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College Affiliation Opportunities

Collegiate Cambridge

Cambridge is a Collegiate University consisting of 31 self-governing Colleges. The Colleges are integral to the make-up, history and foundation of the University. All undergraduate and postgraduate students are members of a College and much of the University’s small group undergraduate teaching is delivered via the Colleges. Whilst the majority of postdocs arrive in Cambridge with no College attachment, many postdocs seek College membership to enhance and enrich their time in Cambridge. 

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Why seek a College?

Although postdocs are busy working in a world-class research environment, many value a formal attachment to one of the Colleges which allows them to carry on with their day-to-day research whilst at the same time enjoying the facilities, benefits, teaching opportunities and interdisciplinary contacts which a College could offer.

The process of obtaining a College affiliation can be daunting and many postdocs who are new to Cambridge may not know where to begin. Below, you’ll find a list of current opportunities which is updated regularly.

Other places to find current affiliation opportunities include the University’s jobs site and the Reporter – the University’s official journal. The Postdocs of Cambridge Society (PdOC) maintains a College affiliation guide, which includes a database of opportunities, which you may find useful.


Non-stipendiary postDeadline for applicationsTenure
Non-Stipendiary Research Fellowship in Science or Mathematics 14/04/2017 3 years


Types of affiliations:

Postdoctoral College affiliation opportunities are usually categorized as a Postdoctoral Research Associateship (also called an ‘affiliation’), a Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) or a non-stipendiary JRF. Stipendiary affiliation involves the payment of a salary, while non-stipendiary affiliation does not though some Colleges may offer benefits such as dining rights, subsidized accommodation and small bursaries for research and conference travel.

Postdoctoral Research Associateship or membership: Titles vary so these opportunities could also be called College Research Associateships, Postdoctoral Memberships or simply an ‘affiliation’. College affiliation can be a very useful starting point for new postdocs in Cambridge. They will experience the academic and social life of a College, join networks and have opportunities to meet like-minded colleagues. College affiliations are less competitive than JRFs or non-stipendiary Fellowships and are more numerous. Not all Colleges operate an affiliation scheme, but many do. Application processes vary and schemes begin and end throughout the year. See the PdOC College affiliation guide for more information.

A Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) is a salaried three-year Fellowship suitable for postdoctoral researchers and scholars at an early stage of their academic career. JRFs are invited to take part in all College activities, are typically offered College accommodation and dining benefits, grants for research expenses, as well as access to social and sports facilities. Research Fellows might get involved in teaching, tutoring, supervision and research within the College. JRFs are highly competitive with hundreds of applications received per Fellowship. Please note, however, that if you’re already on a research contract then a JRF would not be relevant for you.

Non-stipendiary Junior Research Fellowships: these opportunities are similar to JRFs, but do not include a salary. Non-stipendiary Fellowships offer postdocs the opportunity to get involved in College life via teaching, often include dining rights, subsidized accommodation and access to research bursaries. Non-stipendiary JRFs are competitive, but less so than their salaried equivalent and are suitable for postdocs already on a current research contract.

How to apply:

Application processes vary by College though application materials would typically include a CV, a research statement and one or two letters of support. See the individual scheme advert for precise details. 



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