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Philippa Fawcett Internship Programme


Philippa Fawcett Internship Programme


The Philippa Fawcett Internship Programme is a funded summer research programme intended for women and non-binary students in mathematics who are in their late undergraduate (second year and above) or Master studies, and who would like to gain first-hand experience as a researcher at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences (CMS) at the University of Cambridge.

As a Philippa Fawcett intern, you will be given the opportunity to conduct your own summer research project together with leading mathematicians in Cambridge. You will be able to develop and extend your research skills, learn how to communicate your work to others, and build a strong academic profile. This will enable you to apply for excellent PhD positions if you wish to do so. During your time at the CMS, you will become part of a research team and experience the life of a research student. As part of a wider mathematical community and with the help of our student mentors, you will be given the chance to learn from and hear about the experiences of Cambridge mathematics PhD students and connect with a network of mathematicians in your area of interest. At the end of your internship, you will summarise and present your work in a final report.

This programme is supported by the Cantab Capital Institute for the Mathematics of Information (CCIMI) and Churchill College, Cambridge.


In Short

  • 3 funded placements are available for Summer 2022
  • Each internship will run for 8 -10 weeks in July - September 2022
  • Up to £3,000 funding is available per placement (exact funding will be dependent on length of project)
  • All placements are based at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge. (Due to the ongoing pandemic, it might be necessary for projects to be undertaken in a virtual or hybrid format)    
  • Interns will be mentored by PhD students and integrated into our research group for the duration of the placement.
  • Application deadline is 25 March 2022.


Research Projects

There are many ways of finding a project, we encourage students to use them all, and to start looking early. To get some ideas, you can view the list of last year's projects offered through the Research in the CMS programme.

  • Propose a project that you are personally interested in and a prospective supervisor you would want to work with at the Faculty of Mathematics, University of Cambridge. Supervisors can come from DAMTP, DPMMS, and CCIMI faculty members. We will get in contact with the prospective supervisor for you and propose your project to them.
  • Contact a potential supervisor from this list directly to find a project with them. Please cc when first contacting a supervisor and let them know you are planning to apply to the Philippa Fawcett Internship Programme. In this case, only apply to the Philippa Fawcett Internship Programme once you have a confirmed placement with a supervisor.



  • Applications from women and non-binary students are particularly encouraged to help address the historical gender imbalance in mathematics
  • You should be registered at a higher education institution and should have completed at least your second year (Part IB) of undergraduate studies and at most your masters (Part III) or equivalent in a mathematical subject
  • There are no restrictions on nationality of students or the country of their home institution, however, we are unable to sponsor visas or support applications.


How to Apply

To apply to the Philippa Fawcett Internship Programme, please fill in the online application form by 25 March 2022.

Please send your CV and a copy of your transcript of records to

The application form asks you for the following:

  • Up to three research areas of interest
  • A short statement telling us what attracted you to this programme, what skills and interests you have that might be relevant to the work you will be doing. We will be reading your statement to gauge your enthusiasm for the project, and the amount of thought and effort you have already invested in it. (Maximum one A4 page)
  • Details of an academic referee (you should organise for your referee to send through a recommendation letter by the deadline)
  • In case of a self-proposed project, please additionally write a description of the project.


Past Experience

In 2020 we welcomed the first cohort of interns. Read about the first year of the Philippa Fawcett Internship Programme here. Eleonora Svanberg filmed a vlog about a day in her research internship. Take a look at her experience here and how she approached finding the internship here.


Philippa Fawcett

Philippa Fawcett (1868 - 1948) was a British mathematician and the first woman to rank above the senior wrangler (highest achieved scores in the exams) of the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos. This achievement came at a time when women were officially allowed to sit the Mathematical Tripos but were ranked separately from the men and denied the right to receive a degree from the University of Cambridge. Her success received wide media coverage and prompted a discussion about the rational of thought and capabilities of women amidst the women’s suffrage movement. Fawcett later went on to teach mathematics at various institutions, trained teachers and helped establish an educational system in South Africa, and was involved in developing secondary schools in the UK. (More information on Philippa Fawcett can be found here and here.)



For any questions, please email


Photo credits: Veronica Corona, Joana Grah and Johannes Hjorth.