A reception was held at the Royal Society last night in honour of this year's ten Kennedy Scholars, seven of whom are Cambridge students.

The Kennedy Scholarships are for British post-graduate students to study at either Harvard or MIT.

The students will begin their courses of study in America beginning in September and will remain there for one year. The scholarships can be used to fund a wide variety of programmes at MIT and across all the graduate schools within Harvard.

Following the assassination of President John F Kennedy in November 1963, an appeal was launched in the UK to enable British people to contribute to a fund in his memory.

The money was used to endow a fund to enable British post-graduate students to study at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and to create a landscaped memorial at Runnymede.

The Runnymede Memorial was opened by the Queen in May 1965 and the first group of Kennedy Scholars went to Harvard and MIT to begin their courses of study in September 1966.

Since then, 449 British students have been awarded Kennedy Scholarships. Many have gone on to distinguish themselves in academia, public service, the professions, politics, the media, business and other varied careers. Former winners of the Kennedy Scholarship include Prof Keith Glover, Head of the Department of Engineering at Cambridge and a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College.

Every autumn a national competition takes place to select the next group of Scholars for the following academic year. For the 2008-2009 Scholarships, 163 applications were received. They came from students at 30 different universities in the UK. 28 applicants were shortlisted for interview and 10 Scholarships were awarded.

The winners from Cambridge are:

  • Timothy Button (Gonville & Cauis and Darwin)
  • Emile Chabal (Trinity)
  • Matthew Clifford (Clare)
  • Daniel Edmonds (Wolfson)
  • Benjamin Hall (Fitzwilliam)
  • Emily Milligan (Downing)
  • Emily Stokes (Trinity Hall)

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