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Department of Psychology


Career Development

The University is working to facilitate career and personal development through a range of courses and programmes. The Department of Psychology has instigated a career development scheme to ensure that the needs of individuals are met. The key contacts for the scheme are listed below.

Undergraduates entering academic careers Dr Amy Milton is the contact for students interested in pursuing a career in academia. She did her first degree in Natural Sciences (Biological) at Newnham College, Cambridge, before undertaking a PhD in behavioural neuroscience. She subsequently became a Research Fellow at Downing College, Cambridge, and a Departmental Lecturer in the Department of Experimental Psychology. She has recently been appointed to a University Lectureship in the Department of Psychology. 

For undergraduates interested in pursuing a career in academia, the first step is to undertake graduate study; whether a Masters followed by a PhD, or moving straight into PhD research. This can be done either by applying for advertised PhD positions, which appear on academic job sites such as those listed below:

Advertised positions will often come with funding, and the application process is similar to a standard job application.

Alternatively, students can independently find a supervisor, work out a suitable project, and then apply for funding in the Research Council competitions. The web pages below give advice on this application procedure here in the Department of Psychology, and the advice is useful more generally for this approach:

For graduate students interested in continuing in academia, you can apply for postdoctoral positions advertised on scientific career websites or apply for your own fellowship funding. Junior Research Fellowship competitions (specific to the University of Cambridge) are advertised in the University Reporter, with the first adverts appearing over the summer, and some appearing as late as January, for appointment in the following October:

Other fellowships are available, and can be found by searching online depending on your specific field of research and eligibility.

The University of Cambridge Careers Service is also a source of useful advice, as are students’ Directors of Studies and graduate supervisors and advisors.

Post-doctoral researchers: career development

Professor Nicola Clayton will present a semi-annual career development lecture to the Department's post-docs.

New staff Dr Greg Davies

Promotions Professor Michael Lamb 

Michael Lamb has been involved in the evaluation of candidates for promotion since being appointed to the University Promotion and Tenure Advisory Committee at the University of Utah in 1982.  At Cambridge, he managed the promotion and appointment of academic staff in the old Department of Social and Developmental Psychology since his appointment in 2004.

Retirement Professor Martin Richards

Many academics continue with some academic or other work post-retirement. However, academic work in retirement can be a little more complicated than simply a shift to part-time. As a relatively recent retiree (2005) who continues to do some academic work within the Department, as well as some outside the University, Professor Richards would be happy to discuss issues related to retirement planning and post-retirement academic work, including work on life balance in relation to retirement.

Careers Outside Academia: Case Study

After reading psychology at Cambridge Hetty Marx started her publishing career at Pearson Education as an editorial assistant working on history, politics and literature undergraduate textbooks. Her next position was as a development editor at Pearson Education, where she worked in depth on undergraduate textbooks across a wide range of subjects, helping authors create the best possible books and online resources for students and lecturers. In 2008 she moved to Cambridge University Press as the commissioning editor for psychology, a role which involves developing a strategy for the psychology list, commissioning authors to write academic books and textbooks and guiding and championing each project from the initial idea through to the finished book.


Information about the Department of Psychology's Appraisal Scheme (a password-protected area for current staff).


University guidelines on mentoring for newly appointed staff.

Further Careers Advice

The University of Cambridge Careers Service provides careers tailored to specific subjects:

Students graduating from the Natural Sciences Tripos
Students graduating from the Politics, Psychology and Sociology Tripos
Students graduating from the Psychological and Behavioural Sciences Tripos