skip to content

Industrial Collaboration



The Faculty of Mathematics is open to engaging in collaborations with industrial partners.  More information is available in the Collaboration Overview web page.

Please contact the Knowledge Transfer Facilitator, Dr Stephanie North: email or phone 01223 760414.



Call for the Centre for the Mathematics of Information (CMI) short projects - closing 19 November 2021

Opening Date

4 October 2021

Closing Date

19 November 2021

Project proposers

Proposals are invited from users of mathematics i.e. partners from business or industry and University of Cambridge Departments.

Location of and timing of projects

First year PhD students carry out the research projects at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge. 

Projects are around 4 weeks work in total, conducted between January 2022 and March 2022.


No fee required

Introduction to the Cambridge Centre for the Mathematics of Information (CMI)

The University of Cambridge has been at the forefront of the study of mathematics and its benefits to society for many centuries. Our current mathematical community thrives at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences (CMS), where the CMI is one of the embedded Institutes. Around fifty mathematicians from across the Faculty are involved with the CMI, which is under the Directorship of Professor Richard Nickl, with Professor Carola Schönlieb, Dr Randolf Altmeyer and Dr Hamza Fawzi as Deputy Directors.


The advancement of data science and the solution of big data questions rely heavily on fundamental mathematical techniques and their intra-disciplinary engagement. This is at the heart of the CMI, which encompasses: statistics, applied & computational analysis, inverse problems, convex analysis, stochastic and sparse optimisation, sparsity, compressed sensing, sampling theory, probability theory, random matrices, harmonic analysis, partial differential equations, functional analysis, fluid mechanics, mathematical biology, discrete geometry, quantum information, topology and graph theory.  All with the common goal of furthering the understanding of the theory and applications of information and data science. We believe that this broad scope makes the CMI an exciting place for novel mathematics as well as creating impact in data-driven applications such as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

First Year PhD Projects

The CMI is training the next generation of mathematicians who will advance modern mathematics and provide solutions for future industrial and societal needs in all areas of big data. CMI PhD students embark on a unique structured programme that offers core research training in the first year, including the option to work on a short (ca 4 week) external research project provided by a ‘user of mathematics’ (i.e. other University Departments or business/industry).

Benefits for Partner Organisations

Mathematics can often provide innovative approaches and perspectives. Hence, external projects offer the opportunity to engage the skills of talented mathematicians to tackle challenging research questions across a diverse range of fields. This is also an ideal way to engage and develop relationships with the CMI and the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.

Project Guidelines, Requirements, Timescale and Reporting

The project should challenge first year PhD mathematics students who have a four-year mathematics degree or a three-year degree plus a Master’s degree in mathematics.

  • Project descriptions should be submitted on the template, which includes the background, problem, aims, expectations and key literature references. 
  • All project proposals will be subject to approval by the CMI Directors.
  • The students have an external supervisor from the partner organisation (usually the person who writes/submits the project) and a Mathematics Faculty co-supervisor.
  • The students select a project of their choice from a compilation of project descriptions.
  • We will inform you by the end of December 2021 whether a student has chosen your project. If not selected, you may submit it to the summer Cambridge Mathematics Placement (CMP) programme (contact for more information).
  • The students undertake the project research between January 2021 and mid-March 2021. They manage their own time and need to fit the project in with other academic commitments. The overall amount of time spent is around 4 weeks.
  • On completion at the end of March 2022, the students will write a short report and give a project presentation to fellow students and academic staff.  External supervisors are encouraged to attend.
  • All project work will finish by the end of March 2022. Please let us know if you would like further research and we can discuss ways to accomplish this.
  • No funding is needed as the external project is an integral part of the training. Partner organisations will be required to cover incidental costs if needed, for example student travel.
  • We would like your feedback on the outcome, including any impact resulting from the project.

Terms and Conditions

  • Submission of proposals for projects indicates the sponsor’s consent to the standard project terms and conditions, as attached hereto (no agreement signature required).
  • We advise that sponsors strongly consider the nature of the research environment when providing background information for projects that may be of a confidential or sensitive nature. The University is unable to provide extensive measures to protect sensitive information.
  • Projects are to be considered academic in nature and any inventions or other intellectual property generated by a given project will be wholly owned by the student. External partners shall be given the results of a project for internal research purposes only, and the acquisition of any other intellectual property rights by a sponsor shall be at the discretion of the student.
  • The University will not allow students to undertake personal exposure to commercial liability while working on the projects.

Project Submission Process

Please send proposals using the template no later than 5pm on the closing date of Friday 19 November 2021 to Dr Stephanie North, Knowledge Transfer Facilitator, and Tessa Blackman, CMI Group Secretary

Download the project submission template here