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Academic related staff handbook (these pages are under review for 2022 - 2023)

This handbook has been produced as a guide for academic-related staff in the Department of Chemistry. 

This guide is intended to bring together information relevant to all academic-related staff, all of whom play an important and valuable role in supporting the Department’s world leading research. We hope the information found here deals with any academic-related staff issues. If you require further information or clarification, please ask your line manager or a member of the personnel administration office. 

The information provided is, to the best of our knowledge, up to date at the time. You are advised to check specific websites for the most up to date information. 


  1. Our mission and values                                              
  2. Chemistry in Cambridge
  3. Research Interest Groups (RIGS)
  4. Athena SWAN
  5. Departmental personnel
  6. Departmental committees

2.  Important Departmental Rules                                                                                       

  1. Security
  2. Safety
  3. Health and Well-being 
  4. Environmental

3.  Departmental Facilities                                                                                                  

  1. Reception 
  2. Postal services
  3. Visitor Car Parking 
  4. Meeting rooms and out of hours bookings
  5. Computing 
  6. Chemistry Library
  7. Stores
  8. Photography
  9. Photocopying and printing
  10. The Cybercafe and beyond
  11. Email communication and notice boards
  12. Technical support and workshops

4.Joining the Department                                                                                                  

  1. Work Health Declaration, Medical Screening and Occupational Health
  2. Contract of employment 
  3. Induction 
  4. University card
  5. Probation 
  6. Mentoring
  7. Communication and your manager
  8. Changes in personal circumstance
  9. Car parking

5.  Working in the Department                                                                                            

  1. Your role and responsibilities 
  2. Pay and salary progression
  3. Hours of work
  4. Leave
  5. Equal and diversity
  6. Dignity@work 
  7. Your continued professional development
  8. Grievances, disciplinary and appeals
  9. University employee benefits
  10. Travel insurance
  11. Outside interests
  12. Networks

6.  Leaving the Department                                                                                                  

  1. Resignation and notice period
  2. Dismissal
  3. Termination of fixed and limited term contracts  
  4. Retirement
  5. Leavers’ process

Welcome from the Head of Department 

Professor James Keeler

Head of Department



I would like to welcome you to the Department of Chemistry. I hope your career with us will be both enjoyable and rewarding. 

It is our policy to communicate regularly with staff, students and visitors on matters of importance, such as changes to employment legislation, rules and regulations, or information relating to University or Departmental policy and procedure, and to promote the many training opportunities that are available throughout the year

This guide provides essential information about the Department; some general information about the terms and conditions of your employment; and more specific information about policies and procedures. There are also a range of online resources on the Departmental webpages.  

If you need any further information or support please do not hesitate to ask your Supervisor, Principal Investigator or Line Manager.


1.a) Commitment to University Mission and Core Values

The Department is committed to:

These embrace the framework in which the Department operates and the requirement that we create and maintain an environment that is free from all unlawful forms of discrimination and unacceptable behaviour such as racial, sexual and disability harassment, as well as bullying. If you ever feel that these freedoms are being violated you should talk in confidence to your Head of Group, Section or Sector.

Our Departmental Vision, Mission and Values

Our vision is to enhance our reputation as a world-class teaching and research institution which is recognised for its innovation, excellence and discovery, and attracts the best students and staff worldwide.

Our mission is to maintain a Department that is regarded as equal to any in terms of its relevance of teaching and research, its quality of support and facilities and the learning opportunities and working experience it offers.

We aspire to values which are based on the highest professional and academic standards in terms of personal growth and satisfaction offered to our staff and students, growth and excellence in what we do, teamwork that is based on respect, trust and integrity, and innovation to promote growth and value to our research sponsors.

1.b) Chemistry in Cambridge

Chemistry in Cambridge aims to support fundamental science of the highest quality in a first class physical environment. The Department includes a large number of internationally recognised research groups covering an exceptionally broad spectrum of chemical science ranging from molecular biology to geophysics. Our enthusiastic research culture embraces new challenging areas, including strong collaborations with other academic disciplines and institutions, while maintaining a powerful presence in the traditional core areas of chemistry.

The Chemistry Department hosts around 200 postdoctoral research staff, over 250 postgraduate students, around 60 academic staff and over 100 support staff.

Three strategic collaborative research areas unify the development of research within the Department:

  • Chemistry of Health aims to advance the understanding of health and disease in a number of areas that are of global importance: these include ageing, cancer and infection.
  • Sustainable Energy, Environment and Climate aims to increase understanding of the impact of chemical processes on the environment and to develop sustainable energy systems.
  • Innovative Molecular and Materials Design aims to transform the development and assembly of important functional chemicals to produce new high-value products that will lead to novel applications in health care, agriculture, energy and consumer products.

1.c) Research Interest Groups (RIGs)

The Department’s research structure is organised around five Research Interest Groups (RIGs):

Most staff participate in more than one RIG; this interaction benefits research in all of the groups. 

1.d) Athena SWAN

Athena SWAN is a national scheme to promote women's careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM). As a founder member and institutional award holder, the University is actively engaged in promoting the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter and encourages eligible Departments to participate in this important initiative. Nationally, there are over 90 member institutions, including 23 of the 24 Russell Group Universities.

The Department of Chemistry holds an Athena SWAN silver award and has an Athena SWAN working group tasked with identifying and driving a Departmental action plan. As a result, the Department has made significant progress in its provision for researchers working through its actions and targeting the following key priorities:  

  • Improve the proportion of women Undergraduate and Post Graduate Students
  • Support the recruitment, retention and promotion of female staff
  • Provide a culture where everyone can succeed

This includes a revised staff review and development scheme, a mentoring scheme for contract research staff and the introduction of leavers questionnaires to help us celebrate and improve. 

1e) Department personnel 





Head of Department

Dr James Keeler


Secretary to the Head of Department

Chloe Barker


Deputy Head of Department - responsibility for staff

Dr Nick Bampos


Academic Secretary - Departmental Administrator

Dr Howard Jones


Support Services Manager -Departmental Administrator

Marita Walsh


Departmental Safety Officer

Dr Richard Turner


Building Services Manager

Matthew Bushen


Finance Manager

Ann Searle


Postgraduate Student Adviser

Tessa Blackman


Research Grants Adviser

Sue Cowen


Welfare, Training and Development Adviser

Kathleen Pickett


Senior Librarian

Clair Castle


1f) Departmental Committees

The Department has a number of Committees representing staff, operational and research matters. Each staff category is represented by its own staff committee that reports in to the Staff Management Committee to ensure that employee-related issues and ideas are given the time and attention they deserve, well communicated and escalated as appropriate. 

More about the structure of the Department and an overview of all Departmental committees is available on the Departmental Committee pages.

Important Departmental Information 

2.a) Security

If you see anything of a suspicious nature or you have any questions about general aspects of security, whether relating to buildings or equipment, please contact Reception on 36300. 

For help in an emergency during office hours, call 43027 or 101 (out of office hours).

Call 999 (112 from mobiles) for emergency services.

Emergency information is available on the Safety pages.

i) Access to the Department (Mifare Access Control System)

Access to the Department (other than Reception and the East End foyer) is via an Electronic Access Control System called Mifare and requires the use of your University Photo ID Card. Your Mifare card also unlocks the gates to the cycle compound.

Admission is reserved for registered and authorised personnel who hold a programmed University Photo ID Card. If you are followed through a Mifare controlled door, please check that the person following you is allowed through. If they are genuine, they will have their University Card with them.

