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Academic Registry and Council Secretariat

Cambridge Long Vacation Scholarship 2021/22

The Cambridge Long Vacation Scholarship provides the opportunity for 8 students to attend Kings College and 1 student to attend St John’s College for four weeks from Monday 11th July to Saturday 6th August

  • The Kings College Cambridge exchange commemorates the period during World War II when Queen Mary College was evacuated to King’s College, Cambridge
  • The St John’s College Cambridge exchange marks the retirement of Robert Tong who was the Registrar and Secretary of Queen Mary College 1946-1979 and was a Choral Scholar at St John’s

The Scholarship provides students with:

  • Free accommodation at Kings College or St John’s College Cambridge
  • £455 from Queen Mary University of London to cover travel and maintenance costs
  • The option to participate in planned activities
  • Reading rights access to the Cambridge University Library and relevant Faculty Libraries
  • Borrowing rights Kings College Library or St John’s College Library


  • Students are expected to spend their time at Cambridge in the furtherance of their undergraduate studies by using the academic facilities. Although there is no formal academic element of the scholarship, students can arrange to meet with specific academic staff at Cambridge by making the arrangements in advance. Cambridge University laboratory facilities can only be used by making prior arrangements directly to the department of interest

  • Students are required to provide a short report of their time at King's and St John’s
  • Participation in the CLVS will be recorded as an extracurricular activity on the HEAR

Eligibility and application process

To be eligible for the scholarship, students must:

  • Be a non-final year undergraduate student in the 2021/22 academic year
  • Be fully enrolled for the 2021/22 academic year
  • Successfully complete the 2021/22 academic year with no outstanding assessments or exams
  • Have no academic commitments during the summer vacation
  • Not have participated in the CLVS before

Each Faculty has its own application and decision making process and the scholarship will be advertised only to students who may be eligible to apply. If you have any queries about your Faculty's application procedures, please contact your Faculty Administrator:

Faculty of Humanity and Social Sciences  

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

For all other queries contact: 

Bursaries, Grants and Scholarships Office

Outcome of your application

  • Faculties will make recommendations about the award of CLVS to the Bursaries team by 6th April 2022
  • The Bursaries team is responsible for checking and confirming the eligibility of candidates selected by the Faculty
  • Formal notification of the outcome of your application will be sent to you by the Bursaries team from 7th to 12th April 2022

 If your application is unsuccessful on this occasion, you can apply in successive years as long as you meet the eligibility criteria.

Extracts from students’ reports:


My time in Cambridge on the Long Vacation Scholarship was invaluable to my dissertation and further academic interest. During the month-long stay, you are given the time and opportunity to undertake a project of research, possibly unlike any you might have completed in your academic career. My own dissertation has been largely driven by the fantastic library and archival resources that were available. Not only is the Kings College Library and University of Cambridge Library unmatched in their collections, but many other faculty departments are open for you to consult their texts and speak to staff about your research. I would like to take the time to particularly thank the Centre for South Asian Studies at Cambridge who were very welcoming, and both the archivist Kevin Greenbank and librarian Rachel Rowe at the centre who helped me navigate their amazing collections of papers and photographs. Having access to these kind of materials for the first time was an incredible privilege that cannot be found outside of Cambridge. Many Cambridge alumni have donated various diaries, papers, research etc. to various library collections over the years and if this is something that you may be interested in, I would highly recommend any student to get in touch with relevant departments/staff at Cambridge before they arrive. Having that kind of edge to your research you will find yourself much more confident in your area, especially after spending time with people who are researching similar subjects. The kind of individual work required from the scheme also gave me a good insight into what it would be like to do a postgraduate degree.

The facilities at Kings College are also amazing, with 24hr access to the library, dining hall and beautiful room you will have everything you need for the summer. I would highly recommend the scheme to any student already thinking about their dissertation and further academic study – there is not a better place to become familiar with that world than Cambridge.

M.P 2nd English and Drama



My time in Cambridge was thoroughly enjoyable and eye-opening, an experience I will never forget!  During the first week, King’s College organises several activities for you to attend.  We were lucky enough to be given a tour of the chapel roof, a ticket to an outdoor performance of Hamlet, and an invitation to afternoon tea.  However, other than these activities, the time you have in Cambridge is entirely your own.  As an independent worker, this suited me very well, allowing me to structure my days as I pleased.  

