University of Cambridge Reviews

Updated April 20, 2015
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Employee Reviews

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  1. Great, relaxed, smart people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at University of Cambridge

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Clear cut payscale with yearly bonuses and a generous pension.

    Cons

    Lack of high quality software developers.

  2. A great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Computer Officer in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Computer Officer in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    I worked at University of Cambridge full-time (more than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Overall, the university cares about its employees and follows guidelines and rules well. A lot depends on which part you end up working for. Pay is OK, the pension not as good as it once was. The work-life balance is great, with sufficient leave entitlement and flexible working arrangements.

    And of course also plenty of opportunities and support to learn and develop.

    Cons

    Career advancement is usually very slow. 800+ years of history mean that the bureaucracy moves slow, even now.

  3. Great reputation, disappointing reality behind the facade.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Contracts Manager in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Contracts Manager in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    I worked at University of Cambridge full-time (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Cutting edge world-class research
    Good benefits; generous annual Leave, pension and discounts across the city.
    Good reputation - the name carried kudos

    Cons

    Extremely disorganised - eg. no PC until week 3
    Little/ no training
    Strict hierarchical structure
    Autocratic management approach
    Understaffed
    Dated building
    Overcrowded office space
    Senior management disrespectful/ dismissive
    HR unsupportive and unresponsive

    Advice to Management

    Take a more honest and balanced approach to dealing with staff of all grades. Provide a general feedback facility for reporting dissatisfaction.

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  5. Stimulating and exciting.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    I have been working at University of Cambridge full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    You are surrounded by world top scientists. Academic and research environment is fast-paced and stimulating.

    Cons

    Highly competitive environment that can be stressful.

  6. Excellent!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Category Manager in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Category Manager in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    I worked at University of Cambridge full-time (more than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Environment, benefits, social, interesting, beautiful

    Cons

    Salary is not as competitive as private sector

  7. Great opportunity at the University

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at University of Cambridge full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great environment, awesome learning experience,

    Cons

    Research goals can be ambitious and hence demanding a lot of innovation

  8. Helpful (1)

    Massive wealth - anachronism

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at University of Cambridge full-time (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Lots of time off allowed, plenty of benefits depending on your Grade in the uni society (see Cons below).

    Work-life balance is good.

    Cons

    It's a successful university split into two parts: 'academic' and 'non-academic' work. Non-academics may as well be considered indentured servants, even if they're as capable as academic staff (e.g. Doctors of engineering working as software developers are considered 'non academic').

    The University is an umbrella org that facilitates data sharing between 32 colleges, but its the colleges that are extraordinarily wealthy. The university is cash strapped and most of its staff are non-academic.

    There's a tremendous disparity between the rights of people of equal capability to earn relatively similar amounts of money in salary terms; and it all comes down to the Grading of your position by HR.

    HR is superbly anachronistic, and for example considers a senior software engineer to be the same thing / level / grade as a senior anything else: including office administrators, lab techs and secretaries.

    The city is a terminal city, people come and go - plus it has small town syndrome. The uni people are self absorbed and self centered; the local town people are jaded and resentful of the uni people.

    The keyword I'd use is Feudal.

    Advice to Management

    Modernise your grading system and recognise skilled employees as such. The rest of the world is better than you at identifying / categorising skilled labour types. Unify your budgets and demand more from the colleges, who have more than they need to secure themselves for the next 500 years.

  9. Flexible, but terrible for families

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at University of Cambridge

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Interesting work. Good prospects if you get there quickly. Good "exit" support - UofCam has cought on that they have thousands of early research career staff who have no chance of progressing to a handfull of advanced academic positions.

    Cons

    Sad to say but If you like research, this is a place to vacate as soon as possible! You need to get into a PI or another university postdoc very quickly. Attempting to do research for longer in a postdoc position will just leave you worse off then those who left early and you will be working really hard mean time, at phD students pace.

    Advice to Management

    Sort out career progression for your staff 9 this applies to all UK universities)

  10. Review of the research fellow in University of Cambridge

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at University of Cambridge

    Pros

    No teaching obligation, nice weather

    Cons

    salary a little bit low

  11. Can be interesting and frustrating

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Computer Officer in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Computer Officer in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    I have been working at University of Cambridge full-time (more than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    As a computer officer/engineer working in university-wide projects, the scope of work can be exhilarating as one can be working with some of the top research minds in the world. It still has a final salary pension too (though watered down for employees that joined after October 2011), which in this day and age is like gold dust.

    Cons

    Any sort of change tends to be fought against, and the promotion prospects of non-academics (especially tenured ones) are non existant, being done on a strictly dead man's shoes approach. The culture will vary widely depending in which group/department you work. Empire building is rife, and the politics at the higher levels of university administration are so frought that they tangibly impact on the university's lack of progress.

    Advice to Management

    A lot of lip service is paid to being dynamic and having buzzword laden goals, but hardly anything of useful consequence is ever really carried through. My advice would be to stop having never ending reviews that are then constantly watered down, and give far more responsibility to technical workers lower down the chain of command (and who actually know what their users and co-workers want).

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