Applying for Tunku scholarships & grants

The Tunku Abdul Rahman Fund was established in 2003 by the Government of Malaysia to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj (B.A. 1926, Hon. LL.D. 1960, Hon. Fellow 1960), the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, who received his undergraduate degree, his Honorary Doctorate in Law, and an Honorary Fellowship from St Catharine’s College, Cambridge.

The Tunku Fund aims to encourage the development of the humanities and the social sciences in Malaysia. It offers a scholarship for students wishing to pursue PhD research or a studentship for work that leads to an MPhil or equivalent degree. It will also fund small project grants for Malaysian citizens.

Please note: Awards from the Tunku Fund are only made to individuals who hold an offer of a place to study at the University of Cambridge. Candidates should submit their University application via the Postgraduate Admissions applicant portal at the earliest possible moment. Candidates waiting to hear about the outcome of their University application can still seek funding, but they should inform the College (via of the outcome of their University application as soon as possible.

For further information about applying to the University, please visit

Postgraduate scholarships

The Fund provides at least one three-year scholarship each year to enable an outstanding Malaysian student wishing to pursue PhD research or study for an MPhil or equivalent degree at St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge. The Scholarship provides full fees and maintenance for the entire PhD course. The value of any studentship awarded will be reduced appropriately to take account of any payment from other sources. Holders of the Tunku Scholarship will be registered with one of the following Departments of the University of Cambridge:

African Studies; Archaeology and Anthropology; Architecture and History of Art; Asian and Middle Eastern Studies; Classics; Criminology; Development Studies; Divinity; Economics; Education; English; Geography; History; History and Philosophy of Science; Land Economy; Latin American Studies; Law; Modern and Medieval Languages; Music; Philosophy; Politics and International Studies (POLIS); and Sociology.

Preference will be given to candidates whose research is of particular relevance to Southeast and/or East Asia.

Enquiries may be addressed to the Tunku Abdul Rahman Centenary Fund Administrator, St Catharine's College at

Application procedure

In order to be considered for the award, applicants must hold an offer of admission for a postgraduate course at the University of Cambridge. Candidates should thus submit their application to the Postgraduate Admissions Office at the earliest possible opportunity. To do so, please visit

Tunku Scholarships and awards can only be held by postgraduate members of St Catharine's College. When submitting their University application, candidates should thus name St Catharine's as their 1st or 2nd choice College. Applicants who originally applied to another College will need to change their College affiliation if they are awarded a Tunku Scholarship.

Please complete the application form and upload this to your GAP student portal in PDF format:

  • Transcripts of any further degrees
  • Research proposal
  • Your letter of offer of admission to the University of Cambridge (if available)
  • A copy of your current CV
  • Two references

A checklist is provided on the final page of the form for your convenience. Please ask two referees to submit references as PDF documents. Please also update the College immediately (by contacting if the status of your University application changes and/or if you receive any other funding.

The deadline for applications was 8 January 2024 for courses commencing the following October. If funds remain after this deadline, the committee may consider later applications, with a second deadline. There will not be a second deadline for courses starting this year. The next round of applications for courses starting in 2025 will open in October 2024.

Applications are to be submitted electronically with their university application before the deadline. All communication will be by email, so please ensure that your email address is entered accurately where required and that you check your email frequently.

Project grants

The Tunku Fund invites applications for project grants of up to about £5,000 from Malaysian citizens who are currently working at the University of Cambridge on humanities, social science, and public health projects concerning Malaysia. If there is remaining funding after the selection process is complete, then applications from Malaysian citizens for science projects may be considered. The Panel responsible for the Fund will have full discretion concerning all grants made.

There will be three application rounds each year, with the deadlines in 2023/24 scheduled as follows:

  • 1 October 2023
  • 8 January 2024
  • 31 March 2024

Please complete the application form and send your submission to before the relevant deadline.

Enquiries may be addressed to the Tunku Abdul Rahman Centenary Fund Administrator, St Catharine's College at