Cambridge Future Scholar Programme

A highly-selective online research programme

designed and taught by top Oxbridge faculty

for gifted high school students

Summer 2021 Application IS CLOSED

Early Application Deadline: 14 May, 2021

Regular Application Deadline: 24 May, 2021

Programme Start Date: 5 June, 2021


For 13 weeks, students conduct research supervised by Oxbridge faculty members and researchers.


As with all CCIR research programmes, we partner exclusively with lecturers (equivalent to assistant professors in the US universities) or above from the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford.


Our faculty design their courses to suit the needs and interests of advanced high school students, providing lectures and supervision, and teaching them the skills and knowledge that are required for doing high-level independent research.

Each course will then also be supported by a teaching assistant, who is a Ph.D. or a post-doc of

the same field at Cambridge or Oxford.

An enriching and engaging research-orientated experience

Each course mirrors one semester's worth of material at the University of Cambridge and Oxford, based on the Cambridge undergraduate syllabus, with a strong emphasis on students delivering an outstanding research paper under the supervision of Oxbridge lecturers or researchers. 

A commitment to rigorous academic standards

Our students are selected using a two-round vetting system to ensure each student enrolled meets our high academic standard (see Admission). 

During the course, students are expected to actively engage, discuss, conduct research, and finally, produce a research paper, which we will then together submit to an academic journal for peer review.

A wealth of rewarding experiences

By the end of our programme, our students will have:


Supervised by an Oxbridge faculty member (equivalent to Assistant Professor or above in the US).


When opting to submit your final paper to publication journals, receive support from your mentor and Academic Team.


The option to request a tailored letter penned by your Oxbridge mentor.


From your Oxbridge mentor, issued by the programme, at the students' request.



Supervisions and lecturers from Oxbridge faculty members.





Median SAT score


Average GPA

(in 4.0 scale)


Countries and regions


Percentage of students receiving one of three CCIR Merit Scholarships

University of Cambridge University of Pennsylvania Columbia University University College London Georgetown University New York University Abu Dhabi University of California, Berkeley Emory University University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Pomona College University of Toronto Cornell University London School of Economics University of Hong Kong 

University of British Columbia Duke University Stanford University...

(Selected university offers our alumni have received) 

For her final project at CCIR, Audrey decided to look into the broader background of Brexit. In her paper, she traced the history of the United Kingdom's relationship with Europe and argued that the UK was in fact from the very beginning already a rather indecisive, if not completely reluctant, member of the European Union.

In this interview, she shares her insight, thoughts, and research experiences.

CCIR Student Spotlight


​course Details  

13 Weeks

Course Length

2 to 5

Students in each class

4 Hours

Weekly hours students expected to invest in the course (including attending classes, office hours, researching, and writing)


Average faculty* to student ratio

*Lecturer and teaching assistant

Each 13-week course is divided into two parts:


  • One hour lecture each week by Lecturer

  • One hour TA session each week with Teaching Assistant

  • 30-minute Office Hour by request

Taught by lecturers, the weekly lectures are based on first-year level syllabus at the University of Cambridge.

Together with the faculty and TA, students cover the course material intensively, so as to lay the groundwork for their own research into the subject.


  • One hour lecture each week by Lecturer

  • One hour TA session each week with Teaching Assistant

  • 30-minute Office Hour by request


The goal is for students to become familiar with research methodology and gain hands-on research experience.

By attending supervisions led by our lecturers and writing sessions with our teaching assistants, students will construct, edit, and perfect their research paper to the most rigorous academic standard.

Each course includes five modules that help students build up background knowledge and research skills:


They are taught by Cambridge lecturers who have taught the same or similar university courses, allowing students to experience a real and undiscounted Cambridge education.


Led by PhDs or Post-docs of the same field at the University of Cambridge, the weekly writing sessions help students framing their arguments, polishing their language, as well as analysing the structure of their papers and receiving constructive critique. 


Praised as "Cambridge's greatest strength," the five-century old supervision system will engage students to intensively discuss, explore, and reflect their ideas with their lecturer in a close and intellectual setting.

The Cambridge supervision system has a profound influence on the way top law school and business schools teach today.


The one-on-one approach allows students to develop personal relationships with their instructors and guarantees that each student can receive the attention needed to develop a deep grasp of the material.



During this session, student will study different aspects of academic research that can apply to their research papers. Topics may cover how to structure a paper, literature review, citation styles, data analysis, etc.


admission and tuition  



PROGRAMME START DATE: 5 June 2021 (13 Weeks) 

Step 1


After deciding upon which course to apply for, applicants need to complete an Application Form with the following information:

  • Basic information*

  • Cumulative GPA* (attaching transcript/report card for the past academic year)

  • Standardized test score (attaching official score report)

  • A 300-word personal statement*

  • Honours and awards

  • University offers received


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Step 2


Successful applicants will be invited to an interview with either the course's Teaching Assistant, who is a current P.h.D or post-doc at the University of Cambridge or Oxford, or with the mentor directly.