The main entrance doors to the building are locked at night and at weekends. Access via the main foyer doors is between 7.30am and 6pm Monday to Friday and between 8am and 1pm on Saturdays during term-time only. Access to the Department can be gained by authorised card-holders between 6pm and midnight Monday to Friday and between 8am and midnight at weekends via the West End front door. Outside normal working hours entry to the Department is via Reception only.

Entry to offices and research laboratories may be either by key, number pad or card reader. 

Normal working hours for technical, secretarial and cleaning staff (who operate on a flexible work system) are between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Keys and cards must not be transferred from one person to another.

Lost or stolen cards should be reported immediately to Emma Graham, Personnel Administrator, Department’s Administration Office, Room 146, to be deactivated.

For access to areas other than those programmed on your card please contact Reception.


It is a Departmental requirement that EVERYONE signs in and out via the screen in the West End (front) foyer if they enter or leave the Department after 7pm Monday to Friday or anytime at weekends.

ii) Data protection and Cyber security

The General Data Protection Regulation (2018) sets out rules for processing personal information, and it applies to paper records as well as those held on computer. The GDPR gives individuals certain rights, and also imposes obligations on those who record and use personal information to be open about how information is used and to follow six data protection principles. Personal data must be processed so that data are:

  • processed fairly and lawfully and only if there is a valid ‘legal basis’ for doing so
  • processed only for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes
  • adequate, relevant and limited
  • accurate (and rectified if inaccurate)
  • not kept for longer than necessary
  • processed securely – to preserve the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the personal data

UIS has launched a new cyber security awareness course to help staff keep themselves and their data safe from cyber attacks. This training is now part of the induction process for new joiners, but all staff are encouraged to complete the 15-minute course to refresh their knowledge and increase their confidence in dealing with new threats. Further details are available on the IT Help and Support site

iii) Personal data

The University holds personal data on members of staff. The data collected is necessary for compliance with employment law and the administration of an individual’s employment contract. It is used for a full range of staff administration including: to establish an employee’s training and development requirements; to assess an individual’s qualifications and suitability, including state of health, for a particular job or task; to gather further evidence where there is a prima facie case for disciplinary action; to administer the payroll and pension scheme; to establish a contact point in the case of an emergency (e.g. next of kin).

The information is also used, in aggregate and anonymised form, to monitor staff posts to check that no discrimination is taking place, and to enable the University to take active steps to bring about fair treatment for all.

Full details of your rights and responsibilities under the GDPR are available online at Information Compliance.

iv) Security and avoidance of theft

Although the department is occupied 24 hours a day it is still vulnerable to petty theft.

It is the responsibility of everyone in the Department to reduce to a minimum the likelihood of theft, and to reduce to a minimum the loss should a break-in occur. You should check that all doors and windows are locked securely whenever rooms are unoccupied, and especially outside normal working hours.

Please ensure you secure all personal belongings whilst you are in or around the department at all times, especially bags, wallets and purses. You are encouraged to keep valuables out of sight whenever possible. Avoid hanging coats and jackets, or leaving handbags and cases, near to doors. Personal property is not covered by University insurance.

Also, remember to secure your car or bicycle when left in the car park or cycle parking.

Report any vehicle being damaged or anyone acting in a suspicious way to Reception or the Security staff immediately

v) Sale of Personal Property and Personal Requirements

The following departmental rules apply to staff and students:

  • The department address or any telephone numbers may not be used in advertisements for the sale of personal property or for personal requirements.
  • Email may not be used to advertise private sales or to lobby for election to University or College committees.
  • The sale of goods on departmental premises is not permitted. Exceptions may be made for charity fund-raising with prior permission.

vi) Personal Possessions

The Department will not accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, personal property on the premises. Personal property is not covered by the University's insurance policy. If you lose, or find, any personal articles please notify Reception

vii) Collections

If you wish to carry out a collection, for example for a charity, you must obtain prior approval from Marita Walsh, Support Services Manager or, for post-graduate students, your supervisor. 

2.b) Safety 

i) Safe Working Practices

We believe that adequate provision for health and safety is essential to working life in the Department and the University is legally obliged to provide a safe place for you to work. We therefore aim to ensure that everyone working in, or visiting the Department, is fully aware of their responsibility for safe working practices, and of the rules and procedures which are relevant to their role.

Each new member of staff should receive a Health and Safety induction as soon as practicably possible.  You will receive a copy of the Safety Handbook and a Statement on Safety Regulations to be signed by you declaring you have read the handbook and will comply with the COSHH and other safety requirements. This book is given to all members of staff, students and visitors; it contains a wealth of general safety information.

If your work requires you to wear protective clothing such as boots, lab coats, safety glasses etc, it will be provided by the Department. 

A dispensing optician also attends on-site to meet staff and students who require prescription safety spectacles. Please let Reception know if you have a requirement. 

ii) The Departmental Safety Handbook provides detailed information on departmental policies and arrangements on Health and Safety, including the following:

  • Requirements for all individuals of the Department’s safety rules and procedures - section 2.9
  • Risk assessments – section 4.1
  • If your work requires you to wear protective clothing such as boots, lab coats, safety glasses etc, it will be provided by the Department – section 6.1.
  • Use of laboratory facilities outside normal working hours – section 9.1.1
  • Lone working – section 9.5
  • Children and unauthorised persons – section 9.3

Visitors must be accompanied at all times.

Unless work related, you must not receive visitors at work or bring anyone into the Department at any time.

v) Alcohol Policy

The Health & Safety at Work Act states that employers must safeguard, so far as reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of those people who work for them. 

No individual should work in the Department having consumed more than two units of alcohol. If this limit is exceeded, for example at lunchtime, personnel must not return to work, and must take the rest of the working day off as part of their holiday entitlement.

Departmental parties, e.g. the Christmas party, retirement parties etc, must be held after 4pm and there must be no consumption of alcohol in laboratories under any circumstances. Anybody who has consumed more than two units of alcohol at a Departmental or private party in the Department, must leave the premises and must not return to the laboratories that day. Small celebration parties and receptions can take place at any time with the approval of the Head of Department, provided that no individual drinks more than two units of alcohol.

vi) This is a no-smoking site. Smoking is only permitted on the corner of the car park closest to the Lensfield Road/ Panton Street junction. Ask Reception for directions.

Further safety information can be found:

2.c) Wellbeing

Health and wellbeing falls under Health and Safety legislation and is taken seriously in the Department.  

Stress at work - The University of Cambridge is committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment for its staff and recognises the importance of fostering psychological as well as physical wellbeing.

This commitment arises from the University's duty of care to all of its staff, and more generally the recognition that a safe and healthy working environment contributes to the motivation, job satisfaction, performance, and creativity of all staff. 

Specifically, the University is committed to the promotion of health, to the prevention of work-related stress and to the provision of support to any member of staff who may suffer stress. This means identifying those jobs that can place individuals at risk, and making sure there are measures in place to control or mitigate any risks identified. Managers are responsible for ensuring that this happens within their own work areas.

Managing stress does present a challenge to all those concerned, and this can be difficult to tackle when there is an impact on the stressed person and those around them, seriously affecting quality of working lives, and effectiveness in the workplace. It is therefore important for a manager to take prompt action in order to prevent, minimise and manage stress.

The University has published advice for staff and managers on how to tackle stress at work.

To discuss this issue, please speak with your line manager or contact your local administrators below. You may then be referred on to the School’s HR Consultant or to Occupational Health. 

For support contact Kathleen Pickett, Welfare, Training and Development Adviser or Marita Walsh, Support Services Manager. 

University Wellbeing Strategy – The University wellbeing strategy’s goal is to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of University staff and to prevent work associated ill health for the overall benefit of staff and the organisation. This encompasses the physical, mental and social health of employees and recognises that employees’ values, personal development and work within the University contribute to their overall wellbeing at work.

