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Visitor Handbook 

You can download the Visitor Handbook as a PDF or read it below.

About this handbook 

This handbook has been produced as a guide for visitors in the Department of Chemistry. The Department has a diverse mix of staff: some employed directly by the University, some working in the Department on a daily basis but funded directly by sponsors, fellowships or other means and some visiting the Department less frequently. 

This guide is intended to bring together information relevant to visitors. If you are unsure of any of the information here please ask your PI, supervisor, line manager or a member of the personnel administration team. 

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


1. Introduction                                                                          

  1. Chemistry in Cambridge
  2. Research Interest Groups (RIGS)
  3. Athena SWAN
  4. Departmental personnel

2. Important Departmental Information                                                                             

  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. Department Stores
  8. Purchasing
  9. Photography
  10. Photocopying and printing
  11. The Cybercafé and beyond
  12. Email communication and notice boards
  13. Technical support and workshops

4. Joining the Department                                                                                                 

  1. On your first day
  2. Registration 
  3. New starter safety essentials
  4. Induction 
  5. University card
  6. Changes in personal circumstance
  7. Living in Cambridge

5. Working in the Department                                                                                            

  1. Responsibilities 
  2. Equality and Diversity
  3. Dignity@work
  4. Networks

6. Leaving the Department                                                                                                 

  1. Leavers process

Dr James Keeler

Head of Department

I would like to welcome you to the Department of Chemistry. I hope your time 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; specific information about policies and procedures; and links to many other helpful websites. 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 Department, Group or area.

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, including newly independent researchers, 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 new 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 Cowan


Welfare, Training and Development Adviser

Kathleen Pickett


Senior Librarian

Clair Castle


2. 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 (3)6300. 

Emergency information is available on the Safety pages.

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

Call 999 (112 from mobiles) for emergency services.

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 a privilege reserved for those 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.

Access via the main foyer doors is between 7.30am and 6pm Monday to Friday and between 7am and 1pm on Saturdays, during term-time. Access at other times can be arranged.

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 using the book 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

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

In the course of inputting personal details on to the department database, and whenever a Mifare controlled door is activated, certain information is recorded. This information will be used only for safety and security reasons unless the Department is required to make a disclosure on legal grounds.

Requests for the release of information may only be authorised by the Data Protection Officer, the Departmental Safety Officer or the Head of Department.

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

iii) 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

iv) Sale of personal property and personal requirements

The following departmental rules apply to staff, students and visitors:

  • 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.

v) 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. 

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 visitor will receive a copy of the Departmental 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 10.5
  • Children and unauthorised persons – section 9.3

Non registered visitors must be accompanied at all times.

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

iii) 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.

iv) Smoking policy

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) Health and Wellbeing

Health and wellbeing falls under Health and Safety legislation and is taken seriously in the Department. For further details visit the WellChem website. 

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.

3. Departmental Facilities 

 3.a) Reception

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

3.b) Postal services

Check your post regularly

All incoming mail is delivered to Reception and distributed:

  • Mail for academic, academic-related, and administrative staff is placed in pigeon-holes on the ground floor, north wing.
  • Mail for researchers, post-graduates and visitors is placed in pigeon holes on the ground floor, south wing next to Todd Hamied room.

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) Department Stores

The Department's 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 Supervisor 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.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 9.30am 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 mezzanine outside the BMS Lecture Theatre, which offer a range of drinks and snacks. 

During 8am and 2pm a food outlet is available in the east end foyer selling hot and cold drinks and a range of hot and cold 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

During the week, the Cybercafé should not be used for undergraduate supervisions before 4.30pm as it is a social area used by the whole department.

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 and notice boards

Most new information is distributed by email so please check your mailbox frequently. 

General staff noticeboards are located in the ground floor stairwells. An assistant staff noticeboard is located outside room 141 on the Mezzanine floor long with the main contract research staff notice board. The main student notice board is located outside Room 146. 

3.m) Technical support 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.

4. Joining the Department

All visitors intending to remain in the Department for more than 2 weeks are required to complete a Visitors Agreement prior to arriving at the Department. Specific terms and conditions for independent visitors and for those employed by another institution accompany are distributed as part of this agreement.

4.a) On your first day

On arrival at the Department please report to Reception, ask for the PI, Secretary or nominated person for the group you are joining. 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.

4.b) Registration

Your group secretary, PI or nominated other will take you through the department’s registration process. You will need the registration form included in your Welcome Pack and a Visitors Agreement (as appropriate).

Registration in the department is now via an online registration form. Group secretaries and administrators can click on this link to create a unique link for each individual needing to register in the department.

Details of the process are below:

  • Secretaries/group administrators need to generate a unique link to an online registration form. Once generated, this is automatically emailed to the new starter registering.
  • The new starter clicks on their unique link, completes the form and submits. This sends the completed online form to
  • Safety induction is part of the registration process and must be completed in order to submit the registration form.
  • The Safety Handbook and Statement on Safety can be accessed on the Safety Handbook for Virtual Registrations page.
  • Once the registration is complete, it is uploaded into the database by a member of the admin team. Reception will then be authorised to give Mifare access.
  • Deposits are now paid online and are handled by E-sales who automatically notify the mailbox of payments received.
  • The DSE form will still need to be given to new starters, but is not a requirement of registration. Completed DSE forms should be emailed to
  • IT will arrange for the new intake of students to receive an automatically generated unique code on October 1st therefore these do not need to be generated individually. 

