Kennedy Scholarships at Harvard & MIT


In 1965 a Fund was set up in the United Kingdom by public subscription to commemorate President John F Kennedy. A Memorial was created at Runnymede in perpetuity; and it was resolved that Scholarships to the United States should be offered every year to British Citizens who are United Kingdom graduates. The Scholarships are tenable at Harvard or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
As the 50th anniversary of the Memorial Trust approaches, the Trustees want to expand the Scholarships to include not only recent graduates but also some who have gained a few years of experience outside academia and would now benefit from a course of study at Harvard or MIT. All candidates would be selected according to the criteria outlined in paragraph 5 below.
More generally, the Trustees are particularly keen to encourage applications from artists, musicians, scientists and engineers. The broad context of Kennedy Scholarships remains President Kennedy’s interest in bringing into fruitful combination the two great disciplines of traditional humane studies and modern technology and so making their strength effective in the activities of government and in the direction of world affairs.

PROSPECTUS FOR 2016 – 2017

1. Kennedy Scholarships will be awarded for the academic year 2016-2017 at Harvard University and MIT. A Kennedy Scholarship gives full funding (see paragraph 7 below) for one academic year. Students who are applying for two-year Master’s or PhD programmes will normally secure the necessary funding for second or subsequent years within their institution.

2. Candidates must, in the same application season as applying for a Kennedy Scholarship, make a separate and independent application for admission direct to their chosen programme at Harvard and/or MIT. See and A Kennedy Scholarship provides funding but does not carry automatic admission to Harvard or MIT, nor is it associated with particular programmes. It will support degree and non-degree students. Potential Harvard GSAS Special Student or Visiting Fellow applicants should consult the following list for eligible programmes of study

3. Those applying for awards must be all of the following:
 British citizens at the time of application;
 ordinarily resident in the UK;
 wholly or mainly educated in the UK.
Applications cannot be accepted from those already in the United States.
Marriage is not a bar to the award of a Scholarship, but there is no extra funding for a spouse.
4. Those studying for a first degree at a UK university and due to graduate in the academic year 2015-2016 are eligible. Graduate applicants must have spent at least two of the seven years prior to 1st September 2016 studying as an undergraduate at a UK University, taking their first degree not earlier than 2011. Awards will not be made to postdoctoral candidates wishing to pursue further research in their own field.

5. In awarding Scholarships, the Trustees will take into account candidates’ intellectual attainment, readiness and ability to express themselves, and the suitability of their proposed course of study at Harvard or MIT.
They may also look for:
 originality of mind;
 commitment to public service;
 potential to make a mark in public life;
 ability to overcome adversity.
It should be noted that Kennedy Scholars typically have a First Class degree.
6. Scholars will be required to devote most of their time to one of the faculties of the university to which they are admitted. They may be registered on a degree programme or as non-degree or Special Students.
7. A Kennedy Scholarship covers the full costs of tuition and health insurance, paid direct to the institution concerned. In addition, Scholars will receive a stipend of $26,000 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 and may apply for an additional grant of $2,500 to pay for vacation travel. A substantial contribution will be made towards the cost of a return transatlantic flight.
8. Awards are made in the expectation that Scholars will bring the benefits of their American experience back to the United Kingdom.

9. Applications are to be made online at
10. In addition to completing an online form, applicants will be asked to submit an essay (which MUST NOT exceed 1,000 words) giving an account of their academic pursuits, general activities and intellectual interests, plus their reasons for wishing to study in the United States, choice of course and institution and plans for the future.
11. The closing date for applications will be 23.59 on Wednesday 28th October 2015.
12. Applicants will be asked to give the names and professional email addresses of two referees. The first should have supervised some aspect of the applicant’s academic work at university. The second may be non-academic but should be familiar with the applicant’s performance at university and afterwards.
13. Both references must be submitted online by 23.59 on Wednesday 4th November for the application to be accepted. Referees will be contacted automatically once the applicant has submitted an application.
Interviews and Selection
14. Selected applicants will be invited to London for interview on either Tuesday 5th or Wednesday 6th January 2016. Interview candidates should ensure they attend in person in London on the date requested. A birth certificate or other nationality papers will be required at this time. Those awarded Scholarships will be asked to provide a medical certificate.
15. Candidates selected to receive Scholarships will be notified by the end of January but confirmation of the award cannot be made until May, when admission to Harvard or MIT has been secured.
16. Please note that it is not possible for the Trustees to provide candidates with comments on unsuccessful applications at any stage of the process.; Registered Charity Number 234715