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Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics


CAPE invites post-graduate students to submit their research idea for a short project (up to 6 months’ duration.)

Winners will receive a prize of £1,000 for projects involving development of a concept, or £2,000 for a project involving experimental testing of an idea. 


The project can address any engineering-related topic addressing a technological or societal need. Technology areas could include (but not limited to):

  • Materials and manufacturing processes
  • Energy and the environment
  • Devices and interfaces
  • Communications networks and systems design
  • Systems and devices for healthcare 


CAPA 2023 is open to all post-graduate students of the University of Cambridge, either individually or in a small team.

Supervisor’s approval

All participating students must have the written approval of their Supervisors before submission on the attached CAPA cover sheet.

How to apply

Applications should be sent by email to

Proposals are judged anonymously, so please do not include applicants name(s) in the proposal document.

The proposal document should be no more than 2 pages of A4 (at no less than 11 pt font size).

In order to help evaluate your proposal, we suggest that it includes the following information:

  • Summary – one paragraph giving overview of the project
  • Objective – describe the problem to be solved
  • Technical approach to be taken – how will the project solve the problem?
  • Potential benefits of the project – if the project is successful what could it lead to and why is that of interest?
  • Deliverables and timeline – what would the tangible outputs of the project be and when
  • Budget – what would be needed for the project (the CAPA award is £1,000 for projects involving development of a concept, or £2,000 for a project involving experimental testing to be spent on consumables and/or necessary travel)

The deadline for submission is Wednesday, 30 November 2022.

Evaluation procedure

Proposals will be evaluated by the CAPE Technology Focus Groups (TFGs), each of which includes representatives from each CAPE Partner company and also Academic evaluator. The final decision will be made by the CAPE Steering Committee, and the winners will be announced in December 2022. More than one project may be awarded.

The winners will present their project results to the CAPE Steering Committee during a CAPE Event in June 2023.

All applicants must agree to the CAPE Acorn Fund IP Terms and Conditions.

More details

For more information, please contact