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: that applicants to the Tunku Fund must already hold an offer of a place to study at the University of Cambridge. Candidates should thus submit their University application via the Postgraduate Admissions applicant portal at the earliest possible moment.

For further information about applying to the University, please visit

Postgraduate Scholarships

The Fund provides one scholarship each year to enable an academically outstanding Malaysian student to undertake research leading to a degree in the arts, humanities and social sciences at St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge. The Scholarship provides full fees and maintenance. The value of any studentship awarded will be reduced appropriately to take account of any payment from other sources. Tunku Scholars will be registered with one of the following Faculties or 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 have named St Catharine’s as their 1st or 2nd choice of College on their University application and 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

Once you have received an offer from the University, please complete the Tunku Scholarship application form and send it to the address below along with the following in PDF format:

  • A copy of your application to the University of Cambridge
  • Transcripts of any further degrees
  • Research proposal
  • Your letter of offer of admission to the University of Cambridge
  • A copy of your current CV

A checklist is provided on the final page of the form for your convenience. Please ask two referees to submit references as PDF documents to with the subject line "Reference for APPLICANT’S NAME - Tunku scholarship". The deadline for application each year is 31 March for courses commencing the following October.

Applications are to be submitted electronically to by 12 noon GMT on 31 March each year. 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 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.

Please complete an application form and send your submission to the Fund's Director at The closing date for applications is 30 September and 31 March annually.

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