Fund Details
John Thouron Prize
Competition Type
Global/National - No Yale Endorsement


The Thouron family, known for its generous commitment to trans-Atlantic academic exchange at the graduate level, inaugurated a new program in 2006 designed to give American undergraduate students an understanding of both shared and differing aspects of British and American culture.

The John Thouron Prize will be awarded to a small, select group of undergraduates from Harvard, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania to pursue an eight-week summer program at Pembroke College, Cambridge University. Through exposure to the world-renowned undergraduate teaching system (supervisions), students will be challenged intellectually, and through engagement with a wide range of carefully tailored extracurricular experiences, they will have an enriching cultural experience.

The site of the program, Pembroke College, was founded in 1347. Located at the heart of the Cambridge University community, it has a series of open courts around beautiful gardens, including a baroque chapel designed by Christopher Wren and the Old Library, parts of which date from the 14th century. The College is known for its particular strength in History, English, Classics, Natural Sciences, and Mathematics.

Academic Program
The Thouron Prize summer program will have a tripartite structure:

  • Participation in the Pembroke/King’s Summer School. Thouron prize winners will have access to the full range of courses and facilities available to participants in this prestigious eight-week summer school hosted jointly by Pembroke and King’s Colleges. There are many courses to choose from, and up to two of which may be taken for credit. Science and engineering students may find that the courses offered in the summer school are a great way to study other subjects of interest that are difficult to fit into their highly structured majors – and perhaps pick up a distribution credit or two! (See the official PKP website for information about courses offered.)

  • Supervisions. Each participant will have weekly supervisions in his or her chosen subject area in the pattern of standard Cambridge teaching: meetings between a member of the faculty and no more than three students, with a weekly research paper from each student that shapes discussion. This structure involves students in considerable independent reading/research and analytical writing. The individualized nature of this system allows for considerable choice of topic for the participants. That choice will be dependent on the availability of Pembroke faculty in any given year. Some Thouron prize winners may wish to focus their supervision work around one of Pembroke-King’s Summer School courses. Science, engineering and math students in particular, however, may find that the supervision is a good way to incorporate their major area of studies into the Pembroke-King’s Programme experience. In the past, these students have done supervisions in areas related to the sciences, including a Yalie whose supervision was related to his biomedical engineering degree. (While supervisions are optional for most PKP participants, they are required for winners of the Thouron Prize.)

  • A Lecture/seminar program. This weekly seminar led by Sir Roger Tomkys, former Master of Pembroke and previously Ambassador to Bahrain and Syria, will focus on British foreign policy and other topics of current interest in British government. There will be selected guest speakers. Preparatory reading will be required.

Academic credit
Students who wish to receive general Yale graduation credit for courses taken at Pembroke-King's must submit a Summer Abroad Credit for Designated Programs application.  To learn more about the application, credit transfer process and deadlines, visit the Yale Study Abroad website.

Extracurricular Activities
Informal and formal discussion will be a regular activity, since the goal of the program is to provide maximum incentive for students to use the experience in Cambridge as an opportunity for intense intellectual and cultural exploration. In addition, there will be a number of social events designed to encourage esprit de corps among the Thouron Prize students. All extra-curricular opportunities associated with the Pembroke/King’s program, including plenary lectures, a day in London , theatre and field trips, sports and formal halls, will be available to Thouron Prize winners.

During the 8-week Pembroke-King’s Programme, Thouron Prize students should plan on keeping their travels within the UK. Students may travel elsewhere in Europe either before or after the program.

Housing and meals
Participants will live in one of the very beautiful courts of Pembroke College. Each student will have a single room, and students will eat most of their meals in the College dining room. Since Pembroke is located in the historic heart of Cambridge, there are many other places where students can gather for meals and snacks immediately surrounding the College. Further information about Pembroke can be found at

The Prize covers the cost of tuition, room and board.  Students should, however, plan to have available enough money to cover travel to and from the United States and any other personal needs.

*Winners of the Prize are required to arrive in Cambridge at least two days prior to the start of the Pembroke-King’s program and must stay until the completion of the program.  They are also required to submit a report on their experience at the end of the summer.

Application Information:

The campus application deadline for summer 2017 is 1pm on January 6, 2017.

Application includes (accessible via the 'Apply' button above): 

  • One letter of reference: This should be requested at least a month in advance of the application deadline from a faculty member who has taught you at Yale.
  • Unofficial Yale College transcript (and copies of any other post-high school transcripts)
  • Résumé/List of Activities and Awards (one page maximum)
  • An essay (one-page maximum) describing how your studies at the Pembroke/King’s Summer School will enhance and diversify your personal and academic goals. What would you hope to gain from spending the summer in Cambridge? How would it add to your education? (Be creative!)
  • Supplemental Material: A graded sample of written work (preferably either one written for a course in your major, or a paper relating in some way to what you hope to study at Cambridge).

Interested Yale applicants, after doing some research of their own, may refer questions about the Thouron Prize to Fellowship Programs at the Yale Center for International & Professional Experience (meetings by appointment).

*Questions about the Pembroke-King's Programme, about receiving Yale credit for study abroad, and about choosing the study abroad program that's right for you, are best addressed by a Study Abroad Adviser.

**Note that applicants (or at least finalists) for the Thouron Prize will also need to apply separately for admission to the Pembroke-King's Programme. (Applicants might also like to explore alternative means of funding, for example Yale's ISA.)

Special Eligibility Requirements:

The Thouron Prize is open to students currently enrolled at Harvard, Yale and the University of Pennsylvania on a competitive basis. Each university will nominate up to nine finalists to be interviewed by the Thouron family and their representatives, usually in late January, and Prize winners are announced shortly thereafter.


  • Must be citizens or Permanent Residents (‘green card’ holders) of the US
  • May apply for the summer following their sophomore or junior year.
  • Should have an outstanding record of scholarship (GPA of at least 3.6) and extra-curricular activity, as well as a clear reason for studying in the Pembroke-King's summer program.
  • Should demonstrate personal qualities that will make them good ambassadors for the United States and their respective universities.
  • Should NOT have had prior significant experience studying, working or living abroad (a few possible examples of significant experience include: Yale Summer Session Abroad, OCS-coordinated international internships, Unite for Sight summer volunteer work, etc.).  [US citizens born abroad must have come to this country, and begun their education here, before their tenth birthday.]

Restrictions to Use of Award:

Applicants for the Thouron should NOT have had prior significant experience studying, working or living abroad (a few possible examples of significant experience include: Yale Summer Session Abroad, OCS-organized international internships, Unite for Sight summer volunteer, etc.).  [US citizens born abroad must have come to this country, and begun their education here, before their tenth birthday.]

Links to Additional Information:

  1. Yale Fellowships application advice
  2. Yale College Study Abroad website
  3. Book a Fellowships advising appointment 

Contact Information:

For questions about this application, please contact Rebekah Westphal at

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