The Cambridge University Endowment Fund (the 'Fund') invests donations made to the University, its Colleges and associated charitable trusts; and makes distributions to support the University.

Over the past decade over £1 billion has been distributed, supporting over 800 research, teaching and other activities across the University, such as the provision of scholarships and bursaries.

The income the Fund provides is critical to the success and sustainability of the University and its mission to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence.

The Fund is managed by University of Cambridge Investment Management.

The Fund's impact

These are some of the programmes and activities that the Cambridge University Endowment Fund supports through its distributions.

Gates Cambridge Scholars Programme

Paula-Peace James-Okoro (Image © University of Cambridge)

Paula-Peace James-Okoro. Image © University of Cambridge.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship programme aims to build a global network of future leaders committed to tackling some of the major global challenges.  Since 2001, Gates Cambridge’s investment in the Endowment Fund has enabled us to admit over 1,700 academically outstanding and socially committed scholars from over 100 countries.  They have pursued PhD and Masters degrees in a wide range of subject areas, embodying the values of excellence, internationalism and social leadership that are so necessary at this uncertain time.

Paula-Peace James-Okoro
PhD Candidate in Clinical Biochemistry 2022 - research to improve understanding of metabolic diseases to combat diabetes and obesity in Africa.

“I am honoured to be part of the Gates Cambridge community, and my continued studies wouldn’t be possible without the programme and the endowed funding.”

Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme

Emilie Canova. (Image © University of Cambridge)

Emilie Canova. Image © University of Cambridge.

The extraordinary generosity of David and Claudia Harding has already made a huge impact to nurture outstanding young researchers from around the world at the University.  The Cambridge University Endowment Fund plays a critical role in ensuring this gift will sustain many future generations of Harding Scholars.

Emilie Canova
PhD student, Scott Polar Research Institute
Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme (2021) – Arctic research at Scott Polar Research Institute.

Cambridge Zero - a bold response to the world’s greatest challenge

Emily Shuckburgh. (Image © Martin Pettitt, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Dr Emily Shuckburgh, Director, Cambridge Zero. Image © University of Cambridge.

In November 2019, the University launched Cambridge Zero, an ambitious new climate change initiative bringing together the collective expertise of the University to offer integrated and practical solutions to climate change and to bring these developments to bear at international, national and local levels.

Thanks to an award from the Isaac Newton Trust, which receives around a quarter of its income from investments managed by the Endowment Fund, Cambridge Zero is harnessing the full range of the University’s capabilities, both in the UK and globally, to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon world.

Dr Emily Shuckburgh
Director, Cambridge Zero

The Janeway Institute, Faculty of Economics

George Charlson. (Image © University of Cambridge)

George Charlson. Image © University of Cambridge.

The Janeway Institute is funded primarily by Bill and Weslie Janeway, through an endowed gift invested in the Fund.  The funding enables us to produce frontier work in economics and to bring together researchers from around the globe. It means we can invest in the next generation of economists through a postdoctoral programme, which provides great opportunities for young researchers to develop their careers.

Dr George Charlson
Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Bye Fellow Christ’s College

“My research at the Janeway Institute focuses on networks, crowds and markets. I’m interested in a newly emerging type of inequality, which arises due to biases in the data market.”

The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) works with leaders in the public and private sectors to help them understand, and respond to, the social and environmental challenges facing business and society.  The Endowment Fund supports CISL’s work by channelling research into business and policy solutions that help to build a sustainable economy.

Each year, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership works with hundreds of major organisations worldwide and support thousands of leaders in business, government and the finance sector to develop the collective leadership, action and innovation required to drive the transformation to a sustainable economy.

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Heritage landscape at the Botanic Garden. (Image © Howard Rice)

Heritage landscape at the Botanic Garden.
Image © Howard Rice

More than 20% of the Botanic Garden’s income originates from Trust Funds and investments made by the Cambridge University Endowment Fund, which includes the Cory Fund, a generous bequest made to the Garden in the 1940s.

“The Endowment Fund provides us with a dependable source of income, supporting our mission to maintain our collection, support plant science research, to engage students and the public of all ages and maintain our beautiful, heritage landscape.”

Professor Beverley Glover
Director, Cambridge University Botanic Garden