Technology and Policy Program at MIT will gain automatic admission upon their subsequent application to this program.

Eligible for awards are British citizens at the time of application who are ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom or have been wholly or mainly educated there. (Applications cannot be accepted from persons already in the United States.)

Candidates must (a) already be graduates of a United Kingdom University, or University College, (applicants who graduated before 1995 will not be eligible), or (b) currently be studying for a first or higher degree and have spent two of the last five years at a UK University or College. Applicants who are studying for a first degree must be due to graduate in the academic year 1997-98. (Marriage is not a bar to the award of Scholarship, but there is no financing for a spouse.)

In awarding Scholarships, the Trustees will take into consideration qualities of personal character as well as intellectual attainment and promise.

In view of the specialised nature of the study of Business Administration and of Management the Trustees will grant a Scholarship in these fields only in exceptional circumstances. Candidates for the Business School must have completed two years' full-time employment in business or public service.

Preference will be given to candidates who have not already had the opportunity of spending a whole academic year in an American University.


Scholars will be required to devote the major part of their time to study in one of the Faculties of the University to which they are admitted. They may be registered on a degree programme or study as a Special Student or (where applicable) as a Visiting Fellow.

Scholars will receive a stipend equivalent to $15,500 (to cover living costs, any special equipment needed, and some travel within the United States). Scholars are expected to spend part of their summer vacation in the United States after the end of the academic year. Travel to and from the United States will be paid for by the Trustees, and Tuition Fees will be paid direct to the Institution concerned.


Application Forms are available from University and College authorities or from the Trust at 16 Great College Street, London, SW1P 3RX, telephone 0171-222 1151.

Candidates should submit seven typed (or legibly written in black) copies of the Form, and attach to each copy a short essay (typed) giving an account (less than 1,000 words) of their academic pursuits, general activities, and intellectual interests, plus reasons for wishing to study in the United States, choice of course and institution, and plans for the future.

Referees and Testimonials

The forms call for the names of two persons as referees. The first referee should have supervised academically the candidate's university studies; and his or her confidential reference is to come forward with the candidate's application papers.

The second referee may be non-academic but should be familiar with the candidate's performance at university and afterwards. The referee should be asked by the candidate to send forward a confidential reference direct to the Secretary of the Kennedy Memorial Trust by 7 November 1997.

Interviews and Selection

Selected candidates will be invited for interview in London on either 8th or 9th January. They will be required to produce a birth certificate, or other nationality papers. Those awarded Scholarships will be asked to provide a medical certificate.

Candidates selected to receive Scholarships will be notified by the end of January, but confirmation of the award cannot be made until April/May when admission to Harvard or MIT has been granted.

Please note that it is not possible for the Trustees to provide candidates with detailed comments on unsuccessful applications.


The application forms and accompanying essays should be sent to the Head of the University College or the Vice-Chancellor of the University of which the candidate is or has been a student, not later than 24 October 1997.

Heads of Colleges, Vice-Chancellors, or Principals are requested to transmit the application forms and accompanying essays in respect of those candidates whom their university or college is prepared to recommend, in order of preference, if possible, together with their own confidential report and recommendation in addition to the references from the academic supervisors. Transmission should be made to the Secretary, Kennedy Memorial Trust, 48 Westminster Palace Gardens, Artillery Row, London, SW1P 1RR, not later than 7 November 1997.

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Reporter Special No 7: Awards, Funds, Studentships, and Prizes - 12th November 1997
Copyright © 1997 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.