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Graduate students, Department of Engineering


Welcome to the Engineering Department! Please take some time to familiarise yourself with the information on this website, and refer back to it when needed.

The Cambridge Students website is another very useful source of information.

Induction Day

We hold an annual Induction Day in October, to which all Michaelmas Term starters are invited. You will register with your Divisional Administrator, and hear a series of talks from individuals involved in graduate education in the department. We do not run an induction day in Lent, as the numbers are too small to support this, but Lent Term starters, and those who miss the Michaelmas Induction Day, can access slides and handouts from the October event via our Moodle site.

As part of the induction, you will asked to register for the department's IT services. Your University card will be activated overnight following this registration, which will allow you departmental access via your card.

Key people to meet

Your supervisor will be the person in the department who you work most closely with. When you arrive, you should arrange to meet with them as soon as you can, to discuss what you both expect from the supervision relationship and make plans for getting started.

Your advisor will be assigned to you as a second point of contact for academic support when needed. Your advisor may also be one of your assessors for your first year assessment and second year review. Advisors are usually nominated by your supervisor, and approved by your Head of Division within your first term. If you do not know who your advisor is by the end of your first term, please speak to your Divisional Administrator.

Your Divisional Administrator is a source of help for any practical support you need, such as signposting you to local resources, arranging departmental access and making sure you have the necessary space and equipment to study. Most Michaelmas Term starters will meet their Divisional Administrator at the Induction Day, but late arrivals and Lent Term starters should contact them to introduce themselves.

The Graduate Studies Office (GSO) is responsible for all aspects of your academic journey, as well as ensuring that graduate student policies are adhered to and maintaining your student record. Almost everything covered on this website is within the remit of the GSO, so feel free to contact us if you have queries about anything.

Sign up for modules and an RDC

You will need to sign up for two taught modules and a Researcher Development Course at the start of the year. Further information, including the deadlines for registering, can be found on the Modules page of the website.

Induction forms to complete and return

During your first term, you must complete and submit some induction forms (click the form names to download).

Deadlines: 1 December (Michaelmas Term starters), 1 March (Lent Term starters)

Supervisor and Advisor Meeting Form

After you have had your initial meeting(s) with your supervisor and advisor, they should each sign this form, and you should then upload it to Moodle.

Research Group Induction Form

This form should ideally be completed within the first couple of weeks of your arrival, as it introduces you to your local working environment. After all sections have been signed off, you should upload it to Moodle.

Project Proposal Form

By the end of your first term, you should have a good idea of where your research will be going. The project proposal form should set out your plans, and once completed, you should upload it to Moodle.

Local Safety Induction Form

This should be returned to the Safety Office when complete, by email.

Safety Induction

All new staff and students in the department are expected to attend a departmental safety briefing. If you attend the Graduate Induction Day in October, this will be covered as part of that. Late arrivals will be contacted by the Engineering Safety Office and asked to attend an alternative session. Engineering students are exempt from the University's main Postgraduate Safety Course, as the departmental session covers the same material, however there are optional sessions which you may need to attend depending on the nature of your research - you should discuss this with your supervisor. Further information can be found on the Postgraduate Safety Course webpages.

Keeping in contact

There are two mailing lists for research students in Engineering.

All students are subscribed to the eng-pgrad-research-all list, to which we send information relevant to all current students. It is not possible to unsubscribe from this list, as we use it to send important departmental information.

The pgrad-opps list is used to share opportunities that may be of interest to current students, such as job opportunities, PhD or postdoc vacancies, upcoming conferences, lectures and seminars, volunteer roles, etc. Some of these are internal to the University, others are from external sources. All new students are subscribed to the list, but anyone may unsubscribe if they have no interest in receiving such notices.

The GSO's main mode of contact with students is by email, so please ensure that you carefully review any email that is sent to you from, as it may contain important information.

Our Moodle site for current students contains some information, and induction forms can be uploaded there. Please email the GSO if you do not have access.

Sustainability in CUED

We encourage all members of the Department to contribute to sustainable practices such as switching off lights when leaving a space and switching off PCs and other electronic equipment when not in use. We also have a strong ethos of recycling in the Department, so we ask all members to please do their bit and recycle as much of their waste as possible. For more information about the different recycling streams available in the Department, including what goes in which bin, please visit: Please contact the Department’s Green Impact team with any questions, or to get involved with Green Impact Team initiatives; further information and contact details can be found at the following link:

Recommended reading

The University and Engineering Department Libraries both have books available on undertaking a PhD (or other graduate-level study), which may be useful to read during your first year, to ensure that you get the most out of your time in the department. One such example is: "How to get a PhD: A handbook for students and their supervisors" (2015, Phillips, E. and Pugh, D.S.), but there are many others available.

What next?

Find out about the requirements during your first year and make sure you familiarise yourself with the graduate students' Code of Practice.