Constitution of the Society

The Cambridge Philosophical Society was founded in 1819 'for the purpose of promoting scientific inquiry'. It became a Body Corporate by virtue of a Charter granted by King William IV in 1832.


The office of the Society is situated in Room F21, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge CB2 1RX (tel: 01223 334743, email: Information and application forms may be obtained from the Executive Secretary.


Membership of the Society comprises Honorary Members and Fellows. Any person desirous of becoming a Fellow must be recommended in writing by a Fellow who has been a member of the Society for at least three years and a person of appropriate standing, who knows the candidate personally in a professional capacity; approved candidates are elected at open meetings of the Society.

Applicants for membership are asked to present their signed certificates in person at the Society's office if possible.

A Fellow shall pay an annual subscription of £10.00 due in advance on 1 January each year, but if elected in the Michaelmas Term in any year shall not be required to pay the subscription which became due on the preceding 1 January. A Fellow, or Fellow-elect, may compound for all annual subscriptions by the payment of £150.00. A Fellow of ten years' standing may compound for all future annual subscriptions by the payment of £100.00.

A Fellow may receive either Biological Reviews or Mathematical Proceedings of the Society on payment of such sum as shall from time to time be determined by the Council and approved at a General Meeting (from 1 January 2005 £15.00 per annum for Biological Reviews and £30.00 for Mathematical Proceedings; but a Fellow who is a registered Graduate Student resident in Cambridge on 1 January of any year need pay no additional charge for that year for one of these journals which his Supervisor deems is relevant to his studies, provided that it is delivered to his College or Department).

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Periodicals published by the Society are Biological Reviews (published regularly since 1926) and Mathematical Proceedings (formerly entitled Proceedings, published regularly since 1843). Transactions, published 1821-1928, are now discontinued. Other works are published from time to time.


Research Studentships

The Society maintains a Studentship Fund to allow one or more Graduate Students to conclude a promising piece of research nearing completion. The Fund is intended expressly for this purpose; awards will not be made to extend the time that a student can spend in Cambridge unless there is evidence that an extension is likely to lead to the completion of a specific piece of research.

The Fund is used for the provision of one or more Studentships in any of the natural sciences, technologies, or branches of mathematics, for a period not longer than three months. Awards are not normally given for more than three months. Candidates should also seek other possible sources, including their Colleges.

The recipient of a Studentship must have been a Fellow of the Society for at least one year previous to the closing date for applications. Each applicant must give the names of two persons having knowledge of his work who will be called upon to act as referees. The closing dates for applications are 31 March and 30 September.

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Travel Grants


The Society will consider applications from Fellows for a limited number of grants for travel within and outside the United Kingdom to attend conferences, visit laboratories and conduct fieldwork. The recipient of a Travel Grant must have been a Fellow of the Society for at least one year previous to the closing date for applications. The closing dates for applications are 1 November, 1 February and 1 May for travel in the following vacations. Late applications for travel in August and September may be considered if submitted before 1 July and supported by good reasons for the delay.

Applicants must ensure that a letter of support is sent to the Society's office by the closing date. In the case of a Graduate Student the letter should come from the Supervisor.


(Download this Constitution in Word or pdf format.)

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