The Rhodes Scholarship
The Rhodes Scholarship is a postgraduate award supporting exceptional students from around the world to study at the University of Oxford. The program was established in 1903 and first awarded in Canada in 1904. To date, the University of Manitoba has had the privilege of cultivating 99 Rhodes Scholars, the highest in Western Canada.
Up to 11 Rhodes Scholarships are awarded annually in Canada, including three in the Prairie Region of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The Scholarship is tenable for studies at the University of Oxford in England for two or three years, beginning each year in October. Selection is made by committee after personal interviews and on the basis of the candidate’s record.
For the 2023 competition (2024 Rhodes Scholarship), the following Eligibility Criteria apply:
- Nationality/citizenship: You must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada. Applications from refugees/asylum seekers currently residing in Canada will also be considered.
- Residency: You must be domiciled in Canada.
- Age: You must meet either of the below criteria:
- You must be aged 18-23 on October 1st, 2023 (i.e., you must have been born after October 1st, 1999, and before October 2nd, 2005).
- OR (for older candidates who completed their first undergraduate degree later than usual)
- You must be under the age of 27 on October 1st, 2023 (i.e. have been born after October 1st, 1996) AND you must also have completed your first undergraduate degree on or after October 1st, 2022.
- Academic achievement: You must have completed an undergraduate degree (usually a Bachelor’s) by July 2024, and you must have an academic background and grade that - at a minimum - meets or exceeds the specific entry requirements of your chosen course at the University of Oxford (https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/courses/courses-a-z-listing) . Candidates will have a higher chance of successful admission to Oxford if they have:
- A First Class Honours Degree or equivalent, or,
- A GPA of 3.70/4.0 or higher
The Rhodes selection criteria are powerful and have remained largely unchanged over the past 100 years, having been drawn directly from the founder’s Will:
- ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE
- ENERGY TO USE YOUR TALENTS TO THE FULL as demonstrated by success in areas such as sports, music, debate, dance, theatre, and artistic pursuits, including where teamwork is involved
- TRUTH, COURAGE, DEVOTION TO DUTY, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness, and fellowship
- MORAL FORCE OF CHARACTER and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in your fellow human beings
In short, Rhodes Scholarships are for young leaders of outstanding intellect and character who are motivated to engage with global challenges and are committed to the service of others. They show promise of becoming value-driven, principled leaders for the world’s future, wherever their careers might take them, and in any field.
University of Manitoba - Rhodes Scholarship Internal Application Process
Our institution has implemented an internal selection process to select up to six applicants that will be officially endorsed by the University of Manitoba for consideration of a Rhodes Scholarship.
To be eligible for one of these six endorsements that our institution will officially recommend for consideration of a Rhodes Scholarship, please submit a complete copy of the following Rhodes application materials via email to Mr. Brent Deere, Research Awards Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ms. Heather Innis, Research Awards Assistant (email@example.com) by 4:30pm (CST) on Monday, August 21st, 2023:
i. A copy of your birth certificate confirming that you meet the age criterion (in JPEG or PDF); in the case of candidates born outside of Canada, an English translation must be provided;
ii. A copy of a valid passport (with translation, if necessary), confirming that you meet the citizenship criterion (in JPEG or PDF). In the case of candidates born outside of Canada, living outside of Canada, or attending university outside of Canada, evidence of being domiciled in Canada will be required, which may include driver’s license, health insurance registration, or tax filing among other documents;
iii. A copy of your official transcript (certified by the Registrar’s Office), showing grades achieved to date (in JPEG or PDF);
iv. A full curriculum vitae (in PDF) which should include specific details about academic qualifications, prizes, scholarships, positions of leadership, employment positions, involvement in student, voluntary, community or political activities, and any cultural, musical or sporting accomplishments. This should not exceed two letter size pages in length with a minimum 12 pt. font. Note: Please do not include a photograph in your CV. Your CV should be wholly accurate and a fair representation of your achievements. You should anticipate that details will be checked for embellishments and inaccuracies. Material misrepresentation will result in disqualification of an application or, where appropriate, the rescinding of a scholarship. Examples of misrepresentation include exaggeration of roles/accomplishments/participation/biography; embellished publication lists; and inflation of GPA/grades.
v. A personal statement of no more than 750 words (in PDF). The personal statement is your chance to tell your story in your own voice: Who are you? Your academic transcript and academic statement of study, your CV, and your reference letters will provide the substantive detail of your commitments and accomplishments, whereas the personal statement gives you the opportunity to make an authentic statement of who you are.
