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 4 July 2022
  • Stipend of £340 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 2021, the programme ran mostly remotely, with project supervision, communications training, seminars, and social activities all run remotely. Our 2021 fellows reported that the summer was still both valuable and enjoyable. The format of the 2022 fellowship will depend on the COVID situation this summer, however we anticipate and hope to be able to run the programme fully in-person. 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

Sponsors

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.

Areas

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.

Eligibility

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 2022-2023. 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. 

How to apply

Apply using the form here. The form will ask you for a CV, transcripts, and a personal statement about the areas of maths or statistics you would be interested in working in. You are also advised to consult the supervisors list on the left and to consider with whom you might wish to work. Applications will close on Friday 25 February. We will aim to make initial offers by the end of March.

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.

Enquiries 

Informal enquiries can be directed to Dr David Ham