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Herchel Smith Fund


In June 2002, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge accepted with gratitude a most generous bequest of nearly $40 million under the Will of Dr Herchel Smith - one of the largest ever individual bequests to a British university. This was followed by a further $20 million from the residual estate in 2004.

In accordance with Dr Smith's particular research interests, part of the residual portion of his bequest was directed to Harvard University to fund a PhD studentship programme for the prospective Harvard and Cambridge students. The Herchel Smith Research Studentships are among the most prestigious studentships offered by the Universities. Students are selected at both institutions within the broad area of Life Sciences and regular meetings of students and Managers are incorporated into the scheme, the first being held in July 2010 in Cambridge.

The first Herchel Smith PhD studentships were awarded in 2008. Each year Cambridge receives hundreds of applications for these studentships from the brightest young researchers from across the world. Cambridge presently recruits four PhD students annually (for a four-year period of study), while Harvard recruits six PhD students annually (for a two-year period of study).

At Cambridge the Herchel Smith Research Studentships provide:

  • Tuition Fees 

  • Stipend at Wellcome Trust rates for four years (starting stipend = £19,913)

  • Research Support grant

  • Visa costs (for the overseas students)

Successful applicants may have the opportunity to apply to undertake a two to three month research project at Harvard University as part of their studies.

To view Terms and Conditions, please click here.