Postdocs of Cambridge (PdOC)
Many postdocs are not affiliated with a college during their time in Cambridge. These unaffiliated postdocs do not have the benefits of access to interdepartmental contacts or college facilities, and often remain on the edges of university life. One of PdOC's main aims is to work with the university authorities to try to improve this situation. While this is a big challenge and will not happen overnight, we are seeing gradual progressive improvements. Many senior figures in the university welcome the assistance of PdOC in exploring ways to improve the present situation; if you would like to help, please get in touch with the PdOC committee.
PdOC College-Affiliation spreadsheet: a comprehensive summary of postdoctoral college-affiliation opportunities.
This online spreadsheet is regularly updated to reflect changing college-affiliation opportunities. Click the above title to view the spreadsheet.
The Cambridge University Reporter is printed weekly in term time and is the most reliable source of real-time postdoctoral college-affiliation (and all other university) vacancies.
To view current postdoctoral college-affiliation vacancies, open the College Notices/Vacancies section in the current issue (as well as several recent issues) of the Reporter. For example, here are postdoctoral college-affiliation vacancies advertised in the first week of Michaelmas Term 2013.
NB: Postdoctoral affiliations are only advertised once and posts for the start of academic year are advertised any time between late winter to summer; plan in advance and consult past issues of the Reporter. Many applications require a short research proposal, along with references which have to be sent in at the time of application.
Types of postdoctoral affiliations
Postdocs may become full college fellows ('Senior Research Fellows') on recommendation of a college member, for example their departmental supervisor or head of department. This usually occurs after they have been in Cambridge long enough to settle in and get to know people a bit. They should also have a proven track record in student supervision, and obtained a 'senior' status. The position carries various obligations. Fellows are responsible for college finances, must attend council meetings and fulfill specific roles, e.g., help run college events.
Stipendiary Junior Research Fellowships
Junior Research Fellowships (JRFs) are an alternative to a normal postdoc position, last for two or three years, are paid by the college. The salary is usually considerably lower than for an externally funded postdoc position, but free accommodation and meals can well make up for that. In the sciences and some other disciplines it may depend on the postdoc being offered space in the relevant department. Dining rights (at High Table, if they have one) are usually included and the postdoc will be invited to take part in all college activities. Teaching is optional, but usually up to 6 hours of supervisions per week may be undertaken, with separate payment. Much less is required of a JRF than of a senior fellow.
Non-stipendiary Junior Research Fellowships
As above but with no stipend. Accommodation or a living-out allowance and a conference allowance, are usually offered. Probably ideal for postdocs who already have funding.
Other postdoctoral affiliations
Most colleges also offer a range of non-stipendiary postdoctoral affiliations, including College Research Associateships, Postdoctoral Research Associateships and Postdoctoral Memberships. The nature of each affiliation varies for each college, but most include dining rights and offer networking and teaching opportunities. Such college affiliations can be a very useful starting point for new postdocs in Cambridge.