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Postdocs of Cambridge Society


The Postdoc of Cambridge (PdOC) Society's Essential Guide for New Postdocs


Welcome to Cambridge!

The PdOC Society would like to welcome you to Cambridge! Whether you are here for a short or long while, we hope that you will enjoy your time.

The University of Cambridge is a confederation of Schools, Faculties, Departments, and 31 Colleges. Colleges are governed by their own statutes and regulations, but are integral to the University's structure.
There are around 4000 postdocs in Cambridge who are often employed by the University as PDRAs (Postdoctoral Research Associates), although postdocs who have external funding might be given the title of “Visiting fellows” or JRF (if linked to a College).
The following guide provides a useful list of resources that we hope will help new postdocs to find their way around the University of Cambridge. Additionally, if you have any questions about Cambridge's, at times, unusual terminology, this glossary might be helpful!

For your reference, you can also find a pdf of the below guide here.


Understanding the University

About the University

A description of how the University works, term dates, history, and much more.

Cambridge University Reporter

The official journal of the University of Cambridge. The Reporter appears on Wednesday each week during Full Term. It carries notices of all University business, Discussions, and Graces; Council and General Board decisions; as well as brief information on awards, appointments, and job vacancies. Subscribe to receive a weekly email!

College Affiliation for Postdocs

There are 31 independent and autonomous Colleges which form part of the Collegiate University.  The majority of postdocs are not affiliated with a Cambridge College during their time in Cambridge, but there is an increasing number of opportunities for doing so.


Postdoc Community and Representation

Postdocs of Cambridge (PdOC) Society

Cambridge University Senior Society is run by postdocs and represents all postdoctoral research staff at the University of Cambridge, its Colleges and Partner Institutions. All Cambridge postdocs are welcome to join activities and events and there is no membership fee. Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

Feedback and Reporting Issues

Postdocs sit on many university-wide working groups to contribute to various discussions and support the community. To get more information on these working groups and committees,  as well as to provide feedback or report issues, please use the link above. All issues reported will be treated anonymously.

Postdoc Academy (PdA)

In recognition of the importance of postdocs, the University established PdA (formerly OPdA) to look after the interests of the community. PdA hosts three Postdoc Centres at Mill Lane, Eddington, and the Biomedical Campus where you can come for information, advice and various events.

PdOC Department Network

The PdOC Department Network, formerly known as Postdoc Chairs' Network (PCN), is an initiative by PdOC to improve the connections between the various institutions of the University. The department-based network meets regularly to provide a wide-ranging, representative postdoc ‘voice’ to prioritise needs and contribute to the University-wide strategy for postdocs.

Newcomers and Visiting Scholars

The Newcomers and Visiting Scholars (NVS) help newly arrived University members and visitors, along with partners and families, to settle in and find out more about Cambridge.

Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge (EPoC)

With support from the PdA, Judge Business School (CfEL), Cambridge Enterprise, and other prominent partners, EPoC aims to create awareness of entrepreneurial opportunities for postdocs.


Human Resources Support/Information

Information for New Staff

These pages aim to give you a flavour of the University, tell you what's available in terms of personal and professional development and the many benefits of working in Cambridge.

Staff Guide (academic, academic-related and research staff)

Essential guide for research staff on key policies, practices, terms of employment and facilities.


These pages provide guidance on UK immigration law relating to employees, workers and visitors.

Accommodation Service

Register with the accommodation service to rent University-owned accommodation, including at North West Cambridge, and search for available properties from private landlords.

Guidance on Tenancy renewals: If you live in University-owned housing and are not yet sure about the future of your employment, please make sure to get in touch with the accommodation service once you receive a reminder concerning your upcoming tenancy renewal. They are happy to support you whenever possible and will take decisions on a per-case basis. Please make sure to not ignore their reminder or to simply stay silent.

HR Employee Self Service

Update your personal details and view your payslips online.


You will be auto-enrolled into a pension scheme when you start, usually the USS. Here you can find information about your benefits and options.

CAMbens (Employee benefits)

University of Cambridge employee benefits include healthcare cash plans, child care, bicycle and car hire schemes to shopping and insurance discounts.

Childcare office

The Childcare Office oversees the facilities and assistance offered to University staff and students with children.


Health, Welfare, and Safety

Occupational Health

This service focuses on the prevention of ill health and promotion of health at work.

Disability Resource Centre

Provides information and advice on disability issues.

University Counselling Service

The Staff Counselling Service is available free of charge to all staff.

University Chaplaincy

The Chaplain to University Staff works in formal partnership with the University's Equality & Diversity Section and has forged links with the other University chaplaincies and faith communities across the city of Cambridge.


