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Summer Research Programmes


The steps below are intended to streamline the process of students applying for support from the bursary fund. With the exception of the last step (Register your project) they are not mandated for projects funded by other sources, but supervisors of such projects are welcome to make use of them (e.g. listing projects, using the common response date) if desired.

A summary of the dates and deadlines involved can be found here.


1. Proposing a Project & Appearing on the List of Pre-approved Supervisors

We will maintain a list of potential supervisors for undergraduate students as in previous years. Appearing on the list does not oblige you to supervise a project, or even to have a project in mind, but you should be willing to reply to students who contact you about the possibility. However, we also welcome and encourage you to submit project proposals for listing on the website. Projects descriptions can either be quite specific and well defined or a general outline depending on your needs / preferences.

If you are a UTO or CTO you:

  1. will appear on the list of potential supervisors unless you opt out via this webform. You will have the option to opt out until further notice or opt out just for summer 2024;
  2. are invited to submit (via this webform) for listing on the website:
    • a specific project
    • general outline(s) for possible project(s)
    • potential topics / research areas for summer projects you would be able to supervise
  3. will appear on the list of possible supervisors according to research area (as best we can determine), if you do not submit any information (unless you have opted out).

If you are an RA you:

  1. will not appear on the list of possible supervisors unless you request to opt in
  2. to opt in, you must submit this webform to provide either a specific project proposal or a general project outline

Several RAs have supervised students in the past, and we encourage RAs to propose projects. However, we encourage RAs who are interested in this to discuss with their mentors or with Dhruv Ranganathan (SRIM Director).

Group Projects *New in 2024*

Mathematics is an extremely collaborative subject and we believe that group projects where 2-3 students work together collaboratively on one problem more accurately reflects the experience they might have during a PhD in mathematics.  Furthermore, feedback has shown that working together in a group is more enjoyable for summer students.  In 2024 we are committed to offering four specific group projects that students can apply to participate in.  Funding has already been set aside for these projects so a bursary application will not be necessary for the students selected.  If you are interested in more information about SRIM supported group projects, please contact Dhruv Ranganathan (SRIM Director). 


2. Speak with interested students

After potential supervisors and projects are listed, students interested in doing a summer project will contact supervisors directly to discuss possibilities / apply for advertised projects. Following discussion with potential supervisors, students should then submit the Expression of Interest form by Friday 23 February 2024 nominating a first and second choice supervisor, so please do try to respond to students with this deadline in mind.

Before this deadline you may also hear from external students planning to apply for one of our internship programmes that are open to students not currently studying at Cambridge. These programmes are aimed at widening participation in mathematical research amongst groups traditionally underrepresented in the field. Applicants are also required to submit an ‘Expression of Interest’ form ahead of Friday 23 February 2024, so they may reach out to you to ask if they may nominate you as a potential supervisor.  Agreeing that they can nominate you does not commit you to anything.


3. Decide who (if anyone) you would like to supervise

For reasons of fairness, we ask that supervisors refrain from committing to a specific student until after Friday 23 February 2024 so that all students have an equal chance to put themselves forward. It’s fine to say no a student before this, e.g. if their background is insufficient for the project you have in mind.

After the 24 February 2023 has passed and with it the deadline for students to submit the Expression of Interest form, you will be contacted by the Internships Coordinator with a list of students (and internship applicants if applicable) that have nominated you. You will be asked to confirm which student (if any) you would like to work with by Friday 8 March 2024.


4. If necessary, apply for funding

We expect that the total cost for an 8-week project in 2024 will be between £3500 and £3900 depending on working hours and the duration of the project.  We ask all academics in the CMS wishing to host a project to make an effort to find funds from grants and other sources to help cover the cost of the project. We also ask that students apply to their colleges for support (where available) and subsidised accommodation.

If support from the bursary fund is required, students must submit the bursary application form by Monday 18 March 2024. The application will require a description of the project as well as a brief statement of support from you.

For more information, please see the section on Project Funding. You can find the instructions given to students on making a bursary application here.


5. Register the Project

Once you and a student have agreed on doing a project and have set the dates that the project will take place, the project will need to be registered. The student should submit the Project Registration Form. This ensures that your student will:

  • have continued access to support facilities from the University (IT, library etc.);
  • be set up with access to any maths computing resources that are necessary for their project;
  • receive information about events and social activities;
  • be invited to give a talk about their project at the Summer Research Festival in October.

It is important that the faculty have a complete list of all student summer projects taking place in the CMS, so please make sure the project is registered even if your project is not funded by the bursary fund.