The Department’s WellChem website and noticeboard provides details of departmental and University wide wellbeing events as well as contact details for your departmental wellbeing advocates. 

University Staff Counselling Service - a separate and dedicated University Staff Counselling Service is available for all University employees. To make an appointment, you will need to complete and submit a ‘Pre-counselling form’ online. 

Occupational Health Centre – its mission statement is 'to prevent ill health and promote health amongst University staff '. Staff are available 8.30am - 4.30pm Monday to Friday, by appointment, for confidential advice and consultation on all matters relating to work activities. The Service does not provide emergency treatment; you should contact the Department’s First Aiders for this. The Service works closely with the Safety Office.

The University Wellbeing pages contain information on both internal and external sources of support for its staff.


2.d) Environmental 

Although many environmental concerns are global, there is much that can be done locally to contribute to a more sustainable future. The University of Cambridge is committed to that goal. The Environment and Energy Sectionprovides information on environmental aspects of the University's operations. 

The University Green Impact environmental accreditation scheme encourages departments and colleges to reduce their environmental impact. The Department has achieved the Green Impact Silver Award having designed ways to reduce for its members to reduce their carbon footprint.

Departmental Facilities 

3.a) Reception

Reception (36300) is open Monday to Friday between 8.00am and 5.00pm. 

3.b) Postal Services

All incoming mail is delivered to Reception and distributed:

  • Mail for academic and professional services staff is placed in pigeon-holes on the ground floor, north wing.
  • Mail for researchers and post-graduates is placed in pigeon holes on the ground floor, south wing.

Outgoing mail and mail for the University Messenger Service (UMS) may be handed to Reception and must be in reception by 4pm for the last Royal Mail collection at 4.15pm, Monday - Friday. There is a post-box for pre-paid mail next to the counter in Reception. UMS deliveries and collections are normally made once a day at approx. 9.00am, Monday - Friday, including bank holidays.

3.c) Visitor car parking

The Department has a few spaces that are reserved for visitors. These MUST be booked in advance using the departmental booking system. To view parking availability access the booking database.

To book a car parking space email Visitors can email this directly. 

Requests will then be responded to directly with parking advice either confirming or advising of alternative options. If a booked space is no longer required, please use the same email address to cancel the space so that it can be used for others.

Please note: Representatives from companies will not be allocated parking unless they are carrying equipment for demonstrations. 

3.d) Meeting rooms and out of hours bookings

Departmental lecture theatres and meeting rooms are available for pre-booking on the meeting room booking system. Bookings should be made by email:

If you wish to use the Cybercafé or any meeting room/area for parties out of work hours you must apply for permission from the Catering Committee. The online form is available on the Cybercafé booking site.

3.e) Computing facilities

Computing Services are provided at University, Department and Group level.

Full details of Departmental computing services can be found on the Department computing website.

Access to most Departmental computing services requires an Admitto account. This is usually created automatically for you when you join the Department, and information about collecting your Admitto password should be provided to you as part of your induction. This acccount provides access to a number of services, including but not limited to:

  • Departmentally-managed desktop computers
  • Group fileservers (N.B. provision of fileservers varies between research groups)
  • The VPN service

The Department’s Computer Officers help with all IT related matters. The best way to reach them is by email ( Email sent to this address enters a trouble ticketing system which ensures all issues are tracked through to resolution.

Network connections

There are wired and wireless networks within the building. Wireless networks include:

  • ChemNet – the Chemistry Department's own wireless network
  • Eduroam – for Raven password holders and visitors from other academic institutions
  • UniOfCam – for Raven password holders and guests (access by temporary ticket)

The different networks provide different levels of access to facilities such as printers and journals.

To register your personal laptop on the department network: plug it into a live network socket or connect it to a Chemistry network wireless access point, open a web browser, and follow the on-screen instructions. A Raven password is required, and you must have completed the Department's registration process.

University Information Services (UIS) 

Most staff, students and visitors to the Department also receive access to centrally-provided services which include email, the Managed Cluster Service (MCS) and the Raven service for accessing private University web pages. You will require a Raven password to use any of these services. As part of your induction you will receive information about applying for UIS accounts and instructions about collecting your Raven password.

Visitors who have not been registered automatically may apply to the Department Computer Officers for accounts. 

Managed Cluster Service (MCS)

The Department has some generally accessible computers, the MCS managed by the Desktop Services team at the University Information Services (UIS). You will require a Raven password to log in to one of these computers. 

The Chemistry MCS computers are located in:

▪Room G30 - 29 PCs and Konica Minolta multi-function device (MFD – copy, print, scan)

▪Room 155B - 10 PCs and Konica Minolta MFD

▪The library - 16 PCs, 2 Macs and Konica Minolta MFD

▪The Cybercafé - 6 Macs

Our MCS PCs can dual-boot into Ubuntu Linux or Windows 10. It is also possible to login remotely from any internet-connected computer to the MCS Linux service.

Access to online resources

Some online library services require a Raven password for access, as do many local web pages that are not open to public view.

Information and Training

Various computer courses, both taught and self-paced, are provided by the University Information Services. These are free to members of the University. Details of each term's training offerings may be obtained from the UIS training website.

Conditions of use 

It is a condition of use of University and Departmental facilities that the University policy on the acceptable use of computer facilities, email and the internet is observed. It is a condition of use of Departmental facilities that the Department's IT Policies are observed.

3.f) Chemistry Department Library

The Library, located in the Centre for Molecular Informatics, is open to members of the department from 7.30am to midnight, Monday to Sunday, except during the Christmas and Easter departmental closures. The Library office is normally staffed between 8am and 2.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Members of other departments may use the library between 8am and 5pm. External visitors should contact the library office to arrange access. 

3.g) Stores

Stores are located in the basement of the south wing. They stock a wide range of general laboratory supplies (glassware, gloves, tubing), commonly used chemicals and office consumables (CDs, printer cartridges). Requisition forms are available at the stores counter. You should enter the goods required, the stock code (see the Stores catalogue), the price and an account code. (Ask your supervisor for account codes).

Stores opening hours (are between 10am-12.30pm and 2.30pm-4pm and Office/Goods-in hours are between 8am-1pm and 2pm-4pm Monday to Friday. Stores are usually closed over Bank Holidays and for stock taking at the end of January and July.

3.h) Purchasing non-stock items

If you require items not stocked in Stores, ask your line manager how to raise an external purchase order. Do not attempt to purchase goods yourself.

Electronic requisitioning (i-Procurement)

The University's electronic ordering system is called i-Procurement (i-Proc). Before using it, you must work complete the online training, details of this training can be found on the departmental Finance pages

Purchased goods are delivered to Stores. You will receive an email when the order has arrived and is ready for you to collect. Email Stores for further information.

3.i) Photography

The Photography and Reprographics Office provides a range of services, including:

  • Studio and location photography
  • Passport and visa photographs
  • Design and print of business cards, signs, posters and forms
  • Advice on poster design and creation, photography, cameras and digital techniques.

3.j) Photocopying and Printing

Photocopying and printing, in colour or black and white, is available in the Photography and Reprographics Office. All private copying and printing must be paid for at the advertised rate.

Photocopier cards may be purchased from the Library office. Photocopiers accepting these cards can be found in the Library and outside Room 259, North wing.

3.k) The Cybercafé 

The Cybercafé on the top floor of the Centre for Molecular Informatics is open for service from 9.00am to 3.45pm, Monday to Friday except bank holidays.

The café offers a range of hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, crisps, cakes, biscuits and snacks. A hot food vending machine offers breakfast and other items such as panini, baguettes, pastry rolls and burgers. Several microwave ovens are provided for personal use.

