Research Studentships

Funding for research of the highest quality

The Cambridge Philosophical Society has a fund for the award of studentships or grants for research in the natural sciences or any branch of technology or mathematics.  The purpose of these awards is to provide for the continuation of an exceptionally promising piece of research beyond the usual standard of the PhD or alternatively to allow extra time for the completion of a PhD thesis which has been delayed by circumstances outside the applicant’s control.  


Please read the following notes to Research applicants 

Awards will be tenable for a period not exceeding three months.  The level of demand for awards is such that it is unlikely that more than £750 (equivalent to one month’s support) will be awarded other than in exceptional cases. The Society cannot make any contributions towards fees, travelling expenses, etc. Applicants who have previously received a Research Studentship award from the Cambridge Philosophical Society are not eligible to apply for further awards.


The Society will not expect to contribute to over-run expenses in cases where it should have been clear from the outset that the project would require more time than was covered by the duration of the main funding. Similarly, the Society will not ordinarily cover costs associated with delays arising from a planned move of a department or laboratory: these costs should be factored in by the relevant department during the planning process, and covered by them. The Society’s Studentships are only meant to apply to cases of objective misfortune that could not have been predicted, or to fund extensions to promising research work beyond what was originally envisaged when the project was set up.  It is the responsibility of applicants and their referees to provide the necessary assurance of compliance with this policy, otherwise the application will be rejected.


Applicants for awards must be Fellows of the Philosophical Society of at least one year’s standing at the closing date for applications. They must be Registered Graduate Students of the University, though in exceptional circumstances this latter condition may be waived.  In making awards the Society will have regard to the specific piece of research proposed, to the proven ability of the applicant, and to the other sources of funds for which the applicant may be eligible. Applicants should describe the aims of their research and report on progress to date including a full explanation for any delays that have occurred.


The remit of the Philosophical Society is ‘to promote research in all branches of science and to encourage the communication of the results of scientific research’.  If there is any doubt whether your field of work qualifies under this rubric, for example, if your departmental affiliation is not necessarily scientific (e.g. Geography, Education, Archaeology or the Judge Business School), your statement must demonstrate that your particular research project counts as “science” and you must ensure that your referees reinforce this.


Each applicant should ensure that their application is supported by written statements from their supervisor and one other referee which should be sent IN CONFIDENCE to the Executive Secretary at the Society’s office to arrive no later than the closing date.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all references are received by the closing date.  Applications that are not fully supported by the closing date will not be considered.


Applications for awards must reach the Executive Secretary of the Society by 31 MARCH or 30 SEPTEMBER.  Successful applicants will receive their award after application to the Treasurer of the Society and they will be required to furnish a report of the work carried out during the tenure of the award.


Applicants should also seek other possible sources of funds, including their College and Department.


Download the Research Studentship application form in Word or pdf format.

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