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Human Resources


This page provides information about the use of personal information while you are a member of staff, worker, consultant, volunteer, affiliated lecturer or academic visitor at the University of Cambridge. As a member of staff (or equivalent) you also have certain legal and contractual responsibilities to protect the personal information of other people (e.g. other employees, students, research participants) by handling it appropriately; relevant policies and guidance are available at

1. What is ‘personal information’?

‘Personal information’ means any information which relates to or identifies you as an individual.

2. How does this webpage relate to other information about data protection?

When you applied to become a member of staff (or equivalent) you were told how the University would use your personal information during the recruitment process and for related purposes. You were referred to this webpage for a fuller statement of the uses we would make of your personal information if you became a member of staff (or equivalent). In addition to the information published here, when you use specific services and facilities offered by the University, you will be told about any other uses of your personal information. For example, there are separate statements for staff who engage with the Staff Counselling Service, Occupational Health or the Childcare Office, and individual Departments may supplement this webpage with more specific information for their staff.

3. Who will process my personal information?

The information published here applies to the use, sharing and disclosure of your personal information by the University of Cambridge (, including its Departments, Institutes and Research Centres/Units. Each of the 31 Cambridge Colleges ( is a separate legal entity for these purposes. If you are a member of, or otherwise associated with, a College, that College will provide you with its own statement setting out how it will use, share and disclose your personal information. Similarly, if you are employed simultaneously by another body, such as an NHS Trust, that organisation will provide you with its own statement setting out how it will use, share and disclose your personal information.

4. What personal information will be processed?

The University will keep a record of the details you provided on your application form, any supporting documents requested and additional details provided by any referees and recorded following any interview process. We will maintain various administrative and financial records about your employment at Cambridge, and about your use of the academic and non-academic facilities and services that we offer. Where relevant, we may supplement these records with personal data from the public domain (e.g. your publications) or other sources (e.g., where relevant, the Higher Education Academy).

Your personal information is created, stored and transmitted securely in a variety of paper and electronic formats, including some databases that are shared between the University and the Colleges (such as the system used by most University and College libraries). Access to your personal information is limited to staff who have a legitimate interest in it for the purpose of carrying out their contractual duties, and our use of your personal information will not be excessive.

In addition to this, the University may process some information about you that is classed as ‘sensitive’ or ‘special category’ personal data, and which requires additional protections. This includes information concerning your ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or health/disability for planning and monitoring purposes, or in order to provide care, help or suitable adjustments. For certain roles, other sensitive information may be processed, such as information about past criminal convictions, working with children or vulnerable adults, and your fitness to practise in certain regulated professions. Access to, and the sharing of, your ‘sensitive’ personal data are controlled very carefully. You will normally be given further details about our use of any such data when we collect it from you.

5. What is the purpose and legal basis of the processing?

The University will process your personal information for a range of contractual, statutory or public interest purposes, including the following:

  • To assess your suitability for a particular role or task (including any relevant right to work checks).
  • To support you in implementing any health-related adjustments to allow you to carry out a particular role or task.
  • Where relevant, to monitor, evaluate and support your research and commercialisation activity (see the further information published at
  • To administer remuneration, payroll, pension and other standard employment functions.
  • To administer HR-related processes, including those relating to performance/absence management, disciplinary issues and complaints/grievances. Note that information collected for a different purpose may be re-used for disciplinary purposes where this is proportionate and reasonable (e.g. IT logs showing your network/computer access and use, or CCTV images/photos of you).
  • To operate security (including CCTV), governance (including conflicts/declarations of interest), audit and quality assurance processes and arrangements.
  • To deliver IT facilities to you (see the further information published at ; in addition, some IT services will supply you with extra service-specific information). Some of these IT services are specific to an educational context (e.g. the use of lecture capture facilities, anti-plagiarism software or online learning environments).
  • To deliver facilities (e.g. libraries), services (e.g. accommodation, childcare) and staff benefits (e.g. CAMbens, events) to you, and where appropriate to monitor your use of those facilities in accordance with University policies (e.g. on the acceptable use of IT).
  • To communicate effectively with you by post, email and phone, including the distribution of relevant newsletters and circulars.
  • To support your training, health, safety, welfare and religious requirements.
  • To compile statistics and conduct surveys and research for internal and statutory reporting purposes.
  • To fulfil and monitor our responsibilities under equalities, immigration and public safety legislation.
  • To enable us to contact others in the event of an emergency (we will assume that you have checked with the individuals before you supply their contact details to us).