Additional vending machines can be found in the Cybercafé and on the first floor, east end, which offer a range of drinks and snacks. During Term time, a food counter in the east end foyer sells hot and cold drinks and a range of food items.

Drinking water is available in the Cybercafé and in most toilets from taps labelled 'D' for ‘Drinking’.

Never eat in the laboratories

Never drink from the taps in laboratories

Never use ice from any ice-making machines to cool food or drinks

Items that might be contaminated with chemicals etc. must not be taken into the Cybercafé. These include lab coats, lab books or similar items.

3.l) Email Communications & Notice Boards

Most new information is distributed by email so please check your mailbox frequently. Staff noticeboards are located in the ground floor stairwells and outside room 141.

3.m) Technical services and workshops

Technical staff work in the following workshops:

  • Electrical/Electronic 
  • Glassblowing
  • Mechanical

Ask your PI or Supervisor about the services or the material and equipment available from these workshops.

Joining the Department 

4.a) Work Health Declaration, Medical Screening and Occupational Health Service

The Department is committed to equality of opportunity and to a pro-active and inclusive approach to equality.

Work Health Declaration - All new employees are sent a work health declaration (OHF30) form with their job offer letter and asked to return the completed declaration before they start work. If you declare a disability or health condition that could affect your ability to carry out your work, a proper assessment will be carried out by the Occupational Health Service to establish whether reasonable adjustments can be made to your work environment and working arrangements.

Medical Screening - Depending on your duties, you may also be asked to complete a medical questionnaire and required to attend the Occupational Health Service for a medical examination before you are offered a post. 

Failure to disclose information about health problems that affect your ability to work may result in the termination of your employment. You may also be asked to attend the Occupational Health Service during the course of your employment if your health is causing difficulties for you at work.

4.b) Contract of Employment

Right to Work check - the Right to Work check must be completed by a member of the admin team by 9.30am on your first day of work in the department. Please contact Rachael Jefferies for further information if required.

Shortly after commencing employment with the Department you will receive your Contract of Employment.

4.c) Induction 

We recognise that it is important that the foundations for good working practices are established at the outset of your appointment. The person most familiar with the requirements of your job, typically your line manager, will usually be responsible for your induction, monitoring your performance, providing guidance on a day-to-day basis, and arranging for any necessary training.

Your induction programme is designed so that you can fit in quickly and effectively. You will meet new colleagues and be given details of the main responsibilities of your post, sources of immediate help and support, and the terms and conditions of your employment. These include relevant policies and procedures, and health, safety and welfare matters.

Additionally, you are encouraged to join the University’s Online Staff Induction course which complements the induction you will receive from within the Department and to attend the University’s Welcome Talk which runs termly. 

4.d) University photo ID cards

Your University Photo ID Card will be available from the Department's Personnel Administration Office 7-10 days after your start date. Once you have completed the registration process, Reception will issue you with a temporary pass, please be sure to return it when you have received your University Photo ID card. 

Your Photo ID Card is personal to you and must not be shared with others.

Your University Photo ID Card will entitle you to use other University services, provide access to some other University buildings and the Reward and Benefits scheme.

Should you leave the Department, your University Photo ID Card must be returned to Reception or the Department’s Personnel Administration Office.

4.e) Probation

Probation is a formal arrangement at the start of an appointment whereby new staff demonstrate their suitability for a particular job within a set time period. The length of the probation period varies according to both grade or nature of a post and the length of the appointment. Details will be set out in your contract of employment.

A probationary period is served for a particular job. In addition to your initial appointment you may have to serve a further period of probation if you are subsequently appointed to a new post with different or additional duties and responsibilities.

During the probationary period your supervisor will arrange a series of progress reviews at appropriate intervals. The purpose of these formal assessments at various stages of probation is two-fold. Firstly, they are a means of demonstrating and building on progress made and secondly, in the event of any problem arising, they ensure there are clear indications of the difficulties that have arisen and the steps taken to attempt to resolve them. The decision to confirm your appointment at the end of your probationary period will be based on these assessments. 

Towards the end of the probationary period your supervisor will liaise with Marita Walsh, Support Services Manager, regarding an overall assessment of your performance from these reviews. For unestablished academic-related staff, Marita will hold a final probationary meeting with you and either confirm your appointment or take alternative action. For established academic-related staff, your final probationary meeting will take place with your line manager who will confirm the outcome to Marita. 

Further information about probation is in the University’s Probation Policy for Academic-Related Staff.

4.f) Mentoring 

It is University policy to ‘facilitate personal and professional development enabling individuals and groups to achieve their full potential’. Mentoring is a dynamic way to facilitating such development and is a means of providing structured support to a member of staff in the early stages of a new appointment.

If you would like to be mentored, please speak with your line manager in the first instance or with Marita Walsh or Kathleen Pickett. 

4.g) Communication and your manager

Perhaps the most important means of communication are the informal face-to-face discussions that occur each day about your job, the Department and your benefits. Your prime source of information is your line manager. It is part of their job to keep you informed, to answer questions and to listen to constructive opinions, comments and suggestions.

4.h) Changes in personal circumstances

In order that we hold correct contact details records it is essential that you inform your line manager, the Department and University of any changes to:

  • Your address and home or mobile telephone number(s) 
  • Your name 
  • Your next of kin
  • Your bank account details

Please keep your personal details up to date in both the:

4.i) Car parking

If you live outside the city, or have to use a car for medical reasons, you may apply for a car-parking permit (there is usually a waiting list). Weekend and weekday evening parking permits are available to all staff. Application forms are available from the Personnel Administration Office.

Car parking spaces are not reserved, and are available first-come first-serve. Cars should be parked in the marked bays and display their car parking badge. If you have to park in the aisles you must inform Reception. Do not leave the site without moving your car from an aisle.

Cars should not be left in the car park overnight

Use of the car park is at your own risk

Working in the Department

5.a) Your role and responsibilities

All staff have certain defined responsibilities and duties.

For those holding a University office, these are set out in general terms in Statute D (in particular D,II,4) and in any special regulations for the office held. More specific details are set out in the role description for the post and in any further particulars received during recruitment.

For academic-related staff, a detailed description of duties is compiled for each office or post, using the standard format of Form PD33. You should receive a copy of the PD33 for your post, from your institution, on taking up appointment which you are asked to read and sign to confirm you understand the requirements of the role.

The job description (PD33) outlines the activities and responsibilities of your post and identifies the person or persons to whom you are immediately responsible. The job description is not exhaustive and you may be expected to carry out other duties appropriate to the grade of your post on the request of your supervisor or the Head of the Department.

If you are asked to work at a level higher than the grade of your post for a prolonged period, you may be paid an allowance to take account of the higher level of duties. 

Because the needs of the University and the Department change with time your job description may change too to take account of differing needs for work. You will be consulted about any permanent changes to your duties. If there is a substantial change in your duties your job description may be re-evaluated. 

Staff also have a duty to observe the University's required practice and behaviour relating to: health and safety; bullying and harassment; unlawful discrimination; use of IT; conduct in research, public interest disclosure etc.

Intellectual Property

You are required to observe the University's policies on intellectual property rights as may be decided by the Regent House from time to time. This includes, if your duties include externally funded research, any procedures and conditions agreed between the University and the sponsor funding your work and, if appropriate, in relation to any intellectual property rights arising from the research. You are reminded that, under UK patent legislation, applications for patent protection must be made before the research results supporting the application are publicly disclosed.

5.b) Pay and salary progression 


Payment of salaries for all staff is monthly and in arrears on the 26th of each month or the Friday before it if the 26this a non-working day.  Exceptions may occur during the Christmas and Easter months. 

