A newly appointed researcher needs a combination of practical information and clarification of expectations about how s/he will contribute to the research project; this combination will vary, for example according to length of contract and/or seniority. All researchers should also have opportunities to discuss progress on the project and also the next career steps. The key steps in orienting a newly appointed researcher are outlined in this section.

A comprehensive set of links to further information and guidance is provided. You are not expected to refer to each, but may find it helpful to be aware of the range of information and support that is available for researchers.

1. Ensure that structures are in place to:

  • clearly identify the day-to-day supervisor of the researcher, if s/he is joining a large research group;
  • appoint a mentor to help the researcher settle in;
  • ensure that researchers from overseas have access to information on any personal matters, such as housing, banking, healthcare and social security (the University provides online 'information for new staff' as well as information particularly relevant for researchers);
  • provide new researchers with access to appropriate computing and any research facilities required by the role.

2. Ensure that structures are in place to include research staff in departmental induction arrangements, and to highlight

  • any information about research and publication protocols and codes of practice in the department. Note that researchers must be made aware at the earliest stage possible of any constraints relating to access to, ownership, control, sharing and re-use of research data. Not doing so may give rise to disputes and complaints at later stages;
  • information about resources such as libraries, technical assistance, lab facilities and materials;
  • information about departmental/School training and development provision for researchers.

This departmental information will be augmented by information which researchers will receive in the contract packs issued by HR, i.e.:

  • a web link to the Employment and Career Management Scheme for Researchers and to the Career Management Tool for Researchers;
  • a web link to the web address for the Staff Guide for Academic, Academic-related and research staff. (The Staff Guide: Academic includes relevant University policies, including guidelines on good research practice, intellectual property rights, health and safety and financial regulations);
  • an information sheet on USS and a pensions option form;
  • a postcard pointing to the University's online modules on induction, equality and diversity, and health and safety;
  • information about training and career development support for researchers at Cambridge, including the Careers Service, which hosts a team of careers advisers for research staff, CPPD's research staff development programme, PdOC, the Research Office, Newcomers and Visiting Scholars Group and the Computing Service.

3. Ensure that structures are in place that will prompt PIs/supervisors of researchers to conduct induction and probationary review meetings. These structures should enable:

  • follow-up and support to be provided, where necessary;
  • confirmation/ non-confirmation of appointment at the end of the probationary period.