Prior to my arrival, I arranged to meet with a Law professor to discuss my dissertation.  This was very useful and insightful, and I am grateful to have had this opportunity.  The majority of the rest of my time was spent either in the main University Library or the King’s College library, where a multitude of resources are available for you to use.  It is hard to find a book that you cannot access at Cambridge!   After long days of studying, my evenings were spent either punting on the scenic river Cam, or going for drinks with friends at one of the myriad of pubs Cambridge has to offer. I have come away from the scheme with a firm grasp of my dissertation, an insight into a career in academia, new friends, and increased confidence in myself and my ability.  I encourage all students with a passion for knowledge to apply.  

H.K 2nd Y Politics



For me, I have generally found that my academic interests have always been rather niche and so it is has been hard for me to explore future opportunities within my chosen realm. My time at King’s was particularly useful in this respect. After having sent emails left, right and centre to various academics across the university who worked in epidemiology I was very fortunate in that a few replied and sent me on to their colleagues, one of whom found me a place in the Veterinary School. There I was given my own desk space in a shared office (all very exciting!) where I was conducting tasks that would contribute, albeit on a small level, to research tasks regarding the efficacy of MenAfrVac (a meningitis vaccine) in the ‘African Meningitis Belt’.

This in-depth experience of the research process in epidemiology which only a handful of universities in the country conduct was truly invaluable. It is most definitely something I wouldn’t have been able to gain without having been given the opportunity through CLVS. Originally, I was intending to conduct some of my research to get ahead on my dissertation utilising the resources which were at my disposable for a limited time. I did manage to make the most of the surrounding libraries as well as having access to a few crucial rare documents from the University Library for my 3rd year dissertation. I would recommend the scheme to any undergraduates who are interested in taking their academics ‘that one step-further’. The collections at both the Cambridge faculty libraries and King’s will have books on anything and everything regardless of how niche an area of interest is!

Post this experience I have consolidated the fact that I wish to continue along the epidemiology route after having seen first-hand the impact of such work. Before applying I didn’t have much self confidence in regards to my academic work even though I have been achieving 2.1s and 1sts. Applying, being selected and taking the initiative to not only make contacts in the interdisciplinary world but also gain hands on experience whilst furthering my dissertation research has boosted my view of what I am capable of.

C. M 2Y Global health




I had a very enjoyable time on the Long Vacation Scheme - it was great to get to know some of the other students from the other departments and to have the time to read all those books that had built up on my reading list. Definitely take this opportunity if you can. There are few times when you can get completely away from your usual environment and not have any distractions.

I would really recommend going to see the plays that are part of the Shakespeare Festival (I watched three!). Also you should definitely try going punting at least once. I would also recommend eating in the dining hall for lunch or dinner, as this is a great way to get to know the other students.
Overall, I had a great experience and I already miss the beautiful buildings in Cambridge.

F. P. 2nd Y  SLLF



When I first applied for this scheme, I had the expectation that Cambridge would further my academic interests by being placed in an environment with an abundance of resources and facilities to take advantage of. Whilst this was definitely true, the scheme also gave me the chance to enjoy all that the beautiful town of Cambridge has to offer! From punting on the River Cam, to watching a live re-enactment of Hamlet in the Fellows Garden’s, the experience has been fulfilling and memorable.

The scheme provided me with the opportunity to meet with some of the most inspiring and academically diverse minds, helping to further my ideas and ways of thinking formed at Queen Mary. I used my time to develop my Geography dissertation research and Cambridge placed a crucial role in supporting my work. Being given the freedom to tailor the scheme to my own individual needs and spend time on what I wanted to do the most, definitely made the experience rewarding and ensured achieved a great deal during the Long Vacation. Most importantly, this meant having access to a vast array of university facilities and to every book, journal or report that I could ever desire. From the scheme, I managed to conduct interviews, review literature and even recruit a few academics to participate!

