The Rhodes scholarship is a programme for an international scholarship which was established in 1902 by English politician-businessman Cecil John Rhodes to promote solidarity among English-speaking nations and to instill in the future leaders a sense of civic-minded leadership and moral strength regardless of their career paths. The Rhodes scholarship’s leading recipients include politicians, academics, scientists, authors, and entrepreneurs. Although initially limited to male applicants from countries that are currently part of the British Commonwealth, today the scholarship is open to applicants from all backgrounds from around the world.
Of two purposes, the scholarships are created to promote cohesion within the British Empire and improve diplomatic ties between Britain and the United States of America. The Rhodes Scholarships are run and awarded by the Rhodes Trust, located at Oxford’s Rhodes House, Oxford. Rhodes indicated that he did not want his scholarships to go to “only bookworms.” He wanted applicants assessed with respect to his literary and scholastic achievements, his fondness for and participation in manly outdoor sports such as cricket, football, etc. He should also have virtues of manhood, honesty, bravery, devotion to duty, empathy for the welfare of the poor, generosity, selflessness, friendship, moral strength of character, and instincts to lead and engage others.
The Rhodes Trust pays for university and college fees. Additionally, scholars receive a monthly maintenance stipend to cover lodging and living expenses. Kritika Singh, bioengineering and chemistry student at Northeastern University has been named one of the 2020 Rhodes Scholar, she has dedicated herself to tackle global health issues. Ms. Singh has integrated her data, human literacies, and technology to solve some of the most daunting public health issues of our time. She says she will continue combining her scientific research with her interest in treating preventable diseases. “I want to be a physician-scientist-advocate,” said Ms. Singh, “and work at the intersection of biomedical research, clinical practice, and health policy in order to address critical emerging diseases”.