skip to content

Faculty of Mathematics


There are many sources of funds for summer research:

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 allocations committee’s evaluation.

About bursaries and the bursary fund

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 funding/support.


  • 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 on-line form (link available by 1 January). This should be supplemented by a supporting letters which should be sent to (for research in CMS) or to (for CMP projects).

  • The host supervisor and/or the host partner should write in support of the student and the project.
  • Students should write a short statement in support of your application.  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 that email to gauge your enthusiasm for the project, and the amount of thought and effort you have already invested in it.

The value of the bursary

The value of bursary grants is again capped at a maximum of £250 per week for a maximum of eight weeks. The intention is that bursary grants should supplement other sources of funds, such as College grants, subsidised accommodation or contributions from host departments.
We ask you to declare the cost of your room rent.  We have found this varies considerably. Room rents under £120 per week are deemed to be subsidised, and any amounts under that value will be deducted from the maximum of £250 p/w. The benefit to you in declaring this is that your thriftiness counts in your favour in considering your application.

Deadlines and decision dates

The first round application deadline is the Friday following the last day of full term. Decisions will be announced early in the Easter term. Either funding will be confirmed, or your application has been reviewed positively, but funds need still to be found, or we have decided 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).

CMP projects are often advertised late, and we do consider late applications for bursary funds if funds are available.

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? Please see the sheet on what makes a good project (link).

  • 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).

For Research in CMS:

  • Some preference is given to Part II students.