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Faculty of Mathematics

 

We encourage all students to get experience working as mathematicians during their summer holidays. Many will want to work within CMS on projects developing ideas from the lectures they have attended. We also strongly urge all students to get the experience of working as a mathematician outside the environment of a mathematics department, particularly those who intend on a career as an academic mathematician.  It is well to experience how the outside world uses mathematics, and 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 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 lunchtime seminar series in the Lent term in which prospective hosts have the opportunity to present their projects to students,
  • a bursary scheme to support students working within the University,
  • facilities and support,
  • extra computer training to assist those working on projects requiring coding in unfamiliar languages,
  • a community with a social programme,
  • opportunities to present projects at a mid-August Presentation Day and at a Festival of Summer Research in the beginning of the Michaelmas term.

Within that framework, Cambridge Mathematics Placements, CMP (formerly known as the Post Masters Placement Programme, PMP) facilitates placements of students in industry and in other departments and laboratories within the University. 

Finding a project

  • There are many ways of finding a project. Use all of them.  Start looking early. Students working on projects found and/or funded through whatever means are encourage to register their project with the CSRIM programme, with all associated benefits.
  • Use the CSRIM website. Projects offered will be listed starting in mid November.
  • Go to the CMP Lent term seminar series, where those from outside CMS give short descriptions of their work.
  • 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.

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 through the seminar series, we have set a schedule for making formal offers and acceptances for projects advertised through the Lent Term seminar series or applying for CMP bursary funding.

  • 3 March: students should have expressed interest and interviewed for a project by this date.
  • 10 March: host supervisors should make make formal offers to their first choice students on this date.

Registering your project

Once you have agreed a project with a supervisor,

  • register your project here (link), even if the project is contingent on funding decisions
  • 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 research in CMS.)  If your project supervisor is a PhD student, this email should come from your supervisor’s PhD supervisor.

Register only one project, even if funding is not secure. The registration will be regarded as conditional until funding is confirmed.

Registration ensures that you will be on the lists which will assure you facilities and access over the summer.

Applying for support from the bursary fund

See the page on bursaries (link).