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John Crook Scholarships

The scholarship

For many people, going to university is about more than getting a degree; it inspires them to pursue new avenues of intellectual enquiry and ignites a passion for subjects which they had never thought about studying before. The John Crook Scholarship offers students the opportunity to take this further by studying for a second, two-year degree at St John's College, Cambridge.

If you meet the criteria below, you could be eligible. The scholarship would cover all your costs, including fees, and would provide a grant of at least £3,685 quarterly for your living expenses for the duration of your course.


Candidates need to be
  • the first generation in their family to go to university
  • a current student, or recent graduate, with an exceptional academic record, from one of the eligible universities
  • a British citizen


The John Crook Scholar will be admitted to St John’s College to study for either a second two-year Bachelor’s Degree as an affiliated student, for an MPhil or for the Degree of Master of Advanced Studies in mathematics or science. The scholarship is open to all subjects apart from Law, Theology and subjects which are intimately related to Law or Theology. The award will be for up to two years (depending on the course), and will comprise a maintenance grant at the rate of at least £14,750 per annum plus payment of approved College and University fees.

Please note that, as per the residential regulations that apply to all students of St John’s College, John Crook Scholars must live in Cambridge to obtain a degree.


Sarah Parnell, a John Crook Scholar, talks about her experiences of applying for the Scholarship and living and working at Cambridge in the video below.


For the full list of past John Crook Scholars and more testimonials, please click here.

Professor John Crook

Professor John Crook

Prof John Crook

Professor John Anthony Crook (1921 – 2007) was a Fellow of St John’s for more than fifty years. His door was ever-open to generations of undergraduate and graduate students for whom he seemed to have so much time  to spare and to whom he offered so much valued support and advice.

Professor Crook came up to St John’s from South London on a Scholarship in 1939, being the only child of parents of modest means. After exemplary war service, Professor Crook reached the top of his chosen academic profession as Professor of Ancient History at Cambridge University. He was a world expert on Roman Law and Legal Practices and taught Greek and Latin language to classics scholars.

A donor has offered full funding for a new scholarship to be awarded in John Crook’s name and memory, which reflects the spirit of his achievements and which sets out to offer opportunities at St John’s to gifted students from similar backgrounds. The first John Crook Scholarship award was made in 2010 to Elizabeth Monaghan, an honours graduate in English from the Open University.

The Benefactor Writes

'Fifty years ago I sent three letters, blind, addressed to the Senior Tutors at Balliol, Trinity and St John's, enclosing an essay I had written and asking for a place. I knew neither the Tutors names nor their proper addresses.

J A Crook replied for John's, offering a place and an apology: I am sorry that this answer has been long in coming, and I hope it is not too late. That offer opened a casement on a world I could not conceive and transformed my life.

But that is not why I pay him homage, nor is it for his help after he learned I was married, when he could, with reason, have withdrawn his offer, nor for the College funds he supplied when I ran short. What I and others loved was his unflagging kindness to once and present charges, his humility, and affection for the College.

I will not forget his offering letter’s apology, which etiquette did not require, to a brash aspirant he did not know. I recall how, old and frail, he spent an afternoon showing my teenage daughter and her friend around Cambridge, spending time and breath, at his urging, not mine, when he had not much of either left. Many can testify to how he greeted proposals to honour him with horror, and squelched them all.

Now he is gone, we are free to praise him.'


Completed application forms must be received by Monday, 5th November 2018 for admission in October 2019. Interviews will be contacted on Monday, 19th November 2018, at Cambridge. For further information, please contact us .


John Crook Scholarship - Application Form 2018 (doc)

John Crook Scholarship - Application Form 2018 (pdf)

John Crook Scholarship - Applicant Recommendation Form 2018 (doc)

John Crook Scholarship - Applicant Recommendation Form 2018 (pdf)