Skip to main content

Academic Registry and Council Secretariat

Cambridge Long Vacation Scholarship 2022/23

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 10th July to Saturday 5th 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 2022/23 academic year
  • Be fully enrolled for the 2022/23 academic year
  • Successfully complete the 2022/23 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 the application procedures, please contact your respective schools.

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 31st March 2023
  • 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 by 7th April 2023

 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:


I applied for this summer exchange programme to do some individual research about the topics I found most interesting during my 2nd year. I expected to spend the majority of my time in the faculty library, however I got so much more out of that month in Cambridge.

The college where I was staying organised several programmes throughout the 4 weeks, like a tour of the college chapel, seeing the King Lear play at the Fellow’s Gardens and an afternoon tea. It was insightful to see some of the university’s history and experience their traditions, even for a short period of time.  Apart from the fun recreational activities, I got in contact with two professors who worked closely throughout the month. We had the opportunity to take part in a visual experiment and seeing how it operated. Dr Savage gave us an introductory course on IC thinking which I have never heard about before Cambridge and ended up being one of the most fascinating topics in Psychology for me.

It was a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to work with such amazing professors and deepen my understanding of psychology in a different environment. Using the faculty and university libraries was also a big part of my stay in Cambridge where I could read any books I found interesting. I used this time to start thinking about my dissertation topic, even though next year I am doing a placement. However, it was a great opportunity to dive into a wide variety of topics without the pressure to have tangible results by the end.

If anyone hesitates to apply or whether they are “good enough”, my advice is to just go for it. The fact that you are thinking about a programme like this, means that you are a perfect candidate. When you are in Cambridge don’t forget to admire the beautiful buildings and visit the other colleges as well. Touring the colleges helped me decide whether to apply for a Master’s here or not and which colleges could I see myself studying and living. Lastly, don’t be shy to contact many faculty members and professors if you are interested in their work. As the programme is during the summer, most professors are not at the university, hence emailing several increases your chance to actually work with one of them which is a really amazing opportunity.

J.K. 3rd Y – Psychology


As one of the only copyright libraries in the UK, the University Library was definitely intimidating to begin with, but by the end of the scheme I was able to navigate the floors with ease. I also took the opportunity to visit the faculty libraries which, although significantly smaller than the University Library, were interesting in their own right. After my initial surprise at finding so much relevant literature there, the Law Library became a quick favorite. Though the libraries were useful for dissertation research, the usefulness of the Churchill Archive was unmatched and much credit is owed to its archival sources and its archivists Jess and Sophie who guided me to sources beyond those that I requested. I am grateful for all of the staff and students with whom I interacted for cementing my wish to apply for a masters at Cambridge and helping me to realize that World History would be the best-fitting masters for me.

A shared preconception of CLVS participants was that everyone would be isolated from one another throughout our time in Cambridge. In reality, I spent much of my time with the other applicants. The novelty of the experience allowed us to grow closer by exploring the various libraries, museums and colleges together, even going so far as to decide which colleges we wanted to apply to for our masters (with input from the aforementioned masters housemate). For future participants of the scheme, I think it is important to try to get to know the other participants because it is an equally new environment for everyone involved, and being able to share it with others makes walks feel infinitely shorter and guarantees that there will always be someone to watch over your things when you are looking for a book in the library. From late night card games and cooking sessions, to midnight astronomy lessons and acting as participants in a psychology experiment, the experience was made infinitely better by being able to share it with them.

T.D.  2nd Y- History 



While in Cambridge, I had the chance to experience both, my academic and personal growth. As I carried out my own research project on the Thermodynamical features presented by Black Holes, I’ve also met valuable people such as Physics professors and PhD students, which provided me with useful insights and guidance towards the different routes I can take for my graduate and postgraduate studies. My research project has been largely driven by the extraordinary libraries that were available to me. Having at my disposal the Cambridge University Library and the St. John’s library, I was able to find remarkable resources and deepen my understanding on the topics I researched.

Additionally, this opportunity has helped me in further develop different soft skills, such as problem solving, organisation, critical thinking and time management. I must also highlight how the staff members at St. John's College were really kind and welcomed me with open arms. As thanks to them I was able to attend a Shakespeare play, which I utterly enjoyed. Apart from the Queen Mary students that participated in this program, I've also met other CLVS students from Germany which made my stay in Cambridge even more enjoyable. We travelled around the city and explored just outside of it, to see historic buildings and important sites. Needless to say, I recommend this opportunity to anyone that is eager to expand their knowledge and is up for an adventure.

K.M 2nd Y -Physics




What an amazing, once in a life time experience Cambridge was, hard to beat and never to be forgotten. I have come away with new friendships and a new perspective on my future.

