Martingale Launches Solve for X: Where Academia Meets Industry 

Martingale Foundation launches new programme that challenges Scholars to tackle interdisciplinary real-world challenges in Mathematical Sciences

Over 70% of PhD graduates will leave academia within 3 years of completing study, with many of these graduates going on to highly successful and influential roles within industry, private and public sector. Therefore, Martingale is launching the exciting new programme Solve for X that helps prepare Martingale Scholars for a wide range of career paths.  

The Martingale Scholarship includes access to a prestigious development and leadership programme alongside postgraduate study. The programme provides training and experiences beyond what is usually on offer to a postgraduate student. Solve for X will be a key component of this experience, delivered in partnership with Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Newton Gateway to Mathematics and hosted by St John’s College, Cambridge.   

Solve for X is multi-year development challenge which promotes collaboration and progression of key professional skills.  

Applying an innovative approach that bridges the success of study groups and doctoral training centres, Solve for X integrates key elements of these formats into one programme for Martingale Scholars. It offers a holistic approach to skill-building and career progression, with Scholars participating in a residential retreat featuring group work, training sessions, and culminating in pitch presentations to an expert panel. 

“Solve for X equips Scholars with essential skills crucial for success in any career path, whether in academia, industry, public sector, or beyond. By fostering collaboration and empowering Scholars to address real-world challenges, this programme encourages the application of interdisciplinary knowledge, regardless of its pure or applied nature. I’m thrilled to launch this programme and collaborate with our partners to bring this vision to life.” – Cassandra Hugill, Chief Executive, Martingale Foundation 

At Masters level, Scholars will attend a four-day training camp that will provide fundamental skills for working with organisations beyond academia, such as industry. In groups, they will work to develop solutions to industry problems that have been solved through mathematical collaborations in the past, enabling Scholars to think outside the box and develop key skills in working with industry within a supportive and controlled environment. 

Over the four days, groups will work with experienced academic professionals to guide them through the process of applying their mathematical knowledge in an industry context. Communication and pitch training round out this package to ensure Scholars can convey their solutions in a clear and engaging way.  

Scholars will be mentored by experts in their field, providing support and encouragement throughout the week. Dr Joshua Males, a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Mathematics, University of Bristol and Solve for X mentor shares “The Martingale Foundation’s mission is crucial to developing future mathematicians, and training programmes like Solve for X are in turn one of the highlights for students. I’m excited to be able to work with the student cohort in Cambridge alongside colleagues at the Isaac Newton Institute and mentor the next generation in developing their mathematical ability and problem-solving skills.” 

At the end of the training, Scholars will pitch their proposed solutions to a panel of experts from academia and industry, with an award given to the best team pitch.  

This training camp will provide Scholars with vital skills and experience before the main event during their PhD. In year 2 of their PhD, Scholars will use their specialist skills to tackle real-world unsolved problems currently being faced by industry. This challenge will give Scholars a unique experience to work closely with industry and gain further understanding of the transferrable skills between academia and industry. It also gives industry a unique opportunity to work closely with a diverse group of talented mathematicians who are studying at leading UK universities.  

The Solve for X programme is proudly supported by the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Newton Gateway to Mathematics and St John’s College, University of Cambridge. Richard Partington, Senior Tutor of St John’s College, said: “St John’s College is privileged and delighted to be hosting Martingale Foundation Scholars and colleagues from across the UK for this important and exciting event. Enabling students to fully understand the real-world applicability of their subjects and to see how they can contribute to the world’s future through their academic ability should be part of what every university does. It’s brilliant that Martingale is ensuring that this happens for its Scholars.’ 

The Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences (INI) is a world-leading international visitor research institute based at the University of Cambridge. It specialises in long-term thematic residential programmes that bring together researchers from across the full breadth of the mathematical sciences, as well as other collaborative disciplines. During each scientific programme new collaborations are made, and methodology, knowledge and ideas are exchanged and catalysed through lectures, seminars and informal interaction. The Institute serves as a portal for UK mathematics, allowing UK researchers to present on an international platform while at the same time attracting prominent international scientists to the UK. INI is committed to promoting and communicating research mathematics broadly, supporting knowledge exchange, fostering the next generation of mathematical scientists, and creating an inclusive and diverse research environment.  

“The Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences is delighted to be working with the Martingale Foundation on Solve for X. We look forward to welcoming the first cohort of Scholars and helping to facilitate this exciting training experience, which hopefully will have a transformative effect on the careers of many of the Scholars.” – Dr Milla Kibble, Deputy Director, Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences 

The Newton Gateway to Mathematics is the impact initiative of INI and acts as a vehicle for knowledge exchange between the mathematical sciences and potential users of mathematics, including industry, government and other academic disciplines, both in the UK and internationally. It does this by making links and facilitating interactions and activities such as programmes of work, research and training events, as well as bespoke projects. 

“The Newton Gateway is proud to be collaborating with the Martingale Foundation on Solve for X and was delighted to be at the launch to meet the Scholars who we will be working with at this year’s training camp.” – Clare Merritt, Manager, Newton Gateway to Mathematics 

“Martingale is delighted to be working with the Isaac Newton Institute and Newton Gateway to deliver Solve for X, allowing our Scholars to benefit from their expertise in delivering impactful programmes on mathematical sciences to researchers from around the world. This is an incredible opportunity for Martingale Scholars to engage with a research institute and industry partners during their Masters, which will set them up brilliantly for their doctoral studies. We are also hugely grateful to St John’s College for their generous support of this event, ensuring Martingale Scholars have a wonderful experience in Cambridge this June.” – Dr Mary Henes, Head of Strategy and Operations, Martingale Foundation  

The launch took place at the second Martingale Development Day, held in partnership with the Royal Institution. After a day of networking, communication and project management training, Scholars were invited to a private audience with leading statistics Professor, Emma McCoy. After the private audience, Prof. McCoy gave a talk on data science, and how it can be used for both good and bad.  

“The Martingale Programmes Team are so excited to be launching Solve for X today. Along with our fantastic partners at the Isaac Newton Institute, Newton Gateway and St John’s College, Cambridge, we have been working hard to bring this training camp to life for Martingale Scholars, as the culmination of our Masters Development Programme. The team-based activities and training throughout the four days of Solve for X will provide a unique set of development experiences for Scholars, complementing their Masters studies and supporting them in their future academic and professional careers.” – Matt Garraghan, Programme Manager, Martingale Foundation 

The Masters Development Programme is a core element of the Martingale Masters Scholarship. We look forward to welcoming the inaugural cohort to the first Solve for X training camp in June this year.