skip to content

Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme


The application process

You can apply for admission to a PhD course, a College place and various sources of funding (including a Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarship) via the University’s online Applicant Portal

To be considered for a Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarship you must:

  1. Tick the box in the 'Funding your Study' section in the Applicant Portal indicating that you wish to apply for funding.
  2. Complete the 'Harding' section in the Applicant Portal by submitting a personal statement describing how you believe you fit with the three values of the HDPSP.
  3. Apply by the funding deadline for your course.
  4. Be assessed as being academically excellent by the Department or Faculty to which you have applied.

If any of these criteria are not fulfilled you will not be considered for a Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarship.   

The selection process

Academic Excellence

Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarships are offered to the most academically excellent applicants in any given year.  Academic Departments and Faculties at the University of Cambridge assess applicants (through their transcripts, references, experience and the potential to succeed on the chosen course) and only those identified as being the most academically outstanding are considered for a Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarship.  

Fit with the values of the HDPSP

Your application documentation and the assessment made by your Department or Faculty will provide the substantive detail of your academic accomplishments but we think it is important that you are given the opportunity to demonstrate how you believe you align with the three values of the HDPSP.  

The Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme (HDPSP) has its own sub-section in the online application form where you are asked to submit a personal statement giving a specific narrative of how you believe you fit with the HDPSP’s values. To be considered for a Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarship you must provide this personal statement. The statement will help to distinguish between candidates who have been assessed as being the most academically outstanding by Departments and Faculties.

Please read our guidance on writing the personal statement.


  • The HDPSP is not able to provide advice to individual applicants on improving their chances of selection for a Scholarship, for example, we cannot comment on an applicant's prospective College choices or give advice on the content of the personal statement, beyond that provided in the guidance.
  • We regret that due to the number of applications received, we are not able to provide specific feedback on unsuccessful applications.