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The information and links on this page have been gathered together to provide staff and students with a one-stop-shop for all matters concerned with welfare.

On this page you will find information on how to deal with harassment, sexual misconduct, wellbeing, equality and diversity, dignity at work, how to complain about teaching and examining, and how to obtain help, support and advice.

Preventing harassment and sexual misconduct

Dealing with sexual harassment is a responsibility for everyone in the community. People won't come forward, there won't be an open discussion, unless there's an environment in which people feel at least relatively safe. So each and every one of us has to try hard to create that environment.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Toope, October 2017

The Department of History and Philosophy of Science strongly endorses the University's campaign 'Breaking the Silence – Cambridge speaks out against sexual misconduct' which draws together all aspects of collegiate Cambridge's work on prevention, reporting and supporting in regard to harassment and sexual misconduct affecting both staff and students. The campaign has launched a website drawing together all relevant information into one central resource:

Breaking the Silence

The Department's activities to tackle harassment and sexual misconduct focus on:

  • fostering a zero-tolerance culture free from coercive behaviour, harassment and sexual misconduct;
  • providing support and guidance to members of the Department in relation to harassment and misconduct;
  • handling in an exemplary manner allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct between students and students, and students and employees.

University statement

Code of conduct

Active bystander strategies

Supporting students in learning and teaching

University sexual harassment and assault advisor

A new role of Sexual Harassment and Assault Advisor has been created within the University Counselling Service to provide specialist advice and support to anyone who has experienced sexual harassment or assault. This advisor will also be able to provide information about the internal and external support and reporting routes.

Wellbeing advocates

The University is committed to providing a healthy and fulfilling working environment and improving the quality of working lives for all staff and students. A network of trained voluntary wellbeing advocates, supported by the HR Division, has been established to address key issues. The advocates are able to provide information on local and University wellbeing activities and be a source of advice and guidance, including about support services, mental health and dignity at work issues. The wellbeing advocates in HPS are Anna Alexandrova (aa686) and Louisa Russell (lar45).

University Wellbeing pages

Advice for students

Dignity @ Work

There is no place for any form of harassment, victimisation or sexual misconduct at Cambridge. Such behaviour is contrary to the values and ideals of our shared community, subverts the University's mission and core values and diminishes the dignity and integrity of all parties.

Dignity @ Work policy

A network of Dignity @ Work contacts provide confidential advice to those who feel that they are experiencing difficult working relationships, including bullying or harassment. If you would like to talk confidentially to a Dignity @ Work contact, you should call (7)65031 which is a confidential voice-mail number where you leave your name and contact details and someone will get back to you. Or you can email with your name and contact details.

The Dignity @ Work contacts in HPS are Liba Taub (lct1001) and Richard Staley (raws1).

Equality and diversity

The Department supports equality and diversity by ensuring that all staff undertake equality and diversity training at least every two years and via the appointment of an Equality Champion whose role it is to demonstrate senior leadership and support for equality and diversity matters and initiatives. The Department's Equality Champion is Anna Alexandrova (aa686). Further information on E&D at Cambridge can be found at the following pages:

Equality & Diversity at Cambridge

How to complain about teaching or examining

If you are unhappy about any University teaching, service, department, facilities or staff member, the University has a Student Complaint Procedure for you to use in order to try and resolve the situation. You should first try to resolve the problem at local level by speaking to your Director of Studies/College Graduate/Course Manager or alternatively approach one of the Department's Dignity Officers (Richard Staley or Liba Taub).

If you do not feel comfortable raising the matter with this person then you should speak or write to the Responsible Officer (in this department, the Senior Examiners act as 'Responsible Officers'). You should raise your complaint as soon as it occurs or at least within 28 days of the matter arising. Many issues can be resolved easily and quickly if you communicate your problem to someone.

Department advice about student complaints

All complaints are treated seriously and are handled sensitively. We understand that it can be a stressful experience to submit a complaint, particularly when it is about an individual staff member, for example a PhD supervisor. We recommend that you seek support and advice from your College Tutor, Graduate Tutor or the Students' Unions' Advice Service.

University Counselling Service

The University Counselling Service is available free of charge to all students and staff who hold a University contract of employment. The service is staffed by professionally accredited, and widely experienced counsellors. All are used to helping people from many different backgrounds and cultures and with a wide range of personal issues.

Student Advice Service

The Students' Unions' Advice Service offers free, confidential and independent support to students.

Roles and responsibilities

Offices and roles within the Department of History and Philosophy of Science

Disability Resource Centre

The Disability Resource Centre (DRC) is the University's disability service, providing advice, information and support to all disabled students. The DRC supports individuals with any disability, medical matter or injury, including those with:

  • specific learning difficulties (including dyslexia)
  • physical impairments and injuries (including broken limbs and Work Related Upper Limb Disorder (WRULD)
  • sensory impairments
  • mental health issues
  • eating disorders
  • chronic illnesses
  • Asperger syndrome and autism

The DRC can provide confidential information and support, study skills tuition and mentoring, assessment for dyslexia, the loan of specialist equipment and assistance with funding applications. The DRC can also work with you, your college and department to help ensure that you have effective support for your studies and help you apply for reasonable adjustments for examinations. More information about all these issues can be found on the DRC's website.

Occupational Health

Occupational Health (OH) aims to assist with reducing ill health and promoting health and wellbeing across the University. The service has an advisory role in assisting the University meet its general duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 by working alongside management to ensure that the working environment is safe and that a person's health is not adversely affected by their work activities. The occupational health team comprises of a small team of occupational health specialist doctors and nurses and administrative personnel who offer impartial advice to both the employer and employee.


  • Employment and health assessments for certain staff and student groups
  • Advice and guidance for staff with health problems that could affect their ability to do their job
  • Assessment for fitness to work after an illness or injury
  • Assessment of health related performance concerns
  • Periodic health checks and advice dependent on the nature of your job
  • Work-related immunisation programmes
  • Travel health advice and vaccinations for staff going on fieldtrips
  • Ergonomic assessments and advice regarding workplace adaptions
  • Accident / incident follow ups
  • Training and information on the management of work and health issues
  • Physiotherapy and Clinical Psychology referral where indicated following an OH consultation
  • Telephone enquiries and advice

Referrals to OH may be initiated either by a member of staff (self-referral) or with their consent, the member of staff's manager (management referral). Once a referral form has been received the individual will be contacted within four working days and an appointment usually arranged within 21 working days.