Pay scales

Each post is assigned to a specific grade, within the grading structure 1–12. Each grade contains a number of salary points, some of which are service-related, with others designated ‘contribution points’. 

Appointment is at a specific salary point in the range for the grade of post and your letter of appointment and contract tell you where your salary falls on that scale. 

The University reserves the right to withhold payment of salary for any days when you are absent from work without permission or medical certification.

Details of the grading structure and single salary spine can be found online.

Annual pay review

The annual pay review date for all staff is 1 August. The salary spine is then adjusted to take account of nationally agreed pay settlements.

Salary progression within grades

The University operates a number of contribution reward and progression schemes for different staff categories.

Progression through the service related points on each grade will normally be by automatic annual progression, with the possibility in most grades of accelerated incremental progression in recognition of outstanding and sustained contribution. Progression to and through these ‘contribution points’ will not be automatic and will be based on assessment of the contribution of individuals in their roles. 

Service-related Increments - Incremental progression through the service-related points in grades 1 to 10 occurs on the incremental date. For Academic-related staff this is the anniversary of appointment. 

Contribution Reward Schemes - To recognise outstanding and sustained performance, the following contribution reward schemes are available: 

  • Assistant and academic-related staff – Assistant and Academic-related staff appointed to grades 1 to 11 are eligible for contribution increments via the Contribution Reward Scheme. Requests are considered once a year.

Contribution Increments (for sustained/ongoing contribution)

The award of additional increments (in the normal pay range or in the contribution range) to recognise an individual's outstanding contribution over and above the normal expectation for the role, over a period of at least a year and in the context of expected continuation at that level. Further details about eligibility, criteria and the procedure for applying can be found in Section 2: Contribution Increments.

Single Contribution Payments (for one-off/time limited contribution)

The award of one off payments of 3% (individual awards) or 2% (team awards) of salary to recognise an individual's outstanding contribution, over and above the normal expectation for the role, in the context of a one-off task or project that is finite in nature.  Further details about eligibility, criteria and the procedure for applying can be found in Section 3: Single Contribution Payments.

An annual increment may be withheld, or a discretionary payment or additional increment withdrawn, if a staff member is subject to a disciplinary procedure because of his or her performance or conduct.

Additional pay

If you carry out any work that falls outside the scope of your normal responsibilities and duties, you may be eligible to receive an additional payment. Details are set out in the regulations on Stipends in Statutes and Ordinances.

5.c) Hours of work

If your appointment is full-time you are expected to work such reasonable hours and days as are necessary for the proper performance of your duties. 

As a guide, the General Board expects the average full-time working week to be in the region of 37 to 40 hours. Under the Working Time Regulations, 1998, you are not required to work more than 48 hours per week unless you sign an agreement to do so.

Flexible Working 

The University's Flexible Working Policy sets out the procedure to be followed when staff ask to work flexibly to achieve a better work/life balance.

Staff wanting to request a change to their existing working pattern permanently should read this policy and discuss their proposal with their immediate supervisor, Marita Walsh (Support Services Manager) or Kathleen Pickett (Welfare, Training and Development Adviser) before applying.

Permanent changes should be requested using the FLEXAF form.

Temporary changes should be requested by letter or email.

All requests for changes should be submitted to Marita Walsh or Kathleen Pickett.

Established Officers are required to complete form CHRIS/74 to temporarily work flexibly.

5.d) Leave

The appropriate form(s) should be completed to request leave. 

All completed forms, other than annual leave, should be returned to:

Marita Walsh, Support Services Manager or

Kathleen Pickett, Welfare, Training and Development Advisor

Annual Leave 

For academic-related staff, holiday entitlement runs from October to September. If you start work after the beginning of the leave year your entitlement for that year will be calculated pro rata to the proportion of the leave year remaining.

Holiday entitlement for academic-related and contract research staff is 41 days for those working full-time (based on a five-day working week, and pro-rata for part-time) inclusive of public holidays. Periods of University closure, other than public holidays will be taken as part of the annual leave. The remaining leave is taken at times that suit both the individual and his or her institution.

You are required to keep a record of your annual leave on a Leave record Chart

Please note: There is no entitlement to carry over any holiday from one academic year to the next or to receive pay in lieu of holiday not taken.

Public and Bank Holidays

The days of public and bank holidays in England and Wales are:

  • New Year’s Day 
  • Good Friday 
  • Easter Monday 
  • May Day
  • Spring Bank Holiday 
  • Late Summer Bank Holiday 
  • Christmas Day 
  • Boxing Day

With the exception of the public holidays around Easter and Christmas, the Department is open every public holiday as a normal working day.

For information on overtime and bank holiday compensation where the institution may require a member of staff to work follow the link. 

Leave for personal or family reasons

Sick leave - the Sickness Absence policy is available online.

A day of sickness is defined as a day or part of a day on which you are incapable of your normal work because of a specific illness, disease, or disability. This term covers injury at work, and precautionary reasons as advised by a doctor e.g. convalescence, contact with infectious diseases. It does not, however, cover time off work because you have to care for a member of your family. 

Sickness absence procedure - All staff must report incapacity for work. 

If you are unfit for work due to illness, please contact your line manager by phone or email on the first day of your absence and email

Please let them know the following (as set out in the Sickness Absence Policy):

  • The nature of the illness or injury;
  • The expected approximate length of absence from work;
  • Contact details;
  • Whether the absence may be due to an injury at work or otherwise perceived to be related to work; and
  • Any outstanding or urgent work that requires attention.

If you are unable to contact the department due to your illness, you should make alternative arrangements e.g ask a family member to call or emaill on your behalf.

You should notify your supervisor or line manager on your first day of absence, including half days.

On or before your return to work you must submit a Sickness Self Certificate (form CHRIS/62) to cover any sickness that has lasted for up to seven calendar days in a row to the Personnel Administration Office. If the sickness lasts longer than seven days you must also submit a doctor's statement/s to cover all further absence to the Personnel Administration Office. If you do not do this, your pay may be withheld.

You should keep in regular contact with your line manager so that s/he knows when to expect you back and it is important that details of your absence are supplied to the Personnel Administration Office to ensure that you receive the correct sickness pay. 

Completed CHRIS/62 forms should be returned to:

Emma Graham, Personnel Administrator, 

Kathleen Pickett, Welfare, Training and Development Adviser

or Marita Walsh, Support Services Manager

Rates of pay during absence due to sickness

If you are absent from work on account of sickness you will normally receive a payment in lieu of salary, which is equal to your normal salary, for a period which depends on your length of service.

For academic and academic-related officers and those appointed in an unestablished capacity in comparable grades, the rates of pay during absence due to sickness are: 

Employed since 1 January 2004

Period of unbroken service

Sick leave with pay

At a rate equal to normal pay

At a rate equal to half normal pay

Less than 1 year

8 weeks

8 weeks

1 or more years but less than 3 years

12 weeks

12 weeks

3 or more years but less than 5 years

20 weeks

20 weeks

5 or more years

26 weeks

26 weeks

Employed before 1 January 2004

Period of unbroken service

Sick leave with pay

Less than 1 year

Month 1


Months 2–4


Month 5–8


1 or more years

Months 1–6


Months 6–12

100%, subject to review

Months 12–14


Months 15–18

50%, subject to review

If you are absent through sickness at the date at which your entitlement to payment would increase, you will not gain the new entitlement until you have returned to work and have worked for a continuous period of one month.

The rate and period for which payment may be made is calculated according to the sick leave which you have taken during the 365 days before the first day of sickness. This means that any sick leave taken during that time will count as part of your sick leave entitlement for the current period of sickness.