University Research

Information for Research Staff

A guide specific to research staff including Living and working in Cambridge, Employment and Career Management.

Cambridge Enterprise

Works with members of the University to help commercialise their research and provide consultancy services to industry. provides a database of talks in Cambridge that anyone can browse and much more. Sign up to receive notifications of talks that you are interested in by email.


Professional Development and Careers

University of Cambridge Training Providers

This site provides a central point for staff and students of the University and its Colleges to search for and book onto a variety of training courses run by participating University training providers.

Personal & Professional Development

There are training and development opportunities for all staff, from those new to working at Cambridge to those who are more established on their career pathway.

Careers Service

The Careers Service provides careers advice and information to all current University of Cambridge postdocs and contract research staff. Register to receive notifications of courses, workshops and events!

Job Opportunities

Listings of current University vacancies.  If you are looking for a support staff role, you may be interested in the academic-related and/or assistant staff vacancies.  You can also search for opportunities available within the 31 independent Cambridge Colleges.

Listing of job opportunities external to the University of Cambridge that may be of interest to postdocs thinking about their next role.

Teaching Opportunities

Different teaching opportunities are available for postdocs within the University. The most common form of teaching is referred to as “supervising” (small group or one-on-one teaching of undergraduate students) and even postdocs without a Cambridge background are more than welcome to join. Postdocs can get involved in teaching through the Colleges and, in some occasions, through their departments. For a brief introduction to supervision, please have a look at this video.

Other teaching opportunities are available at the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) or at the newly created Cambridge Advance Online.

Public Engagement

The public Engagement team works with researchers and professional staff across the University to support an environment where high-quality public engagement with research can flourish. They are also the team behind What's On, the Cambridge Festival, Open Cambridge and more. Visit these pages to find out more about the engagement opportunities, funding and training for staff and students at the University of Cambridge.



Universal Bus Line

The Universal bus service links Eddington, Madingley Park and Ride with West Cambridge, the railway station and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (including Addenbrooke’s Hospital). Discounts apply for University card holders; show the driver your card and pay just £1 per journey.

University Cycle to Work Scheme

The “Cycle to Work” initiative enables employers to lease bicycles and associated safety equipment to their employees through what is called salary sacrifice. More information about cycling in Cambridge is also available on this website.

Travel Grants

If you are looking for travel grants, e.g., to attend a national or international conference to present your work, please have a look at our guide on this topic for a general overview.


Leisure and Sports

Clubs and Societies

List of Clubs and Societies registered under the University of Cambridge regulations.

The University acts as an umbrella for a large number of sport societies, many of which are open to postdocs. You are encouraged to contact the particular societies that you might be interested in.

Cambridge Sports Centre

The University Sports Centre has a Gym, Strength & Conditioning room, Sports Hall, Squash and Fives courts, Studios and a Team Training Room. We offer a wide range of sports clubs and fitness classes for both members and casual users.

Frank Lee Centre at Addenbrooke’s

For postdocs based at the Biomedical Campus the Frank Lee offers gym and swimming facilities for staff at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.


Miscellaneous/Other Postdoc Networks

Cambridge University and College Union

Cambridge UCU deals with issues important to our membership at local and national level. UCU negotiates nationally on pay and conditions and protecting your pensions, improving conditions for contract staff, and restructuring of grades.

Equality and Diversity and Athena SWAN

The University of Cambridge is committed 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. The University of Cambridge was a founding member of Athena SWAN Charter and the University won its first award in the inaugural round of March 2006.

Cambridge AWiSE

Cambridge AWiSE is a regional network that brings together women with common interests and acts as a source of support, information and inspiration.  AWiSE members work both in industry and academia, or are women returning to a STEM career after a break.

Women in COG network

The COG (Covid19 genomics) -UK consortium has over 500 members with a range of scientific and business expertise in genomics, bioinformatics, operations, clinical science and public health. Women in COG is a supportive network created to share experiences and knowledge and to promote science careers in women and girls.

Cross-school Interdisciplinary Initiatives

There exists a large number of interdisciplinary initiatives that support postdocs from various research backgrounds. Below are the details for initiatives with exceptionally broad networks.

Engineering Biology Postdocs

EngBio Postdocs is a broad initiative to help connect postdocs across the university. They will be hosting regular events where you can meet and network with other postdocs from across university departments, as well as supporting postdocs to pursue their own projects and initiatives.

Language Sciences

Connecting language science researchers and practitioners across the humanities, social sciences, biology, medicine, computer science and engineering, spanning many University Departments, affiliated research institutes, and five schools.

Centre for Physical Biology

The CPB is an initiative to support postdocs and early career researchers in interdisciplinary research and working at the intersection between biological/biomedical sciences and physical sciences with a network and potantial funding.