The 15 to 30 minutes interview is designed to assess the applicants' interest in the subject, relevant experience, and the ability to engage in discussion and thinking critically.  Applicants can also get some understanding of how the discussions and supervision would be like. 

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CCIR Scholarship

Each applicant is automatically considered for one of the three merit scholarships based on funding availability, application materials and interview assessment. 

Should the student being awarded a CCIR merit Scholarship, it will reflect on the student's offer letter.  For the most recent Spring 2021 round, about 48% of the applicants received the scholarship. 

Typically, our financial aid is entirely merit-based and takes the form of scholarships. However, in exceptional circumstances, we also offer Need-Blind Financial Aid. If an applicant is facing economic hardship, please contact us at to discuss this possibility.


For the Tuition Structure and detailed Programme Fee for each course, please download Course Catalogue or Course Overview.






Bio-Inspired Robotics: Design and Control

Cambridge | Department of Engineering Increasingly, roboticists are looking to the biological realm as a source of knowledge and inspiration for their work. In this course, we will explore the cutting-edge field of bio-robotics that has emerged at the intersection of artificial intelligence, engineering, and biology.

Neuroscience: From Molecules to Complex Brain Disorders

Cambridge | Department of Clinical Neurosciences The Nobel Prize winning biologist Francis Crick once remarked that no scientific study is more important than the study of our own brain. In this course, we will explore the radical advances in neuroscience in recent decades—starting at the molecular level, and working our way up to a systematic understanding of disorders of the brain, such as dementia.

Computational Genetics and Drug Discovery: Combatting Infectious Diseases

Cambridge | Department of Genetics We will learn about the role of genetics in understanding and combatting infectious diseases, and how modern computational analyses, known as bioinformatics, can help in understanding infection mechanisms at the gene and protein levels.

Mathematical Logic: The Foundations of Mathematics, Philosophy, and Computer Science

Mathematical logic is the formalized study of the basic principles of reasoning and rational thought. In this course, you will attain fluency in mutiple logical systems and we will explore foundational issues in mathematics, philosophy, and computer science.


Philosophy in Business: Corporate Responsibility and Decision-Making

We will explore key theories in the philosophy of business. We will consider different approaches to the three core questions in the field. We will evaluate different accounts of corporate responsibility and explore different strategies for facilitating ethical business practice. This will be structured around a series of illuminating case studies. We will also look at the lessons philosophy has to offer beyond ethics. This will include examining: the nature of trust and what it takes to be a trustworthy business; the workings of skill and strategies for developing and deploying skills effectively; the origins of innovation and the mind-set required for innovative thinking. We will focus on two research skills that have a special place in philosophy: critical thinking and rational argument. Students will learn how to critically evaluate arguments and to discriminate between good and bad reasoning. They will also learn how to develop their own arguments, including how to avoid common mistakes in reasoning and how to make a convincing case for their conclusion. We will apply philosophical insights to business. We will look at the role of trust in responsible business and consider the relationship between ethical and legal responsibilities. We will explore the responsibilities businesses have for the environment and consider the skills involved in long-term decision making. Furthermore, we will examine the ethical issues raised by AI and explore how emerging technology can be harnessed to promote innovation.

Entrepreneurship: Fundamentals to Kick-off Your Business Idea

Cambridge | Entrepreneur Centre, Judge Business School This course provides an overview on the principles of entrepreneurship and the nature of the entrepreneurial process. It is designed to introduce students to the core theories, concepts and tools used to increase the likelihood of business success in launching and running new ventures


Researching and Combatting Violent Extremism: From ISIS to the Far Right

Cambridge | Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies This course will be the fruits of a decade of researching different forms of extremism in many countries, asking the basic questions: why do people join extremist organisations, and what drives them to make the ultimate sacrifices of life and family? Further, what can we do to combat this phenomenon? The lectures will cover the mentors’s ground research on the frontline in Iraq (including talking to people fighting on both sides of ISIS), the far right, incel movement, online extremism, and more.

Game Theory and Behavioral Economics of Infectious Diseases

Cambridge | Faculty of Economics The course introduces the mathematical models of infectious diseases spreading, known as compartmental models. Focusing on the Susceptible-Infected-Recovered model, we will learn how to compute epidemic curves and the epidemic threshold and how to evaluate the benefits of vaccination in such models. We will introduce individual decision making during an epidemics, and see how this can affect the spreading of the disease in ways that the basic epidemiological models cannot capture. Furthermore, using a game-theoretical setting, we will investigate the incentives for individuals to get vaccinated if vaccination is voluntary, and explore when decentralized vaccination decisions can guarantee that enough people are immunized so that the disease does not become endemic. The course will provide an overview of the challenges faced in Public Health to contain an infectious disease, drawing on mathematical epidemiology and game-theoretical tools to understand the advantages and draw-backs of health policies.