My expectations of my stay in Cambridge were: go there, work hard, focus on my studies. And the setting certainly allows you to do that. The very history of Cambridge as a centre of learning creates the environment in which you feel the urge to work and be productive. I used the time to work intensively on my dissertation after finding a concrete topic as well as some initial sources. Access to the College and University libraries provided a vast amount of information as well as a very motivating study space.

My stay in Cambridge was, however, so much more than an opportunity to study. What also stands out was the joy of being put together with like-minded people, both from Queen Mary and Cambridge. The friendships which were formed there will, I hope, last a lifetime.  Some of these new friendships were helped along by the lovely accommodation arrangements. We spent some time together here, cooking, socialising and enjoying being together.

We were made to feel very welcome and were treated as though we belonged, being given the same access to everything which a student of King's College had. Eating in the Great Hall was awesome – at least architecturally! An itinerary was provided by the college with events which we were able to attend, for example a tour of the chapel, which was awe-inspiring, and of the chapel roof, which only Cambridge students have access to, and only once they graduate. The tours were fascinating, allowing us insight into the history of the College and University, as well as making us feel like a part of the College itself. The friends we made from amongst Cambridge students made our stay there even more colourful as they of course were in the know about what the town itself has to offer.

As our stay came to an end we were all very sad. It had been the most special time we had had together. Luckily though, the University has granted us access to the main library for the coming year and so we plan to visit Cambridge together on a regular basis and make use of this privilege which we all very much appreciate.

F.Z. 2nd Y_English Language and Linguistics 



In my opinion, the Cambridge Long Vacation Scheme was an exceptional experience that I am glad I had the opportunity to have. Not only was I glad to spend four weeks at such an esteem university, I also had the chance to experience a city completely different from London. Before arriving at Cambridge I made sure to have a plan of study as well as some alternative plans in case something did not work out.

During the first week I focused on writing some essays that I plan to submit in national competitions. I spent my mornings at the King’s College Library and in the afternoons I had the chance to explore the city a bit more. I am glad that the people responsible for the scheme at King’s were so involved and made sure to organise various activities for all the students of the programme. We had the opportunity to attend tours of the chapel and the college itself that I later found out are not available to tourists. This was for me a once in a lifetime experience that I will cherish forever. In the next two weeks, I spent my days revising and preparing for the third year of medical school since this year will be the start of my clinical placements. I used books from the library to enhance my learning. During these two weeks, we had the chance to attend a tea party, where we met Cambridge students and we also attended a Shakespeare play at the Fellows Garden. In the final week, I decided to focus more on the specialty I am interested in. I therefore purchased some books on Oncology from Cambridge Press, who are written by professors of the university and I spent most of my days going through them and enhancing my knowledge on the subject. During this week, I also visited the various museums in the different colleges, like the museum of Zoology.

My advice for future successful applicants is to go to Cambridge with an open mind but to also start planning as soon as possible. For example, I was planning on attending a placement at Addenbrooke’s but due to some unforeseen circumstances I could not complete it. I, however found other ways to spend my time fruitfully.  

M.V. 3rd Y – Medicine



I am really thankful for the opportunity to be part of the Cambridge Long Vacation Scholarship program. I am a physics student, mostly interested in planetary astrophysics and habitability. I arranged meetings with academics working in the field and got the chance to attend group meetings with their Ph.D. and master’s students, along with their interns. This was very interesting as I got the opportunity to experience how academics work on projects in the real world. The academics gave enlightening answers to all of my questions regarding my field of interest and helped me to understand the application process and what it would be like to study at Cambridge. I even got the chance to use one of the university’s telescopes to look at planets, which was a fascinating experience for me, seeing Jupiter’s moons and Saturn’s rings.

I got the chance to study in four libraries. King’s College, the main University Library, the Physics Library, and the library in the Institute of Astrophysics. The Cambridge University Library is a nice place to study and has a great collection of books on every field. I used them mostly to read on the topic that I hope my third-year project will focus on.

King’s College had arranged plenty of tours for us and my favourite one was the chapel’s roof, where we had panoramic views of Cambridge. The college itself is breathtaking and the people are incredibly helpful. I was fortunate enough to be connected with a former Queen Mary alumni student who now studies the habitability of exoplanets at King’s College. It was useful to speak to someone who has been through the same journey I intend to embark on!

Furthermore, I was lucky to have met the people that were on the same program, as they were all amazing, making my month in Cambridge memorable. We spent most of the time together, studying, exploring Cambridge and they helped me in my time of need. Friendships that will last!

I would recommend exploring other colleges, as all of them have beautiful exteriors and amazing architecture. I would also recommend everyone tries punting. Since the project focuses on independent study, I would recommend communicating with academics before going there and arranging meetings with them. Whatever you are studying, the CLVS program is going to give you great opportunities and insights and I guarantee you will have an amazing time. I would definitely urge everyone to apply!

