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Department of Plant Sciences


This page is devoted to busy researchers who need a 'one-stop' webpage with links to useful websites. Please use the lists below to navigate. You can search by topic or by office/organisation. Let us know if you think of anything we've missed!





Accommodation Service

If you are looking for a place to live while in Cambridge or just some good advice on renting, the University's Accommodation Service provides a handy website. This is also a useful place to go if you want to rent your property to University-related tenants.

Careers Service

The Careers Service Office provides resources and guidance for research staff at the University, delivered via workshops, individual appointments, a well-stocked library, and practice interviews. Careers staff members can advise on both academic and non-academic careers and many have been researchers themselves!

Vitae is another great resource for career management tools.

Computing Service

Visit this website for information about all things computing, including software, eduroam, hardware purchasing, and setting up a VPN connection so that you can access University web resources remotely.

Postgraduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS)

There are six Schools within the governance structure of the University, each comprised of relevant Faculties. The Schools are represented on the General Board, which is responsible for the academic and educational policy of the University. The Department of Plant Sciences belongs to the Faculty of Biology within the School of Biological Sciences. The Postgraduate School of Life Sciences sits within the Faculty of Biology and is responsible for Postgraduate students and those staff concerned with their training.

One of the ways in which the GSLS supports research staff is through it's Researcher Development Programme. The aim of researcher development is to provide opportunities to develop some of the skills which you may or may not be using in the lab. In addition to centrally provided training, individuals or groups of researchers can apply for funding to run training events where gaps in provision have been identified.

GRASP (Postgraduate Students and Postdocs)

The GRASP forum operates within the Postgraduate School of Life Sciences to promote communication between early career researchers and the GSLS in relation to training, policy, etc. PostPostgraduate students and postdocs sit on this committee, which meets on a termly basis.

Human Resources

The Human Resources website provides access to information about a wide range of topics related to benefits and resources for University staff members. Below is a list of just a few of the available topics, as well as a useful PowerPoint introduction to HR services.

Occupational Health

The Occupational Health service aims to prevent work-related ill health and to promote well-being in the workplace.

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPdA)

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, based in the Postdoc Centre, provides a wide ranges of services for postdocs at the University of Cambridge. Depending on your career stage, you might want to use the OPdA/Postdoc Centre for issues related to settling in to Cambridge, immigration, training/development, HR matters, etc. The Postdoc Centre is also an oasis for postdocs in the centre of Cambridge, where you can go to browse the library or have a cup of tea/coffee in a welcoming space away from the lab. You can also book the rooms for free for postdoc meetings and events!

Personal and Professional Development

The Office of Personal and Professional Development provides training for University staff at all career stages. Courses on a variety of topics including communication, time management, and teaching are routinely offered. There is also a programme providing leadership training for early career researchers. Additionally, you can learn about the Staff Review and Development process on the website.

Vitae is another great resource for professional development tools.

Postdocs of Cambridge Society (PdOC)

All postdocs and JRFs at the University of Cambridge are eligible for free membership in the Postdocs of Cambridge Society, which represents the interests of postdocs at the University in areas ranging from career development to college affiliations. The weekly PdOC newsletter provides information about forthcoming social and professional events for postdocs.

Printing services

There are a number of options for poster printing and other media services within the University, including the following:

Audio-Visual Media Group (AVMG)

Department of Engineering Printing Services

Photography and Illustration Services (PandIS)


University Information Services Printroom

Research Communications Office

The Research Communications group are committed to promoting the research carried out at the University of Cambridge using various news and multimedia outlets. Be sure to get in touch with them before your next big newsworthy publication!

If you are interested in communicating with the public about your research, it is also worth considering science outreach. There are a number of organisations and opportunities for outreach, including:


Cambridge Science Festival

Research Operations Office

Visit the Research Operations Office for information about funding organisations and grant applications and management. The website also covers research and data management and ethics.

Another useful resource for research funding can be found on the Research Professional website.

Senior Research Associate Promotion Process

Postdocs with 3 years+ experience can apply for promotion to "Senior Research Associate" (SRA). Download required criteria and additional information.


There are several ways to get involved in teaching at the Department of Plant Sciences: Demonstrating, Supervisions, Lecturing.

For some information check out the video on

Supervisions are mainly organised by colleges, for plant related topics the Department of Plant Sciences takes over the coordination of the supervisions. Look out for emails at the beginning of a term. Supervisions will be recorded on the camcors system.

At the moment there is no system to record involvements in demonstrations and lecturing. Ideally, postdocs would record teaching as they do it on the provided forms (see quick download files). Del Hawtin and Catherine Butler are happy to sign off the teaching forms for those who require them.

Quick download files:

Travel (e.g., conference) funding

Researchers can apply to a number of organisations to fund travel to conferences.  Here are a few examples (we are always looking for more):

Newnham College: The Phyllis and Eileen Gibbs travelling research fellowship 2016-17. This Travelling Fellowship has been endowed with the object of assisting women Postgraduates who have considerable experience of research (normally beyond the doctoral level), who intend to undertake fieldwork projects outside the British isles.  Up to £18,000 a year available.  Deadline: Usually in February.

There are a number of travel funding opportunities listed in our Ginkgo funding page.

Travel expenses can be claimed back using the Expense Form (


The University Library and its affiliated libraries provide access to physical books and journals as well as on-line resources, which includes access to the University's electronic journal subscriptions. You can also make use of the Inter-Library Loan system to access publications at other institutions.  The Plant Sciences Librarian can help you with all of these:

Some other on-line resources that you may find useful are:

Search tools Reference management