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Summer Research Programmes


About the bursary fund

It is university policy that students undertaking summer research projects within the university must be employed by either the host department or the Faculty of Mathematics and paid the National Living Wage.

Summer research students (both CMP and SRIM) will be employed by either the host department or the Faculty of Mathematics and paid the National Living Wage.

Please note that unpaid projects are not permitted and we are not able to employ / pay students working outside of the UK.  Therefore, you may only accept a project within the university if you are going to remain in the UK for the duration of the project.  

We have a small fund for supporting summer research projects, but we ask that supervisors and students looking to work together on a project make an effort to find funding from their own sources (e.g. research grants, college bursaries) to help cover the cost of the project. Projects requesting support from the bursary fund will be considered more favourably if they are partially funded.


  • Only registered students in the Faculty of Mathematics are eligible for support from the bursary fund.
  • Summer Research in Maths (SRIM) students 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 (CMP) projects are eligible if they have just completed Part IB, Part II, or Part III.  Priority may be given to Part III students.
  • Students working on CMP projects with an industrial host are not eligible.

How to Apply

Students can apply for support from the bursary fund by filling in the online application form by Monday 18 March 2024

As well basic information about you, your supervisor, and the project, the application asks you to submit two statements:

Student Statement:
You will need to write a short statement explaining why you would like to do the project and how it will benefit you. The statement should be around one-half to one page long. Points you should address include:

  • What attracted you to the project: why you find the project interesting / exciting
  • What skills / interests / knowledge you have that are relevant to the project
  • What new knowledge or skills do you hope to acquire over the course of the project
  • Your future plans for work or study (if known)

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.

Host / Supervisor Statement:
This statement should be composed by, or jointly with, the project supervisor. It should include the following information:

  • Brief description of the project (this is particularly important for SRIM projects that do not have a description advertised online. i.e. projects you and your supervisor have decided on together after discussion)
  • Project duration (if known) – maximum 8 weeks full-time.
  • Can the host supervisor / lab / department provide any funds to support the project?
  • Will there be a project partner (postdoc or PhD student) to help supervise the project?
  • How regularly will the student be able to talk with the host and / or project partner?
  • Are there regular lab / group meetings the student will be able to attend?
  • Words of support / recommendation from the supervisor: how enthusiastic are they to work on this project with you? Is it going to be of particular benefit to them also?
  • For CMP projects, the statement should also confirm that the host lab / department can provide desk space, any necessary computing resources (beyond routine email / web access), and any overhead costs associated with the project.

This statement can either be submitted via the application form – in this case we will email your supervisor after we receive your application to confirm it is correct – or they can send it to us via email on or

Deadlines and Decision Dates

The deadline for funding applications for SRIM projects and the first round application deadline for CMP projects is Monday 18 March 2024. First round decisions will be made by early May.

Possible outcomes: 

  • Funding is confirmed
  • Your application is reviewed positively, pending funds becoming available. Funds are often found, as other projects win awards from other sources of funding (Colleges, LMS, EPSRC, supervisor’s research grants etc.).
  • Your project will not be funded

As CMP projects are often advertised late, some funds will be reserved for a second round.  CMP bursary applications for the final round should be made by Monday 6 May 2023, 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?  The Host / Supervisor statement 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 they have already done some reading on the topic.

For SRIM projects:

  • Some preference is given to Part II students.
  • We typically fund only one student per supervisor. Applications involving more than one student working on a given project will be considered, but only if the application clear evidence of thought as to how the students will work together. Any supervisor considering forming such a group should contact Dhruv Ranganathan (SRIM Director) before submitting their bursary application.

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 and/or 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 request that 50% of the funding comes from the host
  • 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.