Induction, probation and career management process ('appraisal') for researchers.

At the beginning of any appointment, the head of department (or his or her nominee) should clearly identify the immediate supervisor of a researcher and establish the nature of that supervision. Supervisors must ensure that new members of staff are formally inducted, that all responsibilities of the job are explained to them and that research objectives and work performance are regularly discussed.

The head of department, or a principal investigator (PI), or a similar supervisor/line manager who can act as a deputy, is responsible for ensuring that new researchers fully understand the duties of the post, the standards expected, institutional practices, reporting requirements of the sponsor and other such management issues. Supervisors should ensure that newly appointed researchers are aware of, and given time to attend, the relevant University induction programme.

The University has published clear guidelines on probation for researchers. All newly appointed researchers must have a clearly defined probationary period, and regular probationary review meetings should be held during this time. These probationary review meetings should include discussion of performance on the research project. Early in the period of appointment, a general discussion should be held with the researcher to help clarify his/her career aspirations and to identify, in general terms, those skills, knowledge and/or experience which need to be developed in order to support the researcher's career aspirations. It is recognised that these aspirations may change, and that any change may affect these development needs. It is, however, important to give time to a general discussion on career aspirations early in the period of appointment.

After the end of the probationary period, once the appointment is confirmed, review meetings should continue under the University's career management ('appraisal') process for researchers. This process is designed to support researchers in managing their careers.

In exercising their responsibilities, supervisors and other departmental managers should take into consideration the advice provided by the Human Resources Division and Cambridge Research Office.