New life-changing scholarships support talented Science Olympiad medallists to study at Cambridge

New life-changing scholarships support talented Science Olympiad medallists to study at Cambridge

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    Bronze medallists on stage at the closing ceremony of the 2019 International Physics Olympiad in Tel Aviv. Credit: Ipho19, Wikimedia Commons

The Global Talent Lab (GTL), in partnership with XTX Markets and the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology (DSIT), is launching the 'Backing Invisible Geniuses' (BIG) UK Programme today. This initiative enables outstanding students from across the globe to study Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics at Cambridge.

In recognising and nurturing hidden talents, we are not only investing in the future of these remarkable individuals but also in the future of science, technology, and our society as a whole. 

Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology

The University of Cambridge and Trinity College are thrilled to announce a new partnership with the BIG UK Programme, which aims to provide outstanding educational opportunities to high school students who have excelled in International Science Olympiads, particularly those from underrepresented regions.  

This groundbreaking initiative led by GTL, in partnership with XTX Markets and DSIT, is designed to identify and nurture talented young students, especially those without substantial resources, and support them to study for an undergraduate degree at participating top-tier UK universities, including Trinity College, Cambridge.

The BIG Scholarships will provide students with financial support, access to a network of like-minded peers, mentorships, internships, and research placement opportunities—supporting their academic journey and equipping them with the necessary skills to push boundaries in mathematics, science, and AI. 

The BIG UK Programme is a unique collaboration between the philanthropic, policy, academic, educational, and entrepreneurship communities—designed to solidify the United Kingdom's reputation as a hub for global excellence.  

By drawing on the distinct strengths of the various stakeholders, the programme aims to deliver an ecosystem where talent is nurtured, innovation is encouraged, and the next generation of STEM leaders is prepared to face global challenges with creativity and expertise. 

Speaking about their ambitions for the programme, co-founders of the Global Talent Lab, Ruchir Agarwal and Patrick Gaule, said: 

"Around the world lies untapped potential, waiting to push the frontiers of human knowledge. Without initiatives like ours, much of this invaluable talent and their transformative ideas could remain unrealised. Our future hinges on the minds we cultivate today. Through the BIG UK Programme, we are backing invisible geniuses, fostering progress, and setting the stage for groundbreaking discoveries in science and technology."

Head of Philanthropy at XTX Markets, Simon Coyle, said: 

“XTX Markets is excited to be partnering with the Global Talent Lab to establish the BIG UK Programme and to fund scholarships for medallists in International Science Olympiads to continue their studies at top UK universities. As XTX Markets’ experience shows, and research from the Global Talent Lab confirms, Olympiad medallists can be exceptionally productive in their scientific output, so we are delighted to support these students on their journey, especially those for whom financial barriers would limit their opportunities to excel.”

Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, Michelle Donelan, said:

“The BIG UK Programme is more than an educational initiative; it is a testament to the positive power of maths, science, and AI. In recognising and nurturing hidden talents, we are not only investing in the future of these remarkable individuals but also in the future of science, technology, and our society as a whole. This Government wants the UK’s world-class Universities to celebrate and champion the top AI and tech talent. This initiative will serve as a magnet for top STEM professionals, further enhancing Britain's status as a global hub for excellence.”

Speaking about this exciting new partnership with the University of Cambridge, Professor Colm-Cille Patrick Caulfield, Head of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics said: 

“Mathematics in Cambridge has a rich and varied past, a vibrant present, and looks forward to leading ever more diverse and pioneering work in the future. We are delighted to be partnering with GTL to give some of the best young mathematicians from all over the world the opportunity to study here in Cambridge, joining our outstanding cohort of undergraduate mathematicians as they continue their journeys of mathematical discovery." 

Commenting on this initiative, Professor Glen Rangwala, Director of Admissions at Trinity College said: 

“Competition from students around the world for a place at Trinity is high, and we are delighted that this partnership will enable the College to offer more bursaries for those with the academic potential to benefit from our world-class teaching and learning, both at Trinity and the University of Cambridge.” 


About Global Talent Lab 

The Global Talent Lab (GTL) is a research institute and charity that explores how talented individuals drive innovation and frontier science, and seeks to remove barriers hindering their full potential. GTL is spearheading the Backing Invisible Geniuses (BIG) initiative, which aims to connect high-potential high school students with premier educational opportunities.

About XTX Markets

XTX Markets is a leading algorithmic trading firm which partners with counterparties, exchanges and e-trading venues globally to provide liquidity in the Equity, FX, Fixed Income, Futures and Commodity markets. XTX has over 200 employees based in London, Paris, New York, Mumbai, Yerevan and Singapore. The company’s corporate philanthropy focuses on STEM education and maximum impact giving (alongside an employee matching programme). Since 2017, XTX has donated over £80 million to charities and good causes, establishing it as a major donor in the UK and globally.


For more information about the University of Cambridge’s partnership with the 'Backing Invisible Geniuses' (BIG) Programme, please contact:

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Philanthropic giving is at the heart of the success of the Collegiate University, enabling us to make discoveries that change the world and to ensure that our students receive an unrivalled education. Cambridge owes its world-leading excellence in research and teaching to the generosity of its supporters. Our history is synonymous with a history of far-sighted benefaction, and the same is as true today as it has ever been.