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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 2021
  • Each internship will run for 8 -10 weeks
  • 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 the 15th March 2021.


Research Projects

There are many ways of finding a project, we encourage students to use them all, and to start looking early.

  • 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.
  • View the list of projects offered through the Research in the CMS* programme.



  • 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 out the online application form. Additionally, we ask that you submit the following statements to by 15 March 2021:

  • 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.
  • Your CV and a copy of your transcript of records.
  • In case of a self-proposed project, please additionally write a description of the project.
  • In case you are pursuing a Research in the CMS* project, please first follow the online application process available here. Once you have a confirmed placement with a supervisor please follow the application procedure described above.


Past Experiences

Tamara G. Grossmann -

"During my master studies I did an internship with a research group at the CMS. The group was very welcoming, and many shared their stories and decision-making processes with me. I was able to learn what it means to be a research student working on my own project and discovered that I really enjoyed the work. Without this experience I would have not applied for a PhD position, let alone one in Cambridge. Now, three years into my PhD programme, I am really glad I made this decision."


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


*Research in CMS projects are primarily for University of Cambridge students. If you are not a Cambridge student, you are still welcome to apply to these projects. Please make sure the supervisor is aware that you plan to apply for funding through the Philippa Fawcett Internship Programme.


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