If you are frequently absent through sickness or have a single prolonged absence, you may be referred to the University's Occupational Health Service for a medical opinion. You may also be asked to authorise the Director of Human Resources to approach your own doctor for further information about your health. Your Head of Department may also ask you to produce a doctor's statement for all absences however short if there is concern about your level of sickness absence.

Attending Medical Appointments

Attending routine medical appointments is not normally regarded as sickness absence. Members of staff should consult their line manager where such attendance would entail taking time off work.

Maternity Leave

Staff seeking maternity leave are advised to follow the guidance set out in the University’s Maternity Policy.

Regardless of your length of service, an expectant mother may apply for a maximum of 52 weeks maternity leave. This period consists of 18 weeks' paid leave, then 21 weeks’ Statutory Maternity Pay, if eligible, followed by up to 13 weeks' unpaid leave. 

Notification of intention to take maternity leave - An employee should give notice of her intention to take maternity leave, and the intended start date, by the 15th week before her expected week of childbirth (using form CHRIS/60), unless this is not reasonably practicable, in which case she should give as much notice as is reasonably practicable. When submitting the CHRIS/60 form the applicant should attach a formal certificate from a doctor or midwife stating the expected week of childbirth (form Mat B1).

Notification of return to work from maternity leave - If an employee intends to return to work at the end of her full 52 week maternity leave period she is not required to give notice of her return. However, if an employee wants to extend her maternity leave, return earlier than a date previously specified or is planning not to return, she is required to give 8 weeks’ notice of this intention using form CHRIS/61.

Risk Assessment for Expectant and Nursing Mothers - Particular attention needs to be given to assessing any work-related risks to health issues during pregnancy. A Risk Assessment for Expectant and Nursing Mothers should be undertaken as soon as possible to ensure that working conditions are acceptable. For this reason, it is important to let your supervisor/line manager know as early as possible. If you would prefer to speak with someone other your line manager regarding the pregnancy risk assessment, please contact:

  • Kathleen Pickett, Welfare, Training and Development Adviser
  • Marita Walsh, Support Services Manager
  • Occupational Health Service

All maternity related forms should be returned to: 

Kathleen Pickett, Welfare, Training and Development Adviser 

or Marita Walsh, Support Services Manager

Paternity Leave

Staff seeking paternity leave are advised to follow the guidance set out in the University’s Paternity Policy

Employees who apply for ordinary paternity leave and meet the University criteria (i.e. that satisfactory arrangements can be made to cover for the absence at no extra cost to the University) will receive up to 2 weeks leave at full pay.

Notification of intention to take paternity leave - An employee must provide notification, using Form CHRIS/65,no later than the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth or within 7 days of the date the adoption agency tell the person adopting the child they have been matched with the child.

Completed paternity forms should be returned to: 

Kathleen Pickett, Welfare, Training and Development Adviser 

or Marita Walsh, Support Services Manager

Ordinary Parental Leave

Staff seeking parental leave are advised to follow the guidance set out in the University’s Ordinary Parental Leave Policy.

Notification of parental leave - The member of staff should give notice, using CHRIS/66 form  at least 21 days' before the requested date of leave.

Shared Parental Leave - staff seeking shared parental leave are advised to follow the guidance in the Shared Parental Leave policy. For further departmental advice please contact Kathleen Pickett.

Adoption leave - Staff seeking adoption leave are advised to follow the guidance set out in the University’s Adoption Leave Policy.

Notification of adoption leave - An employee must give notice of his/her intention to take adoption leave within 7 days of being notified by their adoption agency that they have been matched with a child for adoption, unless this is not reasonably practicable. This notice, using CHRIS/64 form should state when the child is expected to be placed and when the adopter wants their adoption leave to start. A 'matching certificate' which will be provided by the adoption agency should be submitted. 

Special Leave

The University recognises that there may be occasions when employees need to take time off work for reasons that do not necessarily fall under normal leave provisions. A range of special leave options are summarised below. For further details please consult the University’s Special Leave policy.



Conditions and documentation

Compassionate leave

The existing compassionate leave provisions under the Assistant Staff Rules, Assistant Staff Handbook, Staff Guide and Summary of Leave Table will apply. Further guidance is available.

Compassionate leave covers bereavement or serious illness of a close family member or dependant. It is granted according to the circumstances. 

Emergency leave

Normally up to 2 days unpaid leave on each occasion. May be combined with compassionate leave/annual leave as appropriate.

Emergency leave covers genuine unforeseen emergences for reasons connected with dependants or unexpected domestic or other emergencies. It is granted according to the circumstances. 

Essential civic and public duties

The University will grant reasonable unpaid time off to those employees who hold public positions as set out under s.50 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

The employee should complete form CHRIS/68. Documentation from the relevant official body will be required in support of the application.

Service in the Reserve Forces

Reservists required to undertake training on a normal working day will be required to take annual leave or may request unpaid leave.

Where the employee is called up this will be treated as unpaid leave. The employee should complete form CHRIS/68. Documentation from the relevant official body will be required in support of the application.

Jury Service

The University will ‘top up’ any sums reimbursed to the level of the employee's normal salary.

The employee should complete form CHRIS/68. The jury summons should be provided in support of the application. A receipt of reimbursement must also be provided within 3 months, where applicable.

Attendance in court as a witness

If summonsed to appear as a witness in a private capacity, the employee may request annual leave or unpaid leave.

Annual leave should be requested in the normal way or the employee should complete form CHRIS/68 to request unpaid leave. The witness summons should be provided where applicable.

Fertility treatment

Up to 5 days paid leave in a 12 month period for female employees undergoing fertility treatment, or up to 2 days paid leave to provide support to a partner who is undergoing fertility treatment.

Individuals who are following a course of fertility treatment and have been employed by the University for one continuous year are eligible to apply. The employee should complete form CHRIS/68. Confirmation of treatment will be required at the point of application.

Surgery/procedures and elective surgery

Time off for surgery or treatment and recuperation that relates to a medical or psychological condition and is supported by a medical certificate, will be treated as sick leave in the same manner as any other medical appointment.

In cases of elective surgery, treatment and recuperation (i.e. cosmetic and/or surgery not medically necessary), annual leave should be taken in the first instance or unpaid leave if appropriate and in agreement with the institution concerned.

The employee should complete form CHRIS/68. Medical certification may be required as set out in policy.

Gender reassignment

Requests for time off for medical treatment relating to gender reassignment will be managed and recorded in accordance with the University Ill-Health and Sickness Absence procedures, ie treated as time off for illness or other medical appointments.

Reasonable requests for time off for non-medical treatment will be considered subject to operational requirements. Normally annual leave or unpaid leave will be considered for these purposes.

The employee should complete form CHRIS/68. Medical certification may be required as set out in policy.

Religious or belief-related obligations

Employees may use their annual leave entitlement to request time off for religious or belief-related purposes.

Annual leave should be requested in the normal way.

Voluntary work

Annual leave entitlement must be used for the days that the employee will be absent from work. Unpaid leave may be granted under exceptional circumstances.

Annual leave should be requested in the normal way. For exceptional circumstances requests for unpaid leave to undertake voluntary work should be submitted by completing form CHRIS/68. Documentation from the relevant organisation will be required in support of the application.

Temporary Flexible Working

Type of Leave

Stipend Normally Payable


Graduated return from maternity leave

Statute D II 6(c)

Form CHRIS/67

Pro rata for up to 12 months; Minimum of 20%, rising to min 50% of full time within 12 months

No additional cost to the University

5.e) Equality & Diversity

The University of Cambridge is committed in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to a proactive and inclusive approach to equality, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture, and values diversity. 