The organisation of the scheme by King’s was fantastic. There were some amazing events at the start of the scheme such as afternoon tea and climbing the roof of the college chapel making it extremely easy to settle in. Living on campus, in a college rooted in deep historical significance yet having a collectively forward-thinking liberal mindset, made the atmosphere much more unique and thought-provoking. I would like to express my deepest appreciation to our King’s tutor for accommodating us and enriching my Cambridge experience.  To all future students considering this scheme, I would urge them think about all that Cambridge has to offer and realise the reward you would gain from being an academically rigorous yet culturally vibrant place. 

K. A. 2nd Y – Geography



Taking part in the Cambridge Long Vacation scheme was an invaluable experience, and has granted me with the opportunity for both immense academic and personal growth. Upon arrival to Cambridge I was greeted by the lovely Kings College Porters, followed by a mini tour of the college, and shown to my accommodation in Bodley’s Court. The room was spacious and had a fantastic view of the river, creating a perfect peaceful atmosphere for studying. I was provided with borrowing rights at the King’s College library, as well as reading rights at the University Library. I was completely overwhelmed with the variety and sheer quantity of available books between these two libraries.

Throughout my time at King’s College, I was able to embark on my third-year research project and completed a thorough literature review. In my spare time I could not let the incredible opportunity to access such vast amount of literature to simply slip by, therefore I also worked on familiarising myself with history of Lithuania, as well as the Monarchy of the United Kingdom. The environment of the college and its’ libraries was very inspiring, allowing productive work. I proactively engaged with offered opportunities, as well as personally arranged meetings with Cambridge University Fellows who are currently completing research in my field of interest. This was not only an incredible way to gain a deeper insight into my project, but also boosted my academic network and introduced me to new post-graduate opportunities.

I think it is most crucial to master the balance of studying and social life whilst in Cambridge. There are many wonderful opportunities; from exploring the city, to attending public events and meeting influential people. I was constantly surrounded by like-minded students and gained new insights and ideas by taking part in organised events such as the ‘Afternoon Tea’, during which I was able to discuss my aspirations and opportunities with current Cambridge University PhD students. To all future participants of the scheme I highly recommend grabbing a coffee in a local café, or trying out punting on the river whilst engaging in thought-provoking discussions with students from around the world. I am very fortunate to have taken part in what has been one of the most academically influential opportunities in my life so far, and cannot imagine a more ideal way to spend the summer!

L.M. 2nd Y - Biology



 As part of the CLVS, I arranged a lab based research project in the chemistry department prior to my arrival. I spent four weeks developing my practical skills, which has proved to be very useful for my post-July endeavours. Having access to the library, I also had the opportunity to take out books and study other aspects of chemistry that interest me alongside my project.

Due to my full-time lab project, I was unable to attend all the activities set out for the CLVS students in the first two weeks. I do feel that there could’ve been more things arranged in the remaining two weeks, as well as in the evenings so students with day time commitments could still participate.

I really liked the accommodation and the Kings College campus - I fortunately got to watch the long firework display that the college put on for students graduating in July which was a great experience. The surrounding area is very nice and if you walk for just half an hour, you end up in very green areas with many animals which makes a nice walk around Cambridge.  The food served at the college was good, although I feel that on some days the menu was not very exciting. Because the main dining area was being used for other events a lot of the time, it meant that dinner had to be eaten in a less ideal setting.

Overall, I’d recommend the scheme to other students. It gives you the opportunity to study into your interests and spend a month living independently and having your own freedom to do whatever you like – I did not feel like there was any restrictions as to what I could and couldn’t do.

A .Z. 2nd Y –.Chemistry



CLVS doesn’t only place the student in one of the most prestigious Universities in the World, but allows them to connect with academics from University of Cambridge - the best chance anyone could have to find a Supervisor for their PhD studies.

I have tried to find more resources on data transparency. Unfortunately, as it is a topic not widely discussed, I couldn’t find much.fortunately, however, I found another idea for my final year project: discovery of mental illness and epilepsy through EEG scans and Machine Learning.The scheme ran smoothly and everyone was very supportive. I will never forget the view... The punts passing by right under my window! Nor will I ever forget that I have lived in the same building where Alan Turing had his supervision office! Being part of CVLS is like being an Intern at Hogwarts!

P. L. 2nd Y – Computer Science



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