International Development and Global Migration

Cambridge | Department of Land Economy This course discusses various aspects of migration, forced migration, and human trafficking from a developmental discourse. The course provides an individual focus on each and examines the link between these three issues. The lectures on migration discuss trends and patterns of migration, and the factors that influence migration. Specifically, the course would focus on internal migration including, rural to urban migration and international migration. The individual and household level and the macro-level factors influencing internal and international migration are discussed. Further, the issues surrounding forced migration, including the refugee crisis, are also discussed. The course will also discuss COVID-19 related vulnerabilities of migrant workers and refugees. A key question to think is why people migrate and why a vast majority of people don’t migrate. As another form of forced migration, the course discusses human trafficking. Human trafficking is also a type of human movement, an unsafe migration for work under conditions of deception and force for economic gain by organised crime networks. The trafficked people are forced to live in conditions akin to ‘modern-day slavery’. The course covers the concept of human trafficking and distinguishes it from human smuggling. Data, trends, types, and the factors influencing trafficking flows are discussed.

Race, Racism, and Society

Cambridge | Department of Sociology Is there scientific evidence to support the existence of human ‘races’? If not, why does ‘race’ remain such a powerful determinant of individual and collective identities today? And what does this mean to the practices of racism? We will explore the issues relating to ‘race’ and ethnicity, whether #blacklivesmatter or COVID-19, are at the forefront of public debate. This course will provide critical analysis of the concepts and processes of ‘race’ and ethnicity, understood as social constructions, looking at the UK, the US, and beyond.

International Human Rights Law: Civil Liberties in Europe and Beyond

Cambridge | Faculty of Law Human Rights law is a major area of international, European and domestic law. This course will focus on the most coherent body of international and supranational human rights law in terms of the European Convention on Human Rights but will, where possible, situate the law in both a domestic and international context. Understanding the possibilities and limits of human rights is of fundamental importance, reflecting the state of society and the legal framework. In an increasingly populist world it is vital that students have a solid grounding in both domestic and European human rights law, the relationship between the two, and the history of civil liberties and human rights law. This course will examine the nature of civil liberties and human rights. It will draw upon both theories and critiques of human rights and detailed case studies of rights in particular contexts, including the right to life; the right to be free from torture and ill-treatment; terrorism; immigration; trafficking and modern slavery; privacy and the media; freedom of expression and hate speech; the right to protest; freedom of


Minds and Machines: The Ethics of AI

Cambridge | Faculty of Philosophy In this course, we explore whether there might be limits on what AI can do. There are many aspects of intelligence that computers can successfully emulate: mathematical calculation, image recognition, decision making etc. But some argue that other aspects of intelligence can never be achieved by an AI. In addition, we will discuss ethics and AI. In recent years, the most pressing ethical problems surrounding our use of AI are responsibility and algorithmic bias. For example, If a self-driving car injures a cyclist, who is responsible? If an algorithm for determining credit worthiness, for example, gave lower scores to Latino applicants and an algorithm used to determine a criminal’s risk of repeat offending gave higher scores to African Americans, how should we think about the algorithms? Are AI algorithms biased?

Philosophy of Film

Cambridge | Faculty of Philosophy Film can be a highly effective medium for communicating philosophy. But might film also be a way of doing philosophy? What is a film, anyway? What are the defining qualities, advantages, and limitations of film as a medium? In this course, we will watch films, read philosophy, and work through these and other philosophical issues related to film.

The Political Economy of Post-war Britain

Cambridge | Faculty of Philosophy This course will introduce students to the history of Britain from the end of the Second World War to the present-day. This period witnessed the emergence of a new kind of state during a time of particular challenge, as the country sought to re-build and re-define itself in the aftermath of conflict. While national politics was dominated by the Labour and Conservative parties, the ideologies and policies of these parties changed dramatically. Questions about the role of the state in society and economics were central to these developments, and students will be able to explore these issues in a series of lectures and source-based seminar discussions. Internationally, the period witnessed the collapse of the British Empire, and new developments in global geopolitics reflected the changed reality of Britain’s global standing. As an American ally in the Cold War, Britain also faced the challenges posed by decolonisation and European integration.

The Evolution of AI: A Historical Perspective

Cambridge | Department of History and Philosophy of Science In the past few years, significant scholarship has exposed contemporary forms of epistemic and other social injustice produced through the widespread deployment of AI technologies, algorithms, and automated decision-making in commercial and government sectors. Questions of power, control and inequity recur across historical periods, even as the epistemologies and technologies through which they manifest have changed. This course locates the emergence of AIin relation to the genealogies of statecraft, patriarchy, scientism, white supremacy, and colonial oppression that have contextualized it. A provincialised history perspective reveals these sinews by deconstructing the systems of power that have sustained such claims to an entitled form of universal knowledge. Students in this couese will survey the materials, infrastructures, and ideological commitments contingent to the historical development of AI and related technologies.


Download our 2021 Future Scholar Programme Prospectus, which includes:

  • Detailed programme information

  • Mentors Biographies

  • Course Catalog

  • Tuition Structure

  • Scholarship and Financial Aid

Any questions?

Schedule a meeting with our team!