This commitment is underpinned by the University's core values, expressed in its mission statement:

  • Freedom of thought and expression.
  • Freedom from discrimination.

The University is therefore committed to a policy and practice which require that, for staff, entry into employment with the University and progression within employment will be determined only by personal merit and by the application of criteria which are related to the duties and conditions of each particular post and the needs of the institution concerned.

Subject to statutory provisions, no student, member of staff, applicant for admission as a student, or applicant for appointment as a member of staff will be treated less favourably than another because of her or his belonging to a protected group. This commitment applies to a former student, alumnus or alumna, or former employee where the alleged unlawful conduct arises out of and is closely connected to the former student's or former staff member's previous relationship with the University.

Protected groups are defined in the Equality Act 2010 as Sex, Gender Reassignment, Marriage or Civil Partnership, Pregnancy or Maternity, Race (including Ethnic or National Origin, Nationality or Colour), Disability, Sexual Orientation, Age, or Religion or Belief. The University respects all religious and philosophical beliefs, as well as the lack of religion or belief, and the right of all members of its community to discuss and debate these issues freely. See here for the University’s Equal Opportunities Policy

As a result of the Department’s commitment to Equal Opportunities, all members of staff are required to complete the Equality and Diversity Essentials online training.

5.f) Dignity@Work

The University of Cambridge is committed to protecting the dignity of staff, students, visitors to the University, and all members of the University community, in their work and their interactions with others. The University expects all members of the University community to treat each other with respect, courtesy and consideration at all times. All members of the University community have the right to expect professional behaviour from others, and a corresponding responsibility to behave professionally towards others.

The Dignity@Work policy explains this commitment and what action can be taken if its principles are not observed. Any instances that arise relating to all unlawful forms of discrimination and unacceptable behaviour – such as racial, sexual and disability harassment, as well as bullying – should be reported, in confidence, to your Supervisor, or line manager or to Marita Walsh, Support Services Manager or Kathleen Pickett, Welfare, Training and Development Adviser. The matter will be investigated thoroughly and without delay according to the approved procedures.

If you experience or observe a problem over harassment or bullying (whether you feel you are the subject of such behaviour, are accused of it, or are a witness to it) there are Sources of Support available. If it is felt that your health is suffering, you may be encouraged to approach the Occupational Health Service and/or the Staff Counselling Service.

5.g) Your continued professional development 

Staff review & development - Staff review and development (SRD) is an essential part of the University’s commitment to developing staff and to delivering a high quality service, providing a way of balancing your personal needs and ambitions with the University’s overall objectives. 

The review process should enhance work effectiveness and facilitate career development by encouraging staff to discuss their achievements, address challenges, set targets and consider their training and personal development requirements. it should ensure that members of staff are clear about their responsibilities and that they have a formal regular opportunity to discuss any help they may need in meeting them. 

Your reviewer is normally your line manager/supervisor. This process does not replace good management practice, nor is it used as a disciplinary tool or a means of determining pay. For Academic-related staff, your first review will be conducted 12 months after your appointment and thereafter every two years. 

Information about the Department’s Academic related staff SRD process is available online.  

The University’s Staff Review and Development Scheme provides further guidance and is a useful source of information. 

For queries regarding SRD, you should speak with your line manager or contact Marita Walsh, Support Services Manager or Kathleen Pickett, Welfare, Training and Development Adviser. 

Learning and development opportunities - You are encouraged to take an active approach to your continued development, identifying and accessing personal and professional development opportunities in conjunction with the requirements of your role, your line manager and your own career aspirations.  

The University Training Booking System provides a central point for staff of the University and its Colleges to search for and book onto a variety of training courses run by participating University training providers. 

Below is further information about the main University training providers: 

University Information Services (UIS) – The UIS exists to help you get the most out of your computing. Facilities are free and available to all staff, provided your computer use is connected with University work. The UIS also provides a wide range of training courses for all categories of staff.

Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) – The ICE offers a wide ranging and flexible programme of part-time courses to everyone over the age of eighteen, whether they are looking to develop or change their career, or just increase their level of knowledge on a particular subject.

Personal and Professional Development (PPD) - PPD facilitates learning opportunities for all university staff enabling them to achieve their potential and contribute to the provision of excellent teaching and research in the University. Their purpose is to support you in the professional and personal development of your skills, attitudes and knowledge in the areas of teaching, research, support services, management and leadership development, to help you achieve University objectives and departmental priorities

Job Opportunities - Job vacancies are advertised on the University’s Job Opportunities pages. In addition, some posts are advertised in the Cambridge University Reporter (the official journal of the University of Cambridge), the local and national press, specialist        publications and job sites.

Consultancy Opportunities - Any member of University staff may undertake consultancy through Cambridge Enterprise, including academic, academic-related and assistant staff, as well as PhD students and post-doctoral researchers.

Promotion - Promotion is the appointment of existing members of staff to another post or office at a higher grade than the one previously held. This may be the result of either a successful application for an advertised vacancy, or, where appropriate, personal promotion.

When a member of University staff is promoted to a higher grade, the salary will increase by either two additional increments or will become the first service point on the new grade, whichever is the greater. The maximum possible scale point on promotion is the highest point on the scale below the discretionary points, that is, discretionary points on scales are not available on promotion.

For academic-related staff, progression to a higher grade, other than by means of a successful application for an advertised vacancy, occurs only where the duties of underlying role have changed enough to merit regrading. The updated role description (form PD33) is assessed by Human Resources using the HERA role analysis scheme to determine the new grade. Details of the scheme are available on the Rewards scheme pages.

While it is possible to achieve promotion if a post is upgraded, it is more usual to do so either by being promoted within your own institution or by transferring to another institution in the University. You may wish to consider applying for a higher-graded post, or for a post at the same grade which would give you wider experience and prepare you for promotion. Transfer from one University institution to another is considered continuous employment.

5.h) Grievances, capability and disciplinary matters

For contract research staff, detailed information on the University's policies and procedures relating to disciplinary action, grievances and appeals is available on the Human Resources website.

Grievances - If you feel you are being treated unfairly, first talk to your local administrator or Head of Department to see if the problem can be resolved informally. If the problem persists or is very serious, you make wish to make a formal complaint to your Head of Department. If your grievance is directed against the Head of your Department, you may complain to a more senior officer. You should record instances of the problem as they occur, so that you have documentary evidence to show to the appropriate person.

Bullying and harassment - If you feel that you have been a victim of bullying or harassment, or are accused of such behaviour, the University has specific guidance on how this is dealt with through the Dignity@Work policy: see section 5e) and 5f) above. 

Disciplinary - The University's aim is to encourage improvement in individual conduct or behaviour where this falls short of required standards. The disciplinary procedure sets out the action to take when the conduct of a member of staff is unsatisfactory.

The types of conduct which may lead to disciplinary action being taken according to the procedures include:

  • Wilful failure to perform the duties of the post
  • Refusal to comply with reasonable requests from the job supervisor
  • Persistent unsatisfactory timekeeping
  • Unauthorised absence from work
  • Incapacity to perform the duties of the post effectively due to drunkenness or unauthorised drug-taking
  • Acts of discrimination against any member of the University community on the grounds of sex (including gender reassignment), marital or parental status, race, ethnic or national origin, colour, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or age
  • Bullying or harassment of any member of the University community
  • Malicious accusations of bullying or harassment against another person
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Breach of University or departmental safety regulations or rules
  • Breach of other University or departmental regulations or rules
  • Breach of any other conditions of employment.
  • Specific guidance is available on the UIS website as to acceptable use of computer facilities, email and the internet as abuse of these can lead to disciplinary action. 

