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.  

Applications for Research Studentships must now be submitted using the CASC-FAS* online application system. We will no longer be able to accept applications by email or hard copy. (*Colleges Administrative Consortium – Fellowship Application System).

Please ensure you read the following notes to research applicants before you commence your application using the CASC-FAS log in:

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 a month 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. [Please see note below** for exceptional cases of less than one year’s membership relating to COVID-19 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 supervisor and referee reinforce this.

Each applicant should ensure that their application is supported by a supervisor’s report and one other referee (the referee should be an academic tutor or person of appropriate standing who knows the applicant in a professional capacity).  It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that both the supervisor and second referee provide their references by the closing date using the CASC-FAS online system.  Applications that are not submitted using the CASC-FAS by the closing date, or are incomplete will not be considered.

Applications for awards must be submitted to the CASC-FAS competition website by 31 March 2022.  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. Details of the funding body that has supported you during your three years' research should also be given.

[NOTE** For the September 2021 award round the Cambridge Philosophical Society has agreed that in exceptional cases, and where funds permit, it will waive the requirement for one full year’s membership of the Society for applications submitted by Fellows for COVID-19 related hardship, provided that the new Fellow’s application form and payment have been received prior to the date of the 25 January 2021 meeting of the Council.]

For the purposes of the new CASC-FAS application system please read the word “competition” as “grant application” where applicable. 

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31

01

Life in moving fluids - G I TAYLOR LECTURE

Professor Eric Lauga

  • 18:30 - 19:30 Babbage Lecture Theatre

Research in fluid mechanics has long been motivated by the desire to understand the world around us. Biology, in particular, is dominated by transport problems involving fluids, from the diffusion of nutrients and locomotion to flows around plants and the circulatory system of animals. The biological realm has therefore long been a source of inspiration for fluid mechanicians. 

In the 1950s, driven by the desire to understand the locomotion of spermatozoa, G I Taylor - the founder of modern fluid mechanics whose name is associated with this lecture - was the first to carry out a mathematical analysis of locomotion in a fluid. In the spirit of Taylor, I will highlight in this lecture examples where an analysis of fluid motion has lead to novel understanding of biological processes in the realm of cellular motility. 

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14

02

Should we automate?

Professor Duncan McFarlane

  • 18:30 - 19:30 Babbage Lecture Theatre

Originally a term used almost exclusively in the industrial domain, automation is now being applied in most aspects of life. Yet the rationale for automating and its implications is often not clearly understood. This talk will explore the origins of automation and examine what is encompassed by the term today. It will explore the rationale, benefits and downsides of automating - including implications for the future workforce - and will attempt to provide some signposting around whether we should automate, and if so when and where. A range of industrial automation developments from more than thirty years experience will be used to support this presentation.

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