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Information for Postgraduates

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Useful contacts in the Department

Useful contacts in the University


Ethical Guidelines


Office Hours

For an overview of life as a graduate student in Social Anthropology, along with some practical information, please see Practical information for graduate students. Details of courses can be found on the relevant pages of this website.


Useful contacts in the Department

You are very welcome to contact the following people with specific questions, concerns or suggestions related to the Department. Your College graduate tutor may also be able to provide advice.

    •    The Head of Department is Professor James Laidlaw (
    •    The Chair of the PhD Committee is Professor Susan Bayly (
    •    The MPhil Tutor is Dr Sian Lazar (
    •    The MRes/Pre-field Tutor is Dr David Sneath (
    •    The Department’s Research Ethics Officer is Dr Matei Candea (
    •    The Graduate Administrator is Dave Clark (


Useful contacts in the University

Student Registry (01223) 766302 (

ESRC Doctoral Training Centre (
International Students Team (
Social Science Research Methods Centre (01223) 335390 (

Cambridge University Skills Portal – Skills for Postgraduate Students



Plagiarism Information

Recording Lectures

Lectures and presentations are the intellectual property of the presenter, whether a staff member or student, who retain control over their use and dissemination. Recording, photographing or filming of teaching (lectures, seminars) in any form is thus prohibited. Students who have a documented disability may be granted an exception to record lectures and presentations, but not question sessions, seminar discussions and similar settings. Students must provide support for this request to the Disability Resource Centre, who will make a decision as to the nature of the reasonable adjustments that may be requested of a lecturer.

Health and Safety


Research Ethics and Integrity Guidelines

The University of Cambridge Research Integrity website provides extensive ethics and integrity guidelines to support staff and students. The Association of Social Anthropologists also provides extensive ASA ethics guidelines. Please consult these carefully in advance of applying for research clearance from the division. Also see ESRC framework for research ethics and AAA ethical guidelines.  As the statement from the ASA chair usefully points out, the guidelines are not intended to provide ready-made answers or to absolve researchers from ethical responsibilities, but should be a starting point for a concrete reflection on the specific ethical issues which may have to be borne in mind in the case of your specific research:  

“Codes of practice and guidelines are of necessity succinct documents, couched in abstract and general terms. They serve as a baseline for starting to think about ethical issues, but cannot of their nature encompass the complexities of concrete situations and the dilemmas of choice and positioning that anthropologists routinely face as they navigate through a variety of intersecting fields of power and responsibility and start to consider how their own work both reflects and affects power relations. If ethics is seen simply as a question of avoiding a lawsuit and our codes are simply a list of restrictions on conduct designed to protect us from interference, our ethical purpose will simply be a matter of self-serving professional interest.” (Statement from the Chair, ASA) 

Researchers should also be aware of data protection issues that arise as a result of conducting research. In particular, you should keep in mind that when using cloud-based storage, or programmes such as Evernote, data will be crossing international borders even if your research does not. This means you should be aware of any issues raised concerning not only the security of your own research data, but also the legal issues surrounding data protection of all personal data. Further information on data protection can be found at the following places:
The University of Cambridge Staff and Student Information
Research data Q&A from Jisc Legal
SOAS information on personal data in research which covers some issues of particular interest to anthropologists in more depth

If, having read these guidelines, you have any questions or would like any advice relating to research ethics, please consult the department’s research ethics officer, , .



Funding is a complicated issue for most post-graduate students. We try to keep our information up to date, but please be sure to investigate sites published by the University, Research Councils and other Research funders. For a searchable database of information on all University, department and college funding for students, please visit the Cambridge Funding Search.