About Summer CAMP
We recognise that certain groups of students are underrepresented in postgraduate study and academic careers, especially those from ethnic minority backgrounds or lower socioeconomic status, and we are taking active steps to address this inequality.
Summer CAMP is an opportunity for undergraduate students passionate about mental health and psychology to develop the necessary skills for postgraduate-level research and build connections within academia. This programme is free and run entirely online.
“I was quite nervous since I am just starting my undergraduate, however [CAMP] has been super beneficial because I learnt basic things just as referencing, citing to how to read a journal article and just listening to the talks and what different areas in research there is”Summer CAMP Participant 2021
Summer CAMP 2023
The Summer CAMP Experience
A critical research skill is knowing how to turn an academic interest into a concrete research question with a tangible plan. CAMP Scholars will be paired with a Cambridge postgraduate researcher who will provide one-on-one supervision to help develop this skill.
Throughout the two-week programme, Scholars will write a research proposal (1200 word limit) on a topic that aligns with their postgraduate supervisor’s work.* They will arrange 4-5 one-hour supervision meetings to develop a realistic proposal for a masters-level research project. Supervisors will guide on structuring the proposal, reading and citing research articles, writing in an academic style, and other necessary skills.
On the final day, Scholars will give a short oral presentation on their proposal. After the programme, supervisors will provide feedback on the written proposal and presentation.
The programme will also include:
- Virtual social for Scholars and supervisors to meet
- Q&A panel on postgraduate student life
- Session on postgraduate applications and funding
- Talks from Cambridge faculty members
- Opportunity to attend a Cambridge research group meeting
What is a research proposal?
A research proposal is a document that outlines what you would like to research and how you intend to do this. It includes a background section summarising what is already known and the central aims of your study; a methods section detailing how you will collect and analyse data; and a conclusion discussing why your work is important.
Postgraduate psychology courses often require a research proposal as part of their application, and for PhD programmes, it is arguably the most important document you will submit. As the applicant, it allows you to demonstrate that you have the aptitude for postgraduate-level research, can concisely communicate complex ideas, and that your interests fit the supervisor to whom you are applying.
However, undergraduate students are not typically taught how to write a research proposal, making postgraduate applications seem daunting. We hope that Summer CAMP will provide our Scholars will the practical knowledge and confidence to pursue academic research in mental health and psychology.
*Please note that Scholars will not be conducting any research during the programme or carrying out their proposed project.
“CAMP was an excellent opportunity to get to know more about the academic world and all the opportunities it has to offer. I feel more confident now to apply for further education programs, and writing a research proposal does not feel so scary anymore.”Summer CAMP Participant 2021
Summer CAMP is open to undergraduate students who are currently based in the UK or Ireland and interested in pursuing research careers or postgraduate study in mental health or psychology. The programme is not restricted to students studying psychology.
Applicants must meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria:
- First generation to attend university
- From an ethnic minority background
- Having sought asylum in the UK and/or identify as a refugee
- Having been eligible for free school meals
- Education has been affected by illness or disability
- Having been, or currently are, in care
- Having been, or currently are, a carer
- the programme in not open to students currently studying at Cambridge or Oxford.
You can access the application form here. Short-listed applicants will be invited to an informal online interview shortly after the application deadline, where you will have the chance to discuss your research interests with potential supervisors. Application deadline is Friday, 19 May 2023 at 5 PM (GMT). This year’s programme will run from 14 August – 01 September 2023. If you have any questions about your eligibility or the application process, contact us at Summer_CAMP@medschl.cam.ac.uk.
You may want to think about the following things, before filling out our application form:
- Your motivation to take part in Summer CAMP 2023
- Your academic or career goals
- A piece of academic work that you are proud of
- Your research interests and any ideas you have for a potential research proposal
Meet the Organising Team
We are a group of postgraduate students at the University of Cambridge who came together to recognise that certain groups of students are underrepresented in postgraduate study and academic careers, which is why we founded Summer CAMP. Both Nina and Martine, our founders, have now finished their PhDs at Cambridge but Summer CAMP continues to grow. If you are a postgraduate student in Cambridge and are interested in helping us either in organising this programme, or by supervising a student please get in touch.
MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit
Meet the CAMP 2023 Supervisors
During the programme, you will be advised by one of our Summer CAMP supervisors, who will help you to write a research proposal.
““During the programme [I] got all the support I needed from my supervisor and I would definitely have to say that I felt like one of them. For the 2 week period I felt as if I was a PhD student at Cambridge. I would highly recommend this programme!!!”Summer CAMP Participant 2021
Department of Psychiatry | Cambridge Neuroscience
I am a PhD student undertaking neuroscience research in the field of dementia. Specifically, my research focuses on how the health of small vessels in the brain relate to other brain changes commonly seen in dementia, as a way of understanding the contribution of vessel-related changes in cognitive impairment. As part of this project, I am also looking at the heart-brain connection, by studying the interactions between heart health and risk factors of cerebral small vessel disease, e.g., sex, high blood pressure, exercise, diabetes, etc.
I have been an aspiring clinical psychologist for 5 years since graduating with an MSc in Cognitive Neurosciences from Kings College London. As a first-generation graduate in the family, I know first-hand the challenges faced by socioeconomic adversity into the accessibility to the clinical psychology profession: be it in the NHS or within academia.
Blanca Piera Pi-Sunyer
I am currently a second year PhD student in the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience research group at the Department of Psychology. My project aims to understand the role of peer and friendship groups, family support and neighbourhood cohesion in self-judgments and mental health during adolescence. My background and interests lay at the intersection between psychology, the social sciences and cognitive neuroscience.
Department of Psychology
I am a first-gen academic and the first person in my family with an undergrad degree. I studied at Royal Holloway, UCL and worked at the University of Oxford before coming to Cambridge to work with Prof. Rebecca Lawson on the computational psychiatry of anxiety and depression symptoms and their implementation in the brain. I am generally interested in using computational models and neuroimaging to improve our understanding of mental health in a way that is clinically relevant.
Jacqueline von Seth
I’m a second-year PhD student at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit. I’m originally from Germany and hold an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Aberdeen as well as an MPhil in Basic and Translational Neuroscience from the University of Cambridge. For my PhD research, I use neuroimaging (MEG) and behavioural data (collected online) to study multisensory integration for speech perception during face-to-face communication.
Centre for Family Research
I’m a Gates Cambridge Scholar and for my PhD, I am examining the link between parent-child conversations and children’s executive functions. I administer cognitive assessments to 4- to 6-year-old children and obtain recordings of family talk unobtrusively in the family’s natural environment via wearable audio processing devices. I’m particularly interested in conversations that occur at mealtimes and finding ways in which parental talk can promote children’s cognitive development.
MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit
My name’s Rebecca and I’m a first year PhD student specialising in dementia research. I use behavioural tests, neuroimaging and computational modelling to explore how the brain works and what might go wrong to cause dementia symptoms such as apathy. I’m originally from the North of England so love a good brew while I work. I also enjoy baking (a hobby you can eat = win-win) and taking part in theatre around Cambridge.
Department of Psychology
I grew up in Germany and moved to England for university where I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford in 2019. Throughout my undergraduate degree, I undertook several research internships relating to topics ranging from learning theory to cellular mechanisms in neurodegeneration in the UK and the US. In 2020, I completed my MPhil in Basic and Translational Neuroscience from the University of Cambridge where I am currently a PhD student in Professor David Belin’s lab. My work mainly focuses on the plasticity of amygdala neurons in substance use disorders, which I investigate using behavioural rat models of cocaine addiction. I use whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology and molecular biology methods to elucidate these mechanisms.
Tanatswa is the Founder and Director of Ndinewe Foundation, a youth led mental health organisation that seeks to promote good mental health for children, adolescents and youths in Zimbabwe. She is also a member of the Student Space Governance Group which serves as a critical friend to the Student Minds team ensuring that the Student Space programme is run well. Tanatswa’s research interests lie primarily in cognitive neuroscience. She is interested in the underlying mechanisms of mental illness, as well as neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental conditions, paying particular attention to diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. Tanatswa is currently pursuing an MPhil in Basic and Translational Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge and her research project is identifying the utility of serum cytokine markers in identifying inflammation and its relationship with neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with frontotemopral dementia and related conditions.