The Mary Lister McCammon Summer Research Fellowship

For women in mathematics and statistics

The Mary Lister McCammon Summer Research Fellowship is a funded opportunity to spend the summer before your final year at university working in research with a leading mathematician or statistician. In essence, this is a chance to try out being a PhD student for the summer, and to gain the research experience which will make your PhD application more competitive.

In addition to your research project, you will have the opportunity to gain insight from current PhD students into what doing a PhD is actually like, and you'll receive  a briefing on how to go about applying for a PhD and the PhD programmes and funding streams which are available.

Being a PhD student is about much more than doing lots of mathematics or statistics. The ability to communicate your ideas to diverse audiences is absolutely essential to being a successful researcher. The programme will therefore also include communications training. Among other benefits, this will help you sell your ideas at an interview for a PhD.

The programme

  • 10 week research project starting 29 June 2021
  • Stipend of £335 per week - the same as a PhD student
  • Based at Imperial College London, or for some students in pure maths at King's College London or University College London.
  • Up to 14 places available distributed among different areas of mathematics and statistics.
  • Cohort activities including communications training, PhD briefings, and social activities.

In 2020, the programme ran entirely remotely, with project supervision, communications training, seminars, and social activities all run remotely. Our 2020 fellows reported that the summer was still both valuable and enjoyable. The format of the 2021 fellowship will depend on the COVID situation this summer. If an in-person programme is possible, then we will offer this. If it is still necessary for the programme to be remote then this is what we will do.

What our fellows think about the programme

"I am almost certain I would not now be doing a PhD if I hadn't had the MLM Fellowship."
"It was also the first time I was ever in an all woman group (or even woman majority group) studying maths. I didn't realise how much that helped me until I had this opportunity."
"I had the best summer on this fellowship, it was fun to be in London and spend time with Cohorts; exciting learn about my topic; accessible in terms of difficulty and financially (I would not have been able to cover cost of living on my own) ;and I felt respected by staff as a "Pesudo-PhD" student."

Group picture of Mary Lister McCammon Fellows


The fellowships are supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council through the following Centres for Doctoral Training:

and by the Departments of Mathematics at Imperial College London, King’s College London, and University College London.


Fellowships are available to work in any area of mathematics or statistics covered by one of our supervisors, though most places will be reserved for projects within the scope of the sponsoring CDTs. You will have the opportunity to nominate preferred areas of maths and/or supervisors in your application.

Most projects will be supervised by academics at Imperial, but projects in geometry or number theory can be supervised by mathematicians from King's College London and University College London through the London School of Geometry and Number Theory.


To be eligible for this programme you must be a woman who will be undertaking the final year of a masters degree (integrated or stand-alone) in the academic year 2021-2022. Your degree will be in mathematics, statistics, or a closely related subject such as physics or computer science, and you will be interested in exploring the possibility of undertaking a PhD in mathematics or statistics. You will be on track to receive at least upper second class honours, with a strong preference for candidates on track for a first class degree. You do not need to be an Imperial student.

No previous research experience is expected. 

Fellowships are not restricted by nationality or fee status, however it is also not possible for Imperial to sponsor visas under this programme. This means that you will already need the right to study in the UK, for example because you are a UK or Irish national, an EEA national with settled or pre-settled status, or are already studying in the UK and have a student visa.

How to apply

If you intend to go on to a stand-alone academic masters in academic 2021-2022 then we fully appreciate that you probably won't have an offer of a place at this stage, and may not even have applied. You can still apply for the Mary Lister McCammon fellowship now, so long as you will be applying for masters study for next year.

Deadline: Applications will close at the end of 1 March 2021. We hope to communicate initial decisions by 26 March.

Apply here

Mary Lister McCammon

In 1953 Mary Lister McCammon was the first women to receive a PhD in mathematics from Imperial College London with her thesis "The Relaxation Method Applied to the Solution of Problems of Viscous Flow". She was then a postdoc at MIT before going on to have a long career as a professor in the Department of Mathematics at Penn State University, who also have two awards named in her honour.


Informal enquiries can be directed to Dr David Ham