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Department of History and Philosophy of Science


Jobseekers' coffee

Organised by Kim Alexander and Phillip Kieval

PhD students, postdocs and early career scholars in HPS and Philosophy are invited to attend jobseekers' coffee. This group offers informal support and advice for those who are applying for academic jobs of various kinds. We discuss the uses of Careers Services, how to draft a cover letter, who to ask for references, how to pick jobs to apply for, and many more.

Meetings are held on Mondays at 3pm in Seminar Room 1.


Supervisors' coffee

Once your formal supervisor training is over, who do you turn to for continued support? Your fellow supervisors, of course! The College Liaison Officer can also be very helpful when disciplinary matters arise. Come and chat over coffee to other Department supervisors about how it's going, share the pleasures of good supervisions and seek advice over trickier issues.

No meetings currently scheduled.


ESL HPSers' coffee

PhD students, postdocs and early career scholars in HPS are invited to attend the ESL coffee. This group provides a space for students who speak English as a second language to get together and share their experiences navigating academia, Cambridge, and the UK. Also, this group aims at thinking and creating tools together in order to make our community more linguistically diverse by reflecting on English hegemony in academia and the impact of this in non-native speakers' professional development. Feel free to come and ask questions, exchange advice, and connect with other HPSers.

No meetings currently scheduled.


Language help

The Department's language 'therapy' groups offer informal weekly sessions, led by an expert tutor, to help you improve your reading skills in several languages.

 Language groups

If English is not your first language and you find yourself struggling to read, write and communicate effectively in an academic environment, come and talk to the Postgraduate Training Officer and/or explore the resources at the University's Language Centre.


HPS Workshop

HPS Workshop seeks to break the isolation of postgraduate research and encourage collaborative thinking by allowing students to present work in progress in a supportive seminar environment.

 HPS Workshop


Postgraduate seminars

The postgraduate seminars offer a sustained and systematic introduction to specific cutting-edge areas of research, led by leading experts in those areas.

 Postgraduate seminars


Undergraduate courses

Postgraduate students and postdocs in HPS are encouraged to benefit from any undergraduate (Part IB and Part II) courses that they consider useful. They can provide systematic introductions to subject areas that are new to you, and point to research topics and reading materials even in areas you are reasonably familiar with.



Seminars and reading groups

The Department features a variety of seminars and reading groups, some long running such as the Cabinet of Natural History and CamPoS, others temporary, and many in between.

 Seminars and reading groups


Externally provided courses and resources

All postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers are encouraged to attend relevant training courses offered by other bodies, most of which are free to members of the University. There's now a central University of Cambridge Training website where you can sign up for any course. Here are some that are particularly noteworthy:


Travel and training grants

The Department offers small grants towards travel costs to conferences for those giving papers at conferences (not for attendance only), and towards any particular training need that is not catered for otherwise.

The Department does not normally sponsor language courses for MPhil students, unless there is a well-justified need related to later coursework with a clear statement of how a short-term course will result in a meaningful difference.