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Academic Registry and Council Secretariat

Cambridge Long Vacation Scholarship 2023/24

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 8th July to Saturday 3rd  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 2023/24 academic year
  • Be fully enrolled for the 2023/24 academic year
  • Successfully complete the 2023/24 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 29th March 2024
  • 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 8th April 2024

 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 experience in Cambridge was invaluable in being able to delve into my future research and dissertation ideas. I was at the heart of academic research where groups and societies have been formed for centuries in Cambridge, more importantly within the University. Having had the opportunity to explore various parts of King’s College and visit several libraries, I had the privilege of reading in King’s Library, the main University Library and Seeley Library. As well as this, I took some time to do some archival research as an undergraduate History student in the Churchill Archives Centre. These opportunities I am happy to say I grasped with both hands to truly immerse myself in my research. Although the social aspects were also incredible, particularly the proximity to everything in the centre of Cambridge like punting, visiting independence stores and coffee shops as well as the market stalls. Something I had not expected was the time to think about my pathways in the future such as postgraduate research and study which I had considered but managed to reach a conclusion for. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone who is passionate about their course and engaging in future research.

S.C_2nd Y History


During the first two weeks, we had a few events scheduled which included tours of the College Chapel and the College with Professor Jean Michel Massing. I believe these tours helped us learn about the identity and history of the College and the University. Professor Massing talked about the College art, his experiences, and perspectives as a fellow of Cambridge and his views on different current matters at the College.

In the final week, we had afternoon tea where we had the chance of meeting PhD students from different areas who told us about their experience. They were able to give me suggestions for who to contact about my interest areas. In addition, I was able to benefit by using the time to study from different interests I have in Mathematics, which helped me decide which master programs to apply for as well select my modules for my final year. The College and the accommodation provide many facilities that make studying more efficient, as the dining hall, college library and accommodation are five minutes away from each other.

One of the main advantages was having the chance of meeting students from other universities and countries, studying a variety of degrees, who were taking part. I found this crucial for my UG education as it provided me with new perspectives and helped me open my mind to new ideas and interests. For these reasons, I believe it could benefit from having more events where we could meet more PhD students or exchange students from other colleges. I also think that having the possibility of attending some of the lectures from the Cambridge Summer School could be greatly rewarding to QMUL bachelor students.

I would encourage future students to contact academics or PhD students at Cambridge, either before or during the programme. I found most people at Cambridge University to be very approachable, and nobody would expect a bachelor’s student to have all the answers on their interest area.

F.P.M_2nd Y Mathematics



It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I feel extremely privileged to have been a part of. It mostly involved independent study, which I used to gather preliminary resources and explore ideas for my dissertation. Because I got in touch with the relevant professors well in advance of my stay, I was even able to meet up with the head of the English Language and Linguistics faculty and some other scholars who provided valuable feedback to improve and broaden the scope of my dissertation. I made effective use of the wealth of resources and facilities that the institution had to offer including the University library, Kings College Library, and my faculty library. I found that studying on campus in such an inspirational environment and being surrounded by likeminded people genuinely enhanced my productiveness and quality of work. My favourite spots included the Kings College Library that has a view of the cathedral and the Botanical Gardens, as well as the outside terrace that overlooks a river with punting passers-by.

 Our organiser at Kings College composed a wonderful itinerary consisting of various tours with professors and other academics that detailed interesting information on the history and architecture of Kings College itself, including the chapel, library, and other colleges. She also devised a list of optional additional activities and sight-seeing recommendations for tourists in Cambridge so that there was always something to do.

This was beneficial to my personal development as most of the applicants were all completely new to one another, thus prompting the enrichment of my social skills, although this wasn’t as daunting as it seems. Living together in the accommodation alongside other students from Queen Mary and with everyone else just next door (from both Queen Mary and other universities) created a shared experience for us all and therefore a bond of understanding, allowing us to make lifelong friendships and unforgettable memories. Together, we explored the city centre and other surrounding areas such as those suggested by our organiser among many others.

A.B_2nd Y Languages Linguistics and Film




I was honoured to attend, and glad to have been a part of. I entered fresh-faced and came away with new contacts that have helped put into perspective my direction in healthcare specialisation. As a medical student, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to arrange one-on-one meetings with several Cambridge academics who worked in my areas of interest. Nonetheless, these meetings could not have been accomplished without the reading from the vast collections at King’s College and Cambridge University Libraries. This allowed me to further develop my questioning with a higher baseline and provided an enlightening experience in examples of real-world applications of Medical Economic theory, especially with regards to recent events. For those who wish to practice a shadowing or meeting event, I recommend making contacts with the desired health professionals ahead of time, but to always keep the door open in case of sudden changes, which could be favourable.