Capability policy - The separate capability procedure should be initiated for a reason related to his/her performance or capability for performing work of the kind which the member of staff concerned is employed to do:  The term ‘capability’ means capability assessed by reference to skill, aptitude, health, or any other physical or mental quality. Advice should be sought from the HR Division if it is unclear which procedure is appropriate.

5.i) University employee benefits

The University offers employees a wide range of competitive benefits. The CAMbens Employee Benefits pages outline the full range of benefits currently available, but please make sure you visit the site regularly to check for new additions. 

In general, the benefits listed are available to all employees who have a contract of employment with the University and who are listed on the University payroll. Some of the salary sacrifice schemes have more specific eligibility criteria.

University employee benefits generally fall under the following categories and you are encouraged to access the most up to date information by visiting the CAMbens webpages: 

5.j) Travel Insurance

To apply for travel insurance, employees must declare their travel plans on-line to the University’s Insurance section. If you do not register your trip before you travel, you will not be covered.

Employees should use this system to declare their travel plans. Once you have entered the required data the system will automatically issue you with a letter from the University Insurance Manager confirming that you have insurance for your trip. You should keep the letter of confirmation of insurance in a safe place as it contains important information you will need in the event of a claim. You may also be asked to provide confirmation of travel insurance when entering the country you intend to visit or when applying for a visa.

During the application process you will be asked to provide:

  • Department/division or subsidiary company name
  • Your payroll number (from your current wage slip)
  • The countries to be visited
  • The dates of your journey
  • The purpose of your journey
  • Confirmation of good health and that where you have a medical condition your doctor has agreed to the trip.

Once you have entered the required data the system will issue confirmation of insurance, an outline of the main policy benefits and exclusions and details for the FirstAssist Emergency Service.

University travellers must ALWAYS register their journey and print out confirmation of cover PRIOR to making any trip outside the UK.

5.k Outside interests

If you wish to take on part-time employment outside working hours you should discuss this with your line manager.

Private consultancy

If you are working in a private capacity, or acting as a consultant, you do so at your own risk, as such work is not covered by the University's insurances. You are strongly advised to take out personal insurance. However, professional indemnity cover may be obtained by channelling private work through the University's insurance company, Cambridge University Technical Services (CUTS) Ltd. For more advice, contact Cambridge Enterprise.

The University does not expect to be informed about remuneration from private work and consultancy. Such work, however, must not interfere with the performance of the duties of your office or post. If you are in any doubt about this you should consult your Head of institution. If you undertake any work in a private capacity or act as a consultant, you should be clear that you undertake such work at your own risk, and that the University must not be involved in any such arrangements. University letterheads or other facilities must not be used.

5.l Networks

The University operates in a largely decentralized manner and there are many opportunities for networking, both formally and informally. You are encouraged to develop as many professional and social contacts as you can throughout the University and the Colleges. 

Diversity Networks - The University’s diversity plays a key role in sustaining academic excellence and a number of diversity networks exist to progress equality: 

Diversity networks are open to individuals who work for the University, a College or an associated institution and are members of one of the above protected groups. Other Diversity Networks include:

The Judge Business School and the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL) - Entrepreneurial Networks - The importance of networks for recruiting talented colleagues, securing funding and acquiring industry knowledge cannot be underestimated. In the heart of the Silicon Fen, Cambridge is at the centre of many entrepreneurial networks. 

WiSETI (Women in Science, Engineering and Technology Initiative) - WiSETI is a positive action initiative at the University of Cambridge that promotes and supports women from Undergraduate level to Professor, in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) subject areas. WiSETI was established in 1999 and aims to redress an under-representation of women in employment and career progression in these disciplines at the University of Cambridge.

Leaving the Department 

6.a) Resignation and notice period

If you wish to resign from your employment with the Department you must inform Marita Walsh, Support Services Manager in writing providing four weeks’ notice.

6.b) Dismissal

If the University wishes to terminate your employment you will be given, except in the case of serious misconduct, due notice. This will be a period of notice not less than the following:

Period of unbroken service

Notice period

Less than one year

Not less than one week

More than one year but less than five years

Not less than four weeks

More than five years but less than nine years

Not less than eight weeks

Nine years or more

Not less than twelve weeks

The University may not require you to work your period of notice, but instead may pay you in lieu of notice.

In a case where serious misconduct is alleged, the Head of Department may suspend you with pay immediately until the Human Resources Committee makes a decision. If the University considers that there are grounds for dismissal for serious misconduct, you may be summarily dismissed without notice.

You have the right to appeal against the termination of your employment.

For termination of employment due to disciplinary, please refer to the University’s disciplinary action, grievances and appeals procedure on the HR webpages.

6.c) Termination of fixed and limited term appointments

If your post is supported by funds received from outside the University and/or if you have been appointed on a temporary basis to meet a specific need or to undertake a specific project, you will be notified of the date upon which your appointment terminates when you are appointed. You are encouraged to enquire of your supervisor well in advance of the termination date whether your appointment is likely to be extended.

Consultation meeting request - Prior to the end of your fixed or limited term appointment, you and your supervisor will receive a letter requesting that you arrange a consultation meeting to discuss whether your contract will be extended or come to an end. At the end of the meeting, you and your supervisor complete Form CHRIS/43confirming the outcome. The completed form, signed by both of you, should be returned to Emma Graham, Personnel Administrator. If you wish to receive redeployment assistance from the HR department, please mark this clearly in the appropriate section on the form. 

Three months prior to the end date of your fixed or limited term appointment - You will receive automated monthly email reminders of your end date until either you leave or an extension is confirmed. Please respond to these emails if you feel that the information contained in them and the Departmental database is wrong.

If you and your PI/supervisor confirm that your employment is to be extended - You will be contacted by Emma Graham, Personnel Administrator, to confirm that the Department has processed your extension paperwork and to prompt you to undertake any other activities to ensure your extension remains seamless. You will receive an updated contract from HR sent to you directly at the Chemistry Department. 

If you and your supervisor confirm that your employment is to come to an end or neither of you provide any instructions - You will receive a formal notification letter confirming the end date of your contract and that you have the right to appeal against the decision. You will be contacted by Emma Graham, Personnel Administrator, outlining the Department’s leaver process and action you need to take prior to leaving the Department.  

For support, information or guidance please contact Kathleen Pickett, Welfare, Training and Development Adviser or Marita Walsh, Support Services Manager.

6.d) Retirement 

The University does not operate a retirement age for unestablished academic and unestablished academic-related staff. Where the employment of a University officer is extended beyond the retirement age, that employment will be in a fixed-term capacity and the individual will move from an established to an unestablished position. However, the University may continue to rely on retirement as a reason for ending the employment relationship at the end of this extended period of employment, including where there have been successive extensions.

The University’s retirement policy/procedures are available on the Human Resources website

Members of staff may apply to retire earlier than their normal retirement date, but should first seek advice on how this might affect their occupational pension, if appropriate.

6.e) Leavers process

The leavers process will be activated when your resignation or notice to retire is received by or your contract is confirmed as ending to either Kathleen Pickett, Welfare, Training and Development Adviser or Marita Walsh, Support Services Manager. 

Upon receipt of resignation or notice to retire you will receive an acceptance letter asking you to return any departmental keys, your Mifare card and any parking permit to the department. You will also be asked for forwarding contact details in the event that the Department needs to contact you after you have left. 


  • Prior to leaving the Department, you must ensure you pass or give access to any work-related information pertinent to your role or research.
  • Information left on an individual’s desktop cannot be retrieved if you have not made arrangements to pass on or share this information.
  • Personal data left on computers is retained for 6 months following the individual last day of employment.