As the establishment of a new college in Cambridge was becoming a reality, Sir Winston Churchill met with American friends to ask them to create a way for young Americans to study at the college. Among those friends was Lewis W. Douglas, a graduate of Amherst College and of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain from 1947 to 1950. Carl Gilbert, chairman of the Gillette Company, was the first Chairman of the Foundation.
The first Churchill Scholarships, three in number, were awarded in 1963 and funded one year of study. Shortly thereafter the Scholarships were available either for one-year programs or for the three-year doctorate at Cambridge. In the early 1980’s the Foundation decided to support only one-year programs in order to increase the number of Churchill Scholars.
In its early years the Foundation also made small travel grants to Churchill Fellows, distinguished senior faculty who would spend one year at the College. Eight of the Churchill Fellows won the Nobel Prize.
There have now been around 500 Churchill Scholars. This site has a database that lists all Churchill Scholars, their undergraduate institutions, and their departments at the University of Cambridge.
The Winston Churchill Foundation awards at least fourteen Scholarships. The one-year awards lead to the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or the Master of Advanced Study (MASt).