There were also many opportunities provided both by King’s College and independently, to explore the history and culture of this unique university town. Of special note was the guided tour of the King’s College Chapel provided by one of the College’s Fellows who helped to maintain it, providing a unique perspective on not only its history, but also the sometimes-tumultuous history of the town and its place throughout the centuries. Furthermore, the Shakespeare Festival provided by the Colleges were a good opportunity to explore these institutions as well as make new friends.

The staff were pleasant and helpful with any queries that may come up during the stay, as well as the facilities. This included a gym built into a bank vault and punting opportunities, which provide excellent avenues of activity for the restless. 

Due to the independent study nature of the project, I recommend a degree of organised scheduling, and know that most weekends are free-time (unless changed) and as such can be pre-planned ahead of time. This takes away from the stress of organising excursions on the day and frees the mind for focus on your studies. This Scholarship is a MUST for furthering your education.

A.D. 2nd Y-Medicine



A month before my arrival at Cambridge, I began listing all the potential topics I might consider for my research. When I arrived, I felt well-prepared, having most of the prerequisite knowledge and a list of resources to consult. I was eager to implement the plans I had been developing for the past month. However, I quickly realised that I had underestimated the depth of basic knowledge I thought I had in Linear Programming. Despite this setback, I was committed to deepening my understanding before proceeding with my initial plan. Unfortunately, no single textbook or article provided a complete picture, so the abundance of resources at the University of Cambridge was crucial. Using multiple resources at the same time helped me identify unfamiliar topics fundamental to Linear Programming and orient myself within a vastness of information I hadn't known existed.

At first, I felt like I was revisiting what I already knew. But soon, I moved to a more abstract understanding of how the Simplex Algorithm operates in an n-dimensional vector space. For the first time, I was able to establish a direct connection between the algorithm and linear algebra. This newfound understanding gave me insights into “how” the algorithm works.

Overall, my summer at Cambridge was highly productive. Several key factors contributed to this outcome. I was incredibly passionate about my research, however, this was no coincidence. Against the backdrop of the university's remarkable academic record; living, studying, and having private access to facilities made me feel as if I truly belonged to St. John's College. The nearby amenities provided the breaks I needed to relax after long study sessions. The mix of a challenging academic environment and accessible outdoor activities created ideal conditions.

For those considering attending the program, there are several recommendations I would like to make. It's important to understand the difference between studying and researching. Studying is about focusing on a specific topic, while researching also involves making connections between related topics and answering both "why" and "how." Even if you think you know a topic well, you might still discover intricacies you were unaware of. Meanwhile, as much as knowing where to begin, it's also crucial to define the limits of your research to avoid becoming lost in the complexity of the subject's history. Consulting multiple resources can give you a broader view as each resource offers a different range and depth of information. Similarly, using e-textbooks can help you be more efficient if you can't find academic guidance, don't be disheartened. While having a mentor can be beneficial, their absence can also make your study program more versatile, allowing you to focus entirely on your interests and aspirations. Lastly, things don’t always go as planned, but being adaptable can turn unexpected challenges into opportunities for growth.

O.G 2nd Y – Mathematics



The accommodation at King's College was comfortable and well-maintained. The room provided all the necessary amenities, including a study area, which was convenient for accessing the libraries. The college's historical architecture added a unique charm to the stay. However, it's worth noting that the solitary nature of the accommodation might contribute to feelings of loneliness, especially for those seeking more social interactions.

The libraries at King's College were undoubtedly a highlight of the stay. The vast collection of books, manuscripts, and academic resources showcased the institution's commitment to scholarship. The libraries provided a conducive environment for research and study, catering to both the academic community and visiting scholars. The well-organized layout and ease of access to resources were highly commendable.

The scenic beauty of King's College and its surroundings was another standout feature. The iconic King's College Chapel, set against the backdrop of well-maintained gardens and courtyards, created a picturesque atmosphere that was both calming and inspiring. The scenic walks along the river Cam, which flows adjacent to the college, provided an opportunity for relaxation and reflection.

One notable aspect that could be improved upon is the level of social engagement and planned activities for visitors. While the serene environment and well-equipped libraries are conducive to solitude and focused study, the lack of structured social events might lead to feelings of isolation, particularly for those unfamiliar with the area. More opportunities for interaction, such as guided tours, workshops, or communal gatherings, would enhance the overall experience and help visitors connect with both the institution and fellow guests.

My stay at King's College, Cambridge, was marked by its exceptional libraries and captivating scenery. The comfort of the accommodations and the abundance of academic resources made it an ideal environment for research and study. However, the lack of organized social activities and engagement opportunities could lead to feelings of loneliness, particularly for those seeking a more socially interactive experience. To enhance the overall experience, it is recommended that King's College consider incorporating more structured activities that encourage networking and socializing among visitors.

