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Eligibility Statement

Our primary focus is on supporting current students, current postdoctoral researchers and recent graduates (in particular those who left within the last two years) of the university. If you meet these criteria, you are likely to be able to benefit from our full range of support which you can access through our Careers platform, Handshake.

Those who graduated from the university more than two years ago can also make use of the service via Handshake, though one-to-one appointments are limited to the vacation period. This is to ensure that we can offer sufficient support to current students at the busiest times of year. For term dates please visit

If you work for, or are affiliated to the university, you may be able to access our resources, vacancies and some careers events on Handshake. To determine if you are eligible, and for what services, please see below.

Who is eligible?

The following groups can make full use of the careers service, including booking one-to-one appointments & events, and viewing  vacancies & careers resources via Handshake:


  • Current Undergraduates, and postgraduates (Taught and Research), full-time or part-time, including certificate and diploma courses*

  • Graduates/Former Students (appointments outside of term-time only if beyond two years of completion)*

  • Temporarily discontinued students

  • Current Undergraduate and Masters students from another institution studying at - and currently based in - Cambridge

  • Fixed term Postdocs, Junior Research Fellows, Research Associates, Research Fellows and Research Assistants (see section below for more details)

The following groups can view vacancies & careers resources and book most events via Handshake - but are not eligible for one-to-one appointments:


  • Academic, Academic-Related, Assistant & Technical staff of the University**

  • Graduates of another university who were at Cambridge on an exchange programme

  • Students and Graduates of the MBA, Executive MBA, Master of Accounting and Master of Finance

*Students and Graduates of the MBA, Executive MBA, Master of Accounting and Master of Finance are not eligible for one-to-one appointments as they have access to appointments via the Judge Business School. 

**Current staff must register on Handshake with an or  @cantab address.


Who is not eligible?

Unless you are also a graduate of the university, the following groups are ineligible to use the Careers Service, though you are very welcome to make use of our extensive online resources and YouTube content. 

  • Cambridge University Press and Assessment staff (CUPA)

  • Graduates of other universities in the UK or abroad

  • Prospective students

  • Spouses, partners, family members of any of the above categories

  • Former Academic, Academic-Related, Assistant & Technical staff of the University

  • Former Fixed-term Postdocs, Junior Research Fellows, Research Associates and Research Fellows

  • Anyone not explicitly included in the 'Who is Eligible'? section above.


We have an extensive range of publicly available resources on our website, and we welcome everyone to make use of these. If you are ineligible for our services or are a mid-career professional seeking one-to-one advice, we would recommend the Career Development Institute’s Professional Register:

Research Staff

We offer a specialist service to fixed-term research staff interested in careers in the academic sector as well as a wide range of careers in other sectors. This includes confidential individual appointments, workshops, events and online resources. Access to Researcher-specific appointments and events depends on your status: 

Research Staff on Fixed Term Contracts

You can use this service if you are a member of staff on a fixed-term research contract.  This includes: all postdocs including JRFs, College Teaching Officers, Research Assistants (with or without a PhD), Research Associates, and holders of Research Fellowships. Please contact us at if you need clarification.

 This includes the following affiliated institutions:

  • MRC LMB (Laboratory of Molecular Biology)        
  • Sanger (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute)            
  • Babraham                                                                   
  • EBI (European Bioinformatics Institute)                

Postdocs are not eligible to use the service once their contract has ended, unless you have a degree from Cambridge, in which case you can access an alumni (appointments outside term time only). 

Visiting researchers

If you are visiting Cambridge as a researcher within the university and are based in Cambridge for the period of your visit,  you are eligible to use the service.  Once you leave Cambridge or return to your home institution, you are no longer eligible. 

Permanent Staff and senior academics

Staff on a permanent contracts and senior academics are not eligible to one-to-one appointments but are welcome to make use of our online resources and book events via Handshake, using an @cam email address. 

Affiliated researchers

This status is given by some departments typically to researchers who are no longer on contract but have had a period of time working in the department.  These researchers (unless student alumni and registered as alumni) are not eligible.   

Please note that certain events, appointments, resources and vacancies are only available to current students, or to specific groups, departments, faculties or levels of study. Access is at the discretion of the Careers Service or host organisation and access criteria may apply.