Careers service

Students are strongly advised to contact the University's Careers Service in their first year of study. The Careers Service provides careers advice and information to all current University of Cambridge undergraduate and postgraduate students. They also advise postdocs, contract research staff and Cambridge alumni.

In the film, Beyond Cambridge: Spotlight on Careers, five recent graduates talk about their experiences at Cambridge, the support they received from the Careers Service and how their time at university is now helping them in the workplace and in further study.

The Student Ladder

Student Ladder is aimed at university students in all years. It covers:

  • employers offering graduate schemes across aimed at final year students
  • summer internships for penultimate year students
  • work placements for first year students in Easter or summer of their first year.

Student Hubs

The Student Hubs mission is to transform student engagement with social and environmental challenges, supporting a new generation of active citizens to achieve positive change now and in the future.

Student Hubs' Social Impact Careers programme enables students to look beyond university and think about how they will continue to shape a better world throughout their careers.

Teach First

Downing is a member of the bursary scheme for eligible Downing applicants to the Teach First programme. Working in partnership they recruit dynamic, passionate individuals and support them to raise the achievement, aspirations and access to opportunity of pupils from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Trainees join their Leadership Development Programme which involves teaching for a minimum of two years, achieving a PGCE and wider leadership skills training. After the two years, more than half continue to teach within schools in low-income communities, with many moving into middle and senior leadership positions.

Others continue to work towards the vision from positions within government, industry and their own social enterprises, demonstrating a life-long commitment to ending inequality in education from both inside and outside the classroom. Downing members are eligible for a bursary of £250 pounds. Application forms are available by contacting the Senior Tutor.

Cambridge Biodiversity Internship

The Cambridge Biodiversity Internship is a joint venture between the Cambridge University Careers Service and the United Nations Environment Programme/World Conservation and Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) to create opportunities for undergraduates to experience first-hand work in the area of biodiversity.

This offers the chance to gain practical experience and to prepare for future Careers. UNEP-WCMC is based in Cambridge. Successful applicants are eligible to apply for the Cambridge University Careers Summer Bursary Scheme.

Unsuccessful Bursary applicants are eligible to apply for a Downing Careers Bursary of up to £500 towards the cost of accommodation in Downing during the summer. Application forms are available by contacting the Senior Tutor.

Post-doctoral researchers

Post-doctoral workers are nominally affiliated to their department, and are not usually members of a College. However, Downing College Middle Combination Room (MCR) offers membership of the MCR to selected post-docs.

If you're a post-doc and feel that, through membership of our MCR, you would benefit from the facilities and social network the college has to offer as well as bringing something to the already thriving community, then Downing is the place for you.

If you wish to apply to become an affiliated post-doctoral member of the Downing MCR please contact either the College's Tutorial and Admissions Office or the MCR President for further information. You will need to be nominated by either a fellow of college or a current member of the MCR.

Membership benefits and conditions

  • Downing College will offer membership of the MCR to selected postdoctoral workers attached to the University of Cambridge who are not already members of other Cambridge Colleges.
  • No more than 25 postdoctoral workers at any given time will be made members of the MCR.
  • Postdoctoral workers can be nominated for membership of the MCR either by a Fellow of the College or by a member of the MCR. Applications should be made through the Senior Tutor or the MCR President respectively and will require the approval of the General Purposes Committee and of the MCR executive before any offer is made.
  • No more than five postdoctoral workers from any one department may be members of the MCR at any given time.
  • The cost to postdoctoral workers of membership of the MCR and of the other privileges set out under below shall be an annual payment. Membership shall not commence until the fee has been paid and is renewable at the discretion of the committee.
  • Postdoctoral workers nominated for membership of the MCR shall have been awarded their PhD within the previous 10 years.
  • No postdoctoral worker shall be eligible for election onto the MCR Executive, nor are they eligible to vote in either MCR or DCAC meetings.
  • Membership of the MCR shall be terminated when the postdoctoral worker's appointment in the University of Cambridge ends.
  • The privileges of postdoctoral workers made members of the MCR shall be as follows:
    • Use of the Middle Combination Room
    • Use of the College Library
    • Use of College sports facilities on the domus; these include two tennis courts and a multigym (normal fees apply)
    • Use of College sports facilities off domus (eg river facilities)
    • Invitations to special MCR dinners (at guest rate) and all other MCR events
    • The right to dine in Hall (not at High Table) at own expense at the rate applicable to guests
    • The provision of a College pigeonhole in the Porters Lodge for the delivery of mail
  • Those postdoctoral workers who have been made members of the Downing MCR will, on the termination of their membership, normally be offered membership of the Downing Association and will then receive the Association Magazine annually.

Individual postdoctoral workers who have been made members of the MCR may be offered such further privileges as the General Purposes committee shall determine.