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Faculty of Divinity


Faculty of Divinity Staff Handbook

Revision 20.1.14

Health, Safety and Security

See the Health and Safety Policy

If you have an accident, please report this to the Administrative Officer by completing this form.

Sick leave should be reported to the Administrative Officer on form CHRIS/62.

The building is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm during Full Term and until 4:30 pm at other times. The Faculty is closed between Christmas and new year, over the Easter period and for the August bank holiday and following Tuesday. Staff can access the building out of hours. If you teach or organise an event when the Faculty is closed, it is your responsibility to make sure that your students/guests can and do leave the building.

The Faculty

The Faculty belongs to the School of Arts and Humanities, one of the six Schools into which the teaching parts of the University are divided. The other Faculties in the School of Arts and Humanities are Architecture & History of Art, Asian and Middle Easter Studies, Classics, English, Medieval & Modern Languages, Music and Philosophy.

The governing body of the Faculty is the Faculty Board which has a number of sub-committees which report to it: the Undergraduate Teaching Committee, six subject committees, the Learning Resources Committee, the Building and Safety Committee, the Planning and Resources Committee, the Finance Committee, the Research Committee, and the Directors of Studies Meeting.

There is also an appointments committee for appointing to University Teaching Offices.

See also:

  • administrative staff (non-academic) and their responsibilities

Faculty Board Minutes (Unreserved Business) are posted on the Faculty Moodle site for UTOs only.

The Faculty Calendar gives the dates of all Committee meetings.

There is a termly ‘Faculty News’ with information about personnel changes, staff on sabbatical etc. For all other information please consult the website and notice boards.

Human Resources Matters

See the Human Resources Division’s website.

Employing People

If you wish to employ someone, whether a research student, hourly teacher or for a longer contract, please contact the Administrative Officer. Do not make any commitments without consulting him first. Those on hourly pay will need to be treated as self employed or have a workers agreement or go via the Temporary Employment Service depending on the number of hours worked.

Leave and absence

Sickness and ill-health

See the University’s policy on absence due to sickness and the form for reporting such absence.

Leave during term time

Staff are permitted to be away from Cambridge within the UK for no more than two weekday nights during term- time without the permission of the Chairman of the Board provided that they rearrange their classes and inform the Chairman beforehand. Longer absences require the permission of the Chairman of the Faculty Board.

Sabbatical and research leave

See information about sabbatical leave, which is accrued at the rate of one term of leave for every six terms served, and other forms of academic leave along with the requisite forms.

Please note that all requests for sabbatical leave must be made by the Lent term of the academic year next but one before that in which you wish to take leave; such requests should be made on this form from the Administrative Officer. Sabbatical leave should be agreed by the relevant Subject Committee, who must confirm arrangements for covering teaching, and is subject to Faculty and General Board approval. See the Statutory provisions for sabbatical leave.

Please note that by statute (Statute D, Chapter 2, 5 (b)), leave entitlements that are more than six years old are lost.

If you wish to apply for paid academic research leave, for example through an application for research funding to an external funder, please discuss your plans with the Chairman of the Faculty Board, whose task is to ensure that the teaching and administrative needs of the Faculty are met at all times.

Other types of leave

Information about other forms of leave can be found at:

Probation and Promotion

University Lecturers are on an initial probation period of five years which can be waived in exceptional circumstances or reduced to three years if progress is satisfactory.

Every autumn applications are invited for the senior academic promotions round.

The Chairman of the Faculty Board is always willing to discuss with University Lecturers the timing and procedures for an application for promotion. You are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities for mentoring both in relation to career planning in general and specifically in preparation for applying for promotion.


Staff are appraised every second year after completing their probation.

Equality and diversity

The University is committed to equality of opportunity in its pursuit of academic excellence. It holds a Bronze Athena SWAN award (which covers the STEM subjects) and is extending its activities to include the Arts and Humanities. There is a number of networks and activities related to equality.

(See also below on Dignity at Work).

Research Funding Support

The Faculty has various Trust Funds to which members of the Faculty may apply for support for attending Conferences and other research activity.

Trust Funds are also used to fund academic posts, studentships, conferences and other activities.

The Faculty also offers limited funds to University Lecturers who wish to employ a graduate student for a small research task, such as help with an index or bibliography. Please ask the Administrative Officer.

If you wish to make an application for a research grant funded by the University or by an external funder, please discuss this at least one month before the deadline with the Chairman of the Faculty Board and Administrative Officer.

Our own and our sister School host two research facilitators who can help identify potential funders and schemes for a research grant proposal. Their research web-site should be among your ‘favourites’.

For the Centre of Research in Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities which has its own programmes and resource opportunities.

Financial Procedures

If you wish to purchase any goods or services, please contact the Senior Accounts Clerk or the Administrative Officer before making any commitments or make purchases. The Accounts Clerk will need to raise a purchase order. For items of expenditure over £1000, three quotations will be needed.

Forms for Seminar Organisers to provide to speakers to claim expenses are available from the Office.


If you need to cater for an event, e.g. a lunch or dinner, please contact the Administrative Officer for advice. The Faculty is only allowed to use approved suppliers so as to ensure the best practice with regard to health and safety. For lunches and receptions, food should be ordered via one of the accredited suppliers such as the University Centre (details from the Faculty Office). Drinks are ordered via the office.

Statutes and Ordinances

The ultimate University authority is called "Statutes and Ordinances". This is published every year with updates and there is a copy in the Faculty Office. It is updated with changes throughout the year and the latest version is accessible online.

Here you can find our up-to-date Tripos regulations and MPhil regulations.

There is a useful clickable index if you want to find anything else.

For the last word on University regulations this is the place to go, and it is ESSENTIAL that what we do or put on the website does not conflict with what is laid down in Statutes and Ordinances. Any contravention causes serious problems.

From time to time we make changes to the choice of papers or the content of papers and these have to go through a process of being approved by the subject committee and then by the Faculty Board. If you wish to make changes to a course or to introduce a new course please ensure that you complete the necessary forms and discuss them with the relevant subject committee.

After Faculty approval courses only become officially approved once they have been included in the Cambridge University Reporter. The Reporter is a University publication which contains much useful information.

If you sign up you will receive an email alert and a link to the latest issues of the Reporter.

Grievance and Dignity at Work

Grievance procedures exist for staff to seek redress of workplace concerns as informally, fairly, and speedily as possible. Where after investigation a grievance is found to be vexatious or malicious, and without any reasonable foundation, disciplinary action may follow.

The University of Cambridge is committed to protecting the dignity of staff, students, visitors to the University, and all members of the University community in their work and their interactions with others. The University expects all members of the University community to treat each other with respect, courtesy and consideration at all times. All members of the University community have the right to expect professional behaviour from others, and a corresponding responsibility to behave professionally towards others.

See the University’s Dignity at Work policy statement.


The Senior Common Room or Selwyn Room is available for staff on the ground floor. There is a coffee machine for which sachets of tea and coffee are available. Coffee is served in the Faculty at 10:50 in full-term.

Contact staff in the Faculty Office for advice on postage, telephone, fax and photocopying.

The Computer Officer will provide appropriate computer equipment for staff.


Current students and supervisors can access the Faculty’s Moodle page by clicking on the image below.