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Exchanges and Internships

Caltech Exchange Scheme - funds one or two places on the Caltech summer exchange scheme at the California Institute of Technology for a Pembroke scientist or engineer, all expenses covered.

Caltech Exchange – Summer 2020

Each year Pembroke is allowed to nominate one or two high-flying science undergraduates to travel to Caltech for a summer undergraduate research programme. If you go you will learn a lot, have a wonderful time, and even get paid enough to cover your time in the US. (Caltech has a superb campus on the edge of Los Angeles)

Successful candidates are committed to spending ten weeks at Caltech, arriving between 16 and 21 June. On Campus housing is available, and the stipend is $6,420 (basic living costs amount to $3,000 - $4,000, so you will have enough for your airfare and other travel in the US). You only need a preliminary idea about the field that you would like to work in, and possible supervisors, when you submit your application: project subjects are developed during further discussion with Caltech once the decision as to who is going is taken. This year the choice of project labs will include LIGO (Laser Inteferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory).

Who is eligible?

Second or third year Natural Scientists, Computer Scientists, Engineers or Applied Mathematicians (not pure Mathematics), and second year Economists. We normally give preference to third years staying on for a fourth year, but may recommend good second years.

Application process

Important application guidance should be requested from Sally Clowes (  The following information should be discussed with your Director of Studies, and then must be submitted in electronic form (word documents please), to Sally Clowes ( by Wednesday 13 November 2019:

  1. A short essay (no more than one page, single-spaced) on why you would like to undertake this summer of research at Caltech and how the experience would complement your academic and professional plans and goals. Those applying for a LIGO placement must take note of important additional guidance and application requirements.
  2. A statement of research interests and previous research if any, together with a note of any familiarity with relevant academic software, databases, and other resources and equipment
  3. A current CV
  4. A list of 8 to 12 Caltech Professors with whom you would possibly like to work. For each Professor you identify you are asked to provide 8-10 lines of text that sets out the rationale for your interest in working in the group of that individual, identifying specific projects of interest to you.  You should read about each faculty's research area and group on the Caltech web page, listed below, and you should refer to current work in progress, not research completed or published. Please note that it is not possible to place students in theory areas.
  5. The names of two referees (please ask them first), who should write directly to Sally Clowes by Wednesday 13 November. (Electronic forms are available; please give Sally Clowes their names and contact details)

Selection will take place before the end of the Michaelmas term.

The Konan Internship

The Konan Internship is open to Pembroke undergraduates in their first, second or penultimate year of study (the timing of this internship makes it unsuitable for those undergraduates intending to graduate in 2019).  The internship (which covers all travel and accommodation costs relating to the internship, including a return flight to the Kansai area) will be based at Konan elementary school, near Kobe, in the Kansai area of Japan will take place in summer 2019. The successful candidates will participate in a two-week teaching internship at Konan School and will then have the opportunity to use a £500 award for the purposes of independent travelling within Japan (N.B. normal conditions pertaining to College travel scholarships will apply to this award).