In your personal statement of 750 words, we ask you to address each of the following prompts by weaving them into your statement (the word allocation across the three is up to you):
1. Which Rhodes Scholar quality do you display most strongly, and how are different contexts and people helping you to develop the other qualities?
2. What would you like to learn from and contribute to the Rhodes community in Oxford?
3. From your place in the world, how will you use your energy and talents to address humanity’s pressing challenges?
Every statement is individual; there is no single, “right” model. For over 120 years, personal statements have been diverse and ever-changing. We are looking for an original portrait of you as a candidate for the Rhodes Scholarship.
In your personal statement we are asking you to reflect on your experiences, influences and intentions through the lens of the Rhodes Scholar qualities outlined in the three criteria: “Energy to use one’s talents to the full”; “Truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship”; and “Moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one’s fellow human beings”. (Note that the fourth selection criterion of “Literary and scholastic attainments (academic excellence)” are evidenced in your transcript, academic statement of study and academic reference letters.)
The three prompts are set within the Rhodes leadership development framework that informs the Scholar Programme at Rhodes House in Oxford. It asks you to consider your candidacy for and the opportunity of the Scholarship within three interrelated spheres in your own voice: ‘self, others, and world’:
1st “self”: Which Rhodes Scholar quality do you display most strongly, and how are different contexts and people helping you to develop the other qualities? – engage us on which of the Rhodes selection criteria you best exemplify. We do not expect you to be the ‘finished product’; we also want to hear how you intend to evolve.
2nd “others”: What would you like to learn from and contribute to the Rhodes community in Oxford? – share with us what you want to learn from and contribute to the Rhodes community, and how you hope to grow as a person and support the growth of others while at Oxford.
3rd “world”: From your place in the world, how will you use your energies and talents to address humanity’s pressing challenges? – make this personal, not generic. We anticipate your particular reflections on what is missing in society and the world today. Considering the complexities of the challenges that we are facing as humanity, we are seeking in Rhodes Scholars people who aspire to and will take action. Tell us what you imagine might be your way of making a contribution.
You can find further guidance on the personal statement on the ‘Application Overview’ page of the Rhodes Scholarship website.
Your personal statement should be wholly accurate and written in your own words from your own perspective. Material misrepresentation will result in disqualification of an application or, where appropriate, the rescinding of a scholarship. It should be entirely your own work, with no assistance received.
Your personal statement must be clearly signed by you and must state under your signature that “This statement is my own work and that no external help was given in its creation or editing.”
vi. An academic statement of study of no more than 350 words (in PDF). The reason we ask for an academic statement is that entry to the University of Oxford is becoming increasingly competitive and, should you be selected for a Rhodes Scholarship, you will have to submit your application to Oxford within a very short timeframe. Researching and writing this statement will help you prepare for that. As well, this statement will be used by the Rhodes Selection committee to assess the likelihood that you will thrive academically in one of the most competitive graduate environments in the world.
The academic statement of study should, in a factual and concise manner:
a) Tell us your reasons for wishing to study at the University of Oxford, what your chosen course(s) of study is (are), and how this fits in your academic trajectory. Further, you may wish to explain how you hope to be stretched academically at the University of Oxford, and any academic support you imagine might be helpful.
b) Demonstrate that you are able to, at a minimum, meet or exceed the specific entry and other academic requirements of the course(s) you have chosen. Tell us how you are prepared for the course(s) academically and otherwise.
It is very important that you have a firm idea of which courses are viable for you to study at the University of Oxford (if you are listing a one-year course, please give an indication of your intentions for the second year).
c) If you wish to undertake a DPhil, provide a brief outline of your proposed research area, how it contributes to your future career plans, and list both the Department in which you propose to undertake your research and one or more researchers with whom you would like to work in Oxford.
