Information for Ph.D. students

Here are some potential highlights of a maths PhD at Cambridge. There may well be differences between what happens in the two different departments. If you can contribute useful information or top tips to these pages please get in touch with the committee.

Official sources of information

DAMTP: Internal page, grad students page, handbook
DPMMS: Internal page, new members page, grad students page, handbook
CCA: Internal page, handbook

First Year

Using your computer – You can find information on the DAMTP and DPMMS computing pages. If you can't work out how to do something, just ask. People are generally either keen to share their expertise or would like to know the answer themselves!
Attending lecture courses – PhD students often attend some Part III lecture courses during their PhD (but usually don't take the exams). See the official Part III page for a guide to courses and a lecture timetable.
Supervising undergrads – Most PhD students supervise at some point, often for their college. It can be extremely useful to review undergraduate level maths and it's pretty well paid. The faculty office has a page for supervisors, including a guide for supervisors and a link to a supervision matchmaking website (but you may want to try your own college first). 
Attending seminars - Lots of groups run seminars, and many students attend at least weekly during term. Most talks in Cambridge are listed on the page. Use the search function to find and subscribe to lists that suit you (e.g. specific seminar series, DAMTP or DPMMS lists, or All CMS events). 
Transferable Skills Training - You're supposed to clock up 10 days of TST activities per year during your PhD, but lots of things count (attending seminars/conferences, helping out with CUGMS events). The school of physical sciences run various events that you may find helpful or interesting.
LaTeX: We have a LaTeX wiki with useful links and tips here.

Second Year

4th term report and interview - You submit a progress review, are interviewed on it and then you can finally be registered as an official PhD student! There's more info here.
Smith-Knight and Rayleigh-Knight Prize Essays - Often based on your 4th term report, this is an opportunity to win money by writing some good maths, more info.
Attending conferences - Most students will attend a few conferences during their PhD, both national and international. There is funding available from the departments and your college. You can also apply to mathematical organisations, there is money out there if you search for it!
Giving seminars - Whatever field you move into after your PhD, being able to give a good seminar is an invaluable skill. Your supervisor will probably expect you to present at conferences, see this page if you'd like to practise in a more informal setting first.

Third Year

Applying for postdocs/jobs - The CU Careers Service is excellent. It may also be useful to contact people you've met at other institutions, or ask people in the CMS where they'd recommend looking. CUGMS maintains a Careers page with job opportunities that are emailed to us. We may try to start listing post doctoral positions there too.
Writing up & submitting - This is the point at which you may benefit if you've kept your work and references well organised, or written things up as you went along :) Apparently you have to do this too.

Fourth Year

4th Year funding - Your college or the Cambridge Philosophical Society may be able to help with extra funding. You must be a member of the Camb. Phil. Soc. for at least a year before you apply.
Closing your computing account - There's info on leaving DAMTP here.