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Summer Research in Mathematics

 

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Click here for slides from the 20 November 2019 meeting about CMP.


We encourage all students to get experience working as mathematicians during their summer holidays. Many will want to work within the CMS on projects developing ideas from the lectures they have attended. We also strongly urge all students to get the experience of working outside the environment of a mathematics department, particularly those who intend on a career as an academic mathematician. It is worthwhile to experience how the outside world uses mathematics, and the opportunity to do so once one is established in a PhD programme is limited.

The Faculty has established the  Cambridge Summer Research in Mathematics Programme (CSRIM) to enable students to get this essential experience. The programme offers the following resources and benefits:

  • A website enabling those offering projects to reach students wishing to get the experience
  • A seminar series in which prospective hosts have the opportunity to present their projects to students
  • A bursary scheme to support students working within the University
  • Access to computer training, facilities and support
  • A community with a social programme
  • Opportunities to present projects at a Presentation Day in August, and at a Festival of Summer Research in the beginning of the Michaelmas term

Finding a project

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

  • Browse projects offered through this programme, under Find a Project (listings for 2020 projects will be available starting in January 2020).
  • Go to the CMP Lunchtime Seminar Series on Mondays and Wednesdays from 27 January to 19 February 2020, where hosts from outside the CMS give short descriptions of their work and projects
  • Approach a member of staff, a post-doc or a PhD student directly. This may be a lecturer, a supervisor, or a colleague in another field that you have met through your graduate hall of residence
  • The mathematics noticeboards often have summer internship opportunities listed
  • The Careers Service also has listings of summer research opportunities
  • The EPSRC site hosted by the Engineering Department lists summer research opportunities

Students working on projects found and/or funded through whatever means are encouraged to join our community and take advantage of the available resources by registering their project with the CSRIM programme. Please click here to Register a Project (available from January 2020).

Settling on a project

Talk with potential supervisors about the project they are offering. A successful and enjoyable project depends on a good fit between the student’s expectation and the supervisor’s needs. It is likely and good practice that you will talk with several potential supervisors about their projects.

In order to give all potential project supervisors an equal chance, we have set a schedule for hosts to make formal offers for projects advertised through the Lent term seminar series, and for students to apply for bursary funding thereafter. Dates and deadlines for projects taking place in summer 2020 can be found here.

Registering your project

Once you have agreed a project with a supervisor, whether academic or industrial:

  • Register your project here (available from January 2020), even if the project is contingent on funding decisions. If funding is not secure, the registration will be regarded as conditional until funding is confirmed.
  • Ask your host supervisor to confirm your project by by email to CMP@maths.cam.ac.uk (for CMP projects) or SRIM@maths.cam.ac.uk (for Summer Research in  the CMS).  If your project supervisor is a PhD student, this email should come from your supervisor’s PhD supervisor.
  • Register only one project.

Registration ensures that you will be on the lists which will assure you facilities and access over the summer, and participation in the CMP Presentation Day or Festival of Summer Research.

Funding your project

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.