A portrait style photo will be required for your badge and for the department database. Please provide this according to the details below and upload on the online form:

  • Natural smile/expression
  • No group photos
  • Plain background preferred
  • Evenly lit
  • Head/shoulders only, with space for cropping
  • Min 1200px x 1800px

Security and Mifare card (photo ID card)

You willbe notified when your Security and Mifare Card is available 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.  You must return this card to Reception or the Department’s Personnel Administration Office when you are no longer a member of the department.

4.c) New starter safety essentials

Please ensure you are familiar with the following safety essentials: 

Safety Checklist

  • Read the Departmental Safety Handbook
  • Ask to be shown and sign any Safety Sheets and Lab Management Plans applicable to your area of research
  • Complete a Chemical Hazard Risk Assessment Form for any research to be undertake and remember to keep this updated if your project changes
  • Complete a COSHH health record form if required for your work
  • Do NOT use any machinery until you have received proper instruction in its use
  • Do NOT use any faulty or damaged equipment
  • Do NOT attempt to repair or modify any apparatus unless you are competent to do so
  • Obey all safety signs and warnings
  • Keep your work area tidy and in a safe and secure condition 
  • Clear everything away at the end of an experiment or project, including substances that could create a potential hazard or disposal problem for others
  • Do NOT eat or drink in laboratories, workshops or other areas (including offices) where chemicals and other potential contaminants such as lab coats are present
  • Do NOT use mobile phones or personal stereos when working at a fume cupboard
  • Read the Safety Management within Laboratories Housekeeping – General Guidelines.
  • Ask for and obtain membership of any facilities you might need to use

Live fire training is provided for all support staff. Attendance is compulsory for visitors with a contract of more than six months duration. For details please contact the Departmental Safety Officer.

4.d) 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 role, 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 role, sources of immediate help and support. These include relevant policies and procedures, and health, safety and welfare matters.

Visitors in the Department for a year or more are requested to attend a departmental welcome talk. The welcome talk includes information regarding:

  • the University’s libraries from the Department’s Senior Librarian. 
  • the University’s Post-doc Careers Services from a Post-doc Careers Adviser for the School of Physical Sciences. 
  • contractual, policy, procedural and general Departmental and University Information from the Department’s Welfare, Training and Development Adviser.
  • grant management, financial regulations and purchasing, preferred suppliers, account codes and travel insurance from the Department’s Academic Secretary. 
  • Health and safety information from the Department Safety Officer.

4.e) 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 authorised to you and must not be shared with others.

Your University Photo ID Card will entitle you to use other University services and provide access to some other University buildings. 

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

4.f) Changes in personal circumstances

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

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

To change your name or if you have any queries, please contact the Personnel Administration Office. 

4.g) Living in Cambridge

The City has lots to offer as a place to live. The following information may be of use to you if you are new to the area: 

5. Working in the Department

Support for Newcomers and Visiting Scholars

5.a) Your role and responsibilities

All visitors 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.

If your research is funded by any UK Research Councils or any other sources of external funding, any results of potential commercial interest must be submitted to Cambridge Enterprise as soon as possible. This is to ensure that your interests and those of the University are properly safeguarded and that any procedures and conditions previously agreed between the University and the sponsor funding your research are followed.

It is important that you are aware of the commercial potential of your research results. Cambridge Enterprise can help you with feasibility studies and market research in areas of potential interest. It is also vital that you protect your intellectual property before publishing any research results. You can get advice on intellectual property rights, and on sponsors' requests for delays in publication of your results while patents are applied for, from Cambridge Enterprise who also manage the commercial development of University intellectual property.

You should also consult the policy statement of ownership and intellectual property rights generated by externally funded research that you will have received with your Visitor Agreement. 

Online information is available on the pages of Cambridge Enterprise. 

5.e) Equality & Diversity

The University of Cambridge is committed in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to a pro-active 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.

Subject to statutory provisions, no visitor will be treated less favourably than another because of her or his belonging to a protected group. 

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.c) 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. 

5. d) Networks

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. 

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPdA) - OPdA is the leading organisation dealing with issues relating to the postdoctoral community at the University of Cambridge. The OPdA provides an academic, administrative and pastoral focus for the community. You are encouraged to visit the OPdA website to access a diverse range of information relating to why choose Cambridge, being new to Cambridge and in making the most of your time at Cambridge.

The Centre offers a range of helpful information and support to postdocs, their partners and families e.g. help with moving to Cambridge, settling in, HR and immigration matters, mentoring, careers, additional training and information on joining departmental postdoc committees, the PdOC Society and our partner volunteer scheme.

Post-Docs of Cambridge (PdOC) - PdOC is the Cambridge University Society for postdoctoral research staff and junior research fellows. PdOC represents postdocs in career development, contract research conditions, college affiliation, and social and sporting issues. All Cambridge postdocs are welcome to join, and there is no membership fee.

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.

6. Leaving the Department

6.a) Leavers Process

All visitors are required to notify the department of any change to their leaving date by contacting their supervisor/line manager, Graduate Education for students and/or Rachael Jefferies for all other visitors.

The Leavers form must also be completed, with all necessary signatures, so that:

  • The Department can be sure to retain accurate records and contact details for any correspondence that may need to be forwarded or sent to you after you have left.
  • Your £50 deposit paid during registration can be returned to you, if applicable.


  • 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’s last day of employment.