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If I do not apply for Gates funding, will that have a negative impact on my application?

No, it is completely up to you which funding you apply for. You will considered for all scholarships under Cambridge Trusts, if you tick the funding required option on your application. 

Is the funding deadline fixed? Or will applications close early?

The funding deadline will close on the date highlighted in the course directory. It will not close earlier.

Is it necessary for the prospective supervisor to be based in the same college to be offered specific college funding?

Colleges of supervisor and student do not need to be the same. If you are offered College funding, it is very likely you will have to be a member of the same College. If you are offered College funding after your academic offer and you have been accepted by another College, your application might be moved to the new College. The only exception to this rule that we are aware of is the Trinity College Henry Barlow studentships: this funding can be offered to offer holders at other Colleges.

Does an offer guarantee funding?

An offer doesn't guarantee funding. Sometimes a place is offered with Department/supervisor funding, sometimes the offer will be dependent on finding funding. Some offer holders will be put forward for University Scholarship Competition, but this is up to the Department and we will only nominate the top ranked students.

Does the department offer full scholarships?

Full and partial funding is available from the Department. This funding is awarded to the top ranked students as there is very limited amount every year. Additionally some supervisors will also have specific funding available to allocate.

How specific does the Gates research proposal need to be?

This can be a very broad overview.