Please use the University of Oxford’s website to find out about the different course options and their content, including the A-Z list of graduate courses. Make sure that you research your planned course thoroughly.
The Rhodes Scholarship covers most full-time graduate courses; however, you should refer to the Conditions of Tenure to find out more information about the courses/programs that are covered as well as any exceptions, and information about additional discretionary funding if your chosen course exceeds two years.
If your first choice of course is two years or longer, we strongly advise also proposing a second alternative course of study, due to Oxford admissions being extremely competitive. It is very difficult to change your course at Oxford once you have started it, so we advise you to give serious thought to your desired courses in advance.
In addition to the graduate courses listed on Oxford’s website, you can also choose to apply to study for a second undergraduate degree over two years. This is known as a Second BA with Senior Status. Senior Status is the only basis on which a Rhodes Scholar can study for a second undergraduate degree. You can read Oxford’s webpage about second undergraduate degrees for more information.
It is a good idea to discuss your proposed course of study and your academic statement with your academic mentors and/or professors or lecturers in the subject area, and, if possible, with someone who has knowledge of UK universities. Additional sources of information are available online at https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions, as well as on individual faculty/departmental websites. If you are selected for the Scholarship, you will have the opportunity to revisit your course choice.
DPhil or MSc by research candidates: A number of Oxford departments recommend that applicants make contact with potential research supervisor(s) prior to submitting an application to Oxford. Advice on contacting potential supervisors in advance of your application is course-specific and you should follow the guidance found on the individual prospectus pages, most often on the ‘How to Apply’ tab.
Master’s candidates: Please note that Oxford faculty members are not able to correspond with applicants, unless explicitly stated on the course page.
vii. At a minimum, the names and contact details of six referees who will provide information regarding your qualifications (in PDF). Professional or institutional affiliation, mailing address, email address, and telephone number must be included for all referees:
a) At least three of your referees should be academics who have formally taught and graded you in your undergraduate (or, if relevant, postgraduate) studies and who can comment in detail on your academic ability and how well they think you would fare at Oxford.
b) You will also need two or more character referees who should write about your character and involvement in extra-curricular, service or leadership activities. These referees should be individuals who are able to comment critically on whether you fulfil the extra-curricular, non-academic requirements of the Scholarship and who can speak in detail to your character.
c) A good referee is someone who knows you well, rather than a well-known person who only knows you superficially. Please note that Rhodes Scholarship referees should not normally be personal friends, peers or relatives, or have any other conflict of interest. If a referee fits into one of these categories, they should make the connection clear within the reference.
d) You should choose reliable people who are likely to respond to your request for a detailed reference.
e) You should forward the Guidance for Referees to your referees.
Note: It is highly recommended that your six referees provide letters of reference. Referees should email their letters of reference (max. 2 pages each, on headed paper and signed, in PDF) directly to Mr. Brent Deere, Research Awards Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ms. Heather Innis, Research Awards Assistant (email@example.com), by 4:30pm (CST) on Monday, August 21st, 2023.
After August 21st, 2023, our internal UM Rhodes Selection committee will review the application materials received and select up to six applicants to endorse on behalf of our institution. Note: Selected applicants who are unsuccessful in their first application for a Rhodes Scholarship can officially re-apply only once more (if still eligible). Therefore, our internal UM Rhodes Selection committee will select the same applicant (if applicable) to endorse only twice on behalf of our institution.
Monday, September 11th, 2023
All internal UM applicants will be notified at this time of the results, and the six selected UM applicants will have approximately two weeks to complete and submit their application packages to the Rhodes Prairie Office. Mr. Brent Deere will be available to work with these six short-listed applicants in preparation of the deadline, and will inform them of what they need to complete in order to secure the other required materials for their application (e.g. the written statement from the President endorsing the candidacy).
Thursday, September 28th, 2023 (23:59 PDT)
Official deadline for the six short-listed UM applicants to submit their application packages directly through the online portal to the Rhodes Prairies Office: https://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/scholarships/applications/canada/#apply-now
Please contact Ms. Heather Innis, Research Awards Assistant (firstname.lastname@example.org), if you have any questions throughout this process.
Revised July 24th, 2023