We consider the processing of your personal information for these purposes to be either necessary for the performance of our contractual obligations with you (e.g. to manage your employment contract), or necessary for compliance with a legal obligation (e.g. the administration of taxes), or necessary for the performance of tasks we carry out in the public interest (e.g. non-statutory reporting or research). We require you to provide us with any information we reasonably ask for to enable us to administer your contract. If we require your consent for any specific use of your personal information, we will collect it at the appropriate time and you can withdraw this at any time. Where we ask for any sensitive information, such as that concerning your ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or health/disability, you will normally have the option to refuse your consent by not supplying it. We will not use your personal information to carry out any wholly automated decision-making that affects you.

6. Who will my personal information be shared with?

Your personal information is shared as permitted or required by law, on a considered and confidential basis, with a range of external organisations, including the following:

  • The Higher Education Statistics Agency, which forms part of Jisc (see their statement published at about the uses they make of your personal information).
  • Prospective and actual research funders, sponsors, collaborators and publishers. (Note that, in accordance with funder/sponsor policies, we may be obliged to notify them about allegations of and investigations into research misconduct, bullying and harassment involving University staff.)
  • The external providers of any staff benefits or pensions.
  • Where relevant and necessary, your own or other Colleges.
  • Relevant Government Departments (e.g. Department for Education, Home Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department of Health), executive agencies or non-departmental public bodies (e.g. UK Visas and Immigration, HM Revenue and Customs, the Health and Safety Executive), and Higher Education bodies (e.g. Office for Students, UK Research and Innovation, Advance HE).
  • Any relevant professional or statutory regulatory bodies (e.g. General Medical Council).
  • Any relevant simultaneous employers (e.g. NHS Trusts) or organisations hosting you as a secondee or visitor whether in a formal or informal capacity.
  • If you agree, the relevant trade unions.
  • On occasion and where necessary, the police and other law enforcement agencies.
  • On occasion and where necessary, auditors, insurers and professional advisers.
  • On occasion and where necessary, and expedient, subsidiary companies of the University (e.g. Cambridge Enterprise).
  • Companies or organisations providing specific services to, or on behalf of, the University.

We will provide references about you to external enquirers or organisations where you have requested or indicated that we should do so.

We will include your basic contact details in our internal online directory, Lookup, though you can control how much information is accessible within the collegiate University ( You may also choose to include your email address in our external online directory, Jackdaw ( Many Departments expect staff to maintain a publicly available personal profile or webpage. Some information about University Officers and other staff (e.g. appointments or committee memberships) is published in the Reporter.

On occasion, the above types of sharing may involve the transfer of your personal information outside of the UK (e.g. to report to an overseas research funder). Such transfers usually are necessary in order to meet our contractual obligations with you, and are carried out with appropriate safeguards in place to ensure the confidentiality and security of your personal information.

Other than as set out above, we will not normally publish or disclose any personal information about you to other external enquirers or organisations unless you have requested it or consented to it, or unless it is in your vital interests to do so (e.g. in an emergency situation).

7. How can I access my personal information?

You have the right to access the personal information that is held about you by the University. Further details are published at

You also have the right to ask us to correct any inaccurate personal information we hold about you, to delete personal information, or otherwise restrict our processing, or to object to processing (including the receipt of direct marketing) or to receive an electronic copy of the personal information you provided to us. Please note that all of these rights are qualified in various ways.

8. How long is my information kept?

We store your personal information as part of your staff record for the duration of your employment (and it may be used as part of our assessment of any future application you make for further employment at Cambridge). After you leave certain records pertaining to your employment are retained indefinitely so that the details of your employment can be confirmed and (depending on your staff group) for statistical or historical research. Information about how long different types of information are retained by the University is published at

Alumni benefits and services are made available to certain categories of former staff, notably former postdoctoral staff; if you choose to accept these benefits, more information about the use of your personal information is published at

9. Who can I contact?

If you have any questions about how your personal information is used, or wish to exercise any of your rights, please consult the University’s data protection webpages at If you need further assistance, please contact the University’s data protection team ( or its Data Protection Officer (

10. How do I complain?

If you are not happy with the way your information is being handled, or with the response received from us, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF (

11. Are changes made to this webpage?

This webpage was last updated in March 2023. It is reviewed when necessary and at least annually. Any changes will be published here and you will be notified via this webpage and/or by email.