I.R. 2nd Y-Physics



My time in Cambridge as a recipient of the Cambridge Long Vacation Scholarship was highly enjoyable and it is an experience I would recommend to any motivated student at Queen Mary. The application demands quite some time and effort, especially considering the reference you need and the time frame in which you have to do it (amid preparation for exams). However, I do really feel like it was worth it and that the period spent in Cambridge was a highlight of my summer. 

The organisation by King’s College Cambridge was excellent as it made sure we had a point of contact throughout the month as well as introductory activities in the first week. This gives everyone a chance to get to know the others on the trip and then lets you decide how you will make the most of the remaining weeks. Access to the libraries, college and facilities was easily and quickly given to us and it helped me get a kick start to the work I wanted to do. As it was the middle of summer, my work mainly revolved around preparing for my upcoming dissertation, personal projects and extra-curricular work. The library is an excellent place to get work done, and after a comprehensive tour of it, I felt ready and knowledgeable in using it to conduct my research. One personal project I worked on was writing a novel. The setting that Cambridge gives really makes for a focused and inspiring place to do such creative work and there are many people to take inspiration from around you. 

On top of the academic side of it, this was a great opportunity to get to know other students at Queen Mary and make some very valuable friends. Our group made sure to spend as much time as possible with each other, spending mornings at the library, eating lunch at the Cambridge food market or King’s dining hall and then touring Cambridge and its various activities and restaurants in the evening. It really felt like a fun and exciting summer, while continuing to be productive. 

For future applicants and recipients, I would really say to go for it and put aside any doubts you have about spending some of your summer in Cambridge. It might not sound as exciting as you want it to, but I promise the people, the place and the city really make it a great time. It sets you in front of many of your peers ahead of your third year, while also allowing you to immerse yourself in the collegiate university lifestyle. Also, try and make friends with some of the people there that go to King’s and they will show you some amazing places and will be great to go punting with!'

M.P. 2nd Y – Politics



The Cambridge Long Vacation Scheme was incredibly fulfilling, not only in my academic pursuits but holistically as well. I was set up in accommodation that was right in the heart of Cambridge, with close access to King’s College and the university library, so there was no long, tedious commute to hinder any research or studying I wanted to do. It is also incredibly motivating to be surrounded by other like-minded individuals with their own ambitious plans, and this acted as a strong base for our friendship. I was able to tune-in what I wanted to do for my dissertation, and with unlimited access to reading materials, it was a seamless experience of finding a book I wanted to read, and then accessing it. There was no signing up for subscriptions, or using dodgy websites to find age-old books, which was refreshing, having had to do so innumerable times. 

Cambridge is a city seeping with history, and as King’s College students, we were invited on tours to explore within the chapel, with an incredibly knowledgeable Fellow of Art History; and given a tour of the Chapel roof by the Second Bursar of the university, something only graduates of King’s are allowed to do. Ely is also nearby, with the Ely Cathedral and Churchill’s house, so there is never a lack of recreational things to do.

For any incoming students, I would recommend making plans and networking before coming into the scheme, as many Fellows are away for the summer. This happened in my case, and so I could not meet a Fellow I was keen on talking to. It’s also a good idea to have a clear idea of what you want to do, to make the most of your time in Cambridge.

E.W. 2nd Y- English



I had the most incredible time on the Cambridge Long Vacation Scholarship! I was able to use the Kings College, psychology, and the Cambridge University libraries to prepare for my dissertation and final year modules. Prior to my arrival, I took the initiative of reaching out to psychology labs at the university and was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to work with a team of professors and students at the Vision Lab. I helped with the recruitment of participants for their most recent studies on colour perception, and I was also able to participate myself (and get paid!) I trialled new visual perception testing equipment and was taught a great deal about the world of psychophysics.

Most notably, I also worked with another professor who trained me in understanding and delivering a new type of psychological intervention which is used to tackle violent extremism. I was given many resources to study over the course of my time in Cambridge and had to complete a final exam and review with the professor at the end. I was even given a certificate to show that I had passed level 1 in Integrated Complexity Thinking training! I am especially proud of myself for recommending a new way to carry out the intervention which solves all of its current challenges. My idea is now going to be used and my name will be on the upcoming research article (exciting!!) Not only did I revolutionise the future of this intervention, but I also found something that thoroughly interests me, something that I may want to pursue as a career in the future.

Aside from academics, I had a lot of time to get to know the other students on the CLVS. The experience wouldn’t have been the same if it wasn’t for the amazing people on the scheme. I made some lifelong friends which I am so grateful to have met. From exploring the city together to becoming punting pros, cooking dinner as a group and having movie/games nights, this experience was unforgettable!.  If you are thinking of applying to the CLVS, my advice is to do it! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to study at Cambridge without the pressures of being a student there and to discover new interests and friendships on the way. Thank you CLVS!!!

R. M.  3rd Y-Psychology



Return to top