What is the Marshall Scholarship?

Internal Deadline:

August 28, 2024 at NOON 

Contact the Office of Fellowships for support at least one month before this deadline.

The Marshall Scholarships fund 1-2 years of study in any field at one or more British universities, with roughly 50 awards offered each year. Grantees may pursue two successive one-year master’s programs, one two-year master’s program, or the first two years of a PhD (with the possibility of a third year extension). 

For candidates in bioscience, medicine and related disciplines, there is a special category of awards funded jointly by the Marshall Commission and the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, called the NIH Marshall Scholarships. To be eligible, applicants must first be selected as Marshall Scholars, applying in the usual way. Any Marshall Scholar who is selected for research in a bio-medical/science field can be put forward to the NIH for consideration.

Marshall Scholars (awardees) who are pursuing a three-year PhD at Cambridge or Oxford may apply for additional Partnership Marshall Scholarships which will fund the third year of the PhD (of which the Marshall only funds two). The application for these takes place in the first year of a Marshall awardee's course of study but the intention to apply should be mentioned in the Marshall application. In addition to the third year funding offered by the Commission, extensions may be granted by the universities of Oxford or Cambridge to those pursuing a doctorate there. The Marshall program offers this recorded information workshop for prospective candidates.

Award Details

A woman writing on paper in front of a computer

How do I apply?

Visit the Marshall application steps page to learn about application components, a timeline for successful completion of the application, and information about graduate study in the UK.

Information For Recommenders

In your letter, please comment in detail on the applicant's general fitness for the course of study proposed, particularly in upper-level coursework, and the suitability of the university chosen (why their studies and proposed career would be best served by being at a British university). Observations about the candidate's general character as well as academic standing and ability will be of great value to the selection authorities in deciding which candidates should be invited for an interview at the Regional Centre. The Selectors look for candidates who have the potential to excel as scholars, as leaders, and as contributors to an improved UK-U.S. understanding. Reviewers will base their selection on the candidate's academic merit, leadership potential and ambassadorial potential. Preference is given to candidates who combine high academic ability with the capacity to play an active part in the life of the United Kingdom university to which they go, and who display potential to make a significant contribution to their own society. As you craft your letter, you may find helpful our suggestions for writers of recommendation letters. The director of fellowships is also happy to provide feedback on your letter before you submit it. 

Format and submission: Kindly submit your letter by August 28, 2024 at NOON so that the Committee on Student Fellowships can review it along with the candidate's other application materials. Your letter provides information critical to the committee's endorsement decision, therefore the letter you write for the internal deadline should be your complete letter - not a preliminary draft. Marshall letters have a 1,000 word limit. It is expected that you will have a lot to say about the applicant and will need about that much space to say it. (If you don't feel you can write a robust letter, please decline the student's request. A scant letter will not help their candidacy and they should find someone else who can say more. 

Letters are submitted by copying and pasting into an online portal. Your letter will be easier to read if you create a line of space between each paragraph in the text window. You will receive an email invitation from the Marshall Scholarship Application system providing a link and instructions for submitting the letter. Please address your letter to the Marshall Scholarship Selection Committee. If a candidate is selected as a Scholar by the Marshall Commission, you will be sent a second email with a pdf of your letter attached.  If this occurs, Marshall will ask you to print your letter on institutional letterhead, sign it by hand in ink, and mail it to the address provided. (Therefore, please save your original copy on a Word document so that you can easily print it onto letterhead should the applicant be offered the scholarship.) Information for recommenders on the Marshall website.

Have questions? Please contact us.

Christine Overstreet, Director of Fellowships
212 Converse Hall


Physical address: 100 Boltwood Avenue, Amherst, MA 01002

Mailing Address: AC #2214, PO Box 5000, Amherst, MA 01002