S.N. 2nd Y - Mathematics  



The experience I had was not only fulfilling but enjoyable as well. I was able to learn more about the rich academic history in Cambridge since the programme has set up tours around the campus. We had access to the extraordinary library facilities in Cambridge which enabled us to utilise a plethora of academic resources as we pleased, proving beneficial in my research. 

A change of environment and being around other applicants allowed me to make an active effort into stepping out of my comfort zone and embracing a different scene. I made friends with other students on the scheme, and we partook in many ventures like visiting museums, exploring the city, discussing our future career pathways and much more.

The programme also gave me the opportunity to talk to academics and professors who provided me with enriching knowledge and a greater insight into my research topic. I would say use the time effectively as it may be used to help you with your dissertation if that’s something that you’re interested in.

For those interested in applying, I would really urge you to arrange meetings with fellows and professors in advance since a lot of them are away in the summer. This will help assist you with your independent studies so you might as well make good use of the exceptional resources available. It should also be noted that the scheme is more than just an educational programme. Exploring, networking, and partaking in activities like punting are things you have to do if you want to make the most of this opportunity. You should see it as a whole package instead of just strictly studying. 

My experience will very much be memorable and I have come out of the scheme with jovial memories. New friends were made in the process and I had a very fun time taking part in various activities and being productive throughout my time. I would recommend getting to know other students who are also doing the scheme to help enhance your experience but also make an active effort in immersing yourself in the community. It will also give you a head start going into third year so don’t waste this time. It goes without saying I definitely recommend and urge you to apply.

 A.B. 2nd Y- English Language and Linguistics



During my stay I had the chance to visit the Institute of Astronomy’s Kavli Institute for Cosmology (KICC) where I attended meetings with researchers and other students from summer school and PhD programs. I started a project with two researchers, which was very interesting, and as it was a long project has been agreed to continue afterwards, as it is good experience. It is a good idea to get in touch with academics beforehand as they are very busy people. I had a tour of the King’s College Library and borrowed some books to help me learn general relativity for both my project and in preparation for modules I will be studying in my third year.

I spent my time exploring as much of the city as I could, where the locals were very friendly. I visited multiple local restaurants, with my recommendations being Bread and Meat for gourmet sandwiches and poutine, and Ittou for Japanese cuisine. I recommend searching for Dinky Doors, small door sculptures around the city, as finding them all is a good way to see everything, I found five of the fourteen doors without the map and they all lead me to interesting locations. The botanical garden was incredibly beautiful and had plants from all over the world and had a fun stamp book for walking around the whole garden, though as it is quite large, I recommend setting aside a whole day for walking around. There are multiple museums within a short walk of each other, my favourite was the Museum of Zoology which had a lot of preserved specimens. The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival was happening during the time I was there, so I attended one of the Julius Caesar plays with other students and the actors managed to make this tragedy surprisingly very funny. On my last day, I went punting on the river with two other students, and while it was a rocky ride with none of us being experienced, it was very fun despite the rain, and we were able to see some of the most beautiful sights of Cambridge tucked away down the river alongside waving to some tourists. All in all, this was an amazing experience I will never forget, for research and for exploring somewhere new.

A.L. 2nd Y- Physics



Before arriving to Cambridge, I didn’t expect the impact those 4 weeks would have on me - both academically and in my personal life. Through the help of professors in my department, I was able to secure some work for me to do during my time at Kings College. Spending time working closely each week with Professor Mia Gray, I gained in-depth knowledge and exposure into a research project – specifically on the slow and violence on pre-payment meters in the UK. Alongside our weekly meetings, I researched relevant academic articles for my literature review, complied a report afterwards on my findings and gathered different opinions from different stakeholders.

Lastly, I cannot understate how valuable and helpful the support I received from both Professors on my dissertation. One of the best advice that I received was to be creative with my research and most importantly explore as much as you can – you are going to spend a lot of time on your dissertation, and I believe these 4 weeks present the best opportunities to go out of your comfort zone. The view around the university doesn’t hurt too. I would spend my days rotating between Kings College Library and the University Library, where access to a multitude of books was not only incredible but gave a change to reading articles online.

Living in student accommodation was something new to me as a commuter. However, this program provided me the chance to experience another side to student life. Visiting the local market, taking afternoon walks along the river Cam, managing a budget, impromptu get togethers, trying (and failing) punting and cooking dinner was some of the things I got to at Kings. The four weeks really flew by, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

For future students, I would really encourage you to organise work or meetings at least a couple weeks before you arrive. This will provide structure and more depth to your program. The best way I found was to have a professor or someone at the university to reach out for you – if you can’t however don’t worry. I also would recommend bringing kitchenware (and slippers in my case), as things can get expensive so do make use of your communal kitchen. Lastly, if you don’t ask you will never know the answer – so ask to get a coffee with a professor, meet with a student at Cambridge, make plans with your cohort but importantly remember to have fun.

H.H. 2nd Y-Geography



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