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Summer Research in Mathematics


The bursary application form for summer 2021 is now available here and the deadline to apply is 19 March 2021. Please read the information below before making your application. 

About bursaries and the bursary fund

Changes to University policy mean we can no longer provide a direct bursary to students as we have in the past. Instead, summer research students (both CMP and research in the CMS) will be employed by either the host department or the Faculty of Mathematics, and the cost of supporting a project has gone up significantly. We expect that the total cost for a project in 2021 will be between £2200 and £3000 depending on project length. Due to the increase in costs, we ask that academic CMP hosts (especially returning ones) make an extra effort to find funds within their department to help cover the cost of the project. As a rough guide, we hope that hosts will contribute at least half of the studentʼs living expenses. We ask students to ask colleges for grants and subsidised accommodation. Projects requiring bursary support will be considered more favourably if they are partially funded.

Bursaries are meant to cover living expenses while students are working on Cambridge Mathematics Placements projects or on research within CMS. These are bursary grants, not stipends, and are intended to complement other sources of support.

There are a number of sources of funding in addition to the bursary fund, including:

We encourage all students to seek out all possible means of funding their project. Evidence that students have tried hard to find at least partial funding counts positively in the bursary fund committee’s evaluation.


  • Only registered students in the Faculty of Mathematics are eligible for bursary funding.
  • Students applying for Research in CMS projects are eligible if they have just completed Part IB or Part II. Priority may be given to students who have just completed Part II and who are intending to continue their mathematical studies, either in Part III or elsewhere.
  • Students applying for Cambridge Mathematics Placements projects (including those working in CMS whose work is linked with research done in other departments or with industrial partners) are eligible if they have just completed Part IB, Part II, or Part III.  Priority may be given to Part III students.
  • Students working in industry are generally not eligible for bursary grants. If there are reasons why a bursary grant should be considered please discuss this with the Summer Research Programme Director, Jake Rasmussen.

How to apply for a bursary 

Students can apply for a bursary by filling in the online application form below. Among other things, the application asks you to submit two statements:

  • The host supervisor and/or the host partner should write in support of the student and the project. (For research in CMS projects, this statement should include a brief description of the project.)
  • Students should write a short statement. You might tell us what attracted you to this project, 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.

Deadlines and decision dates

The deadline for bursary applications for Research in the CMS and the first round application deadline for CMP projects is 19 March 2021. First round decisions will be made by early May. Either funding is confirmed, or your application is reviewed positively, but funds need still to be found, or we decide against funding your project.  Funds are often found, as other projects win awards from other sources of funding (Colleges, LMS, EPSRC, supervisor’s research grants).

As CMP projects are often advertised late, some funds will be reserved for a second round. Bursary applications for the final round should be made by 11 May 2021, with decisions announced by the beginning of June.

Decisions - priorities and considerations

As a rough guide, in coming to funding decisions, the allocations committee take the following into consideration (in no particular order).

For all projects:

  • How enthusiastic is the host supervisor to have the student? Your letter of support should indicate this.
  • How much effort has the student invested in arranging the project? For example, evidence of endeavour in finding college bursaries and subsidised accommodation count positively, as does evidence in the student’s statement that she/he has already done some reading on the topic.

For CMP projects:

  • Some preference is given to students in Part III.
  • Some priority may be given to younger host supervisors: supervising a CMP student is good experience for supervising PhD students later in their career. NB: This may mean it is better for a post-doc to be listed as project supervisor than a PI, particularly if the PI will be only remotely connected with the project.  (The PI will be required to confirm the project.)
  • Is the research environment likely to provide good support for a mathematician working in a foreign discipline? Will the student be supported by a host partner? by regular group meetings?
  • Does the project appear to use a mathematician’s talents well?
  • Can the host department contribute to the student’s support?
  • We wish to develop new links with labs we have not worked with.
  • We wish to encourage students whose mathematical interests are not normally considered applicable (pure subjects and theoretical physics).
  • We will generally consider one student per CMP academic host for funding each year, and will ask you to find complementary funds if you wish to have more.
  • Projects requiring support from CMP will be considered more favourably if they are partially funded.

For Research in CMS:

  • Some preference is given to Part II students.
  • We hope to fund at least one student per supervisor each year, and will consider a maximum of two projects per supervisor.

Bursary Application Form

The application form for a bursary in 2021 is now available here.