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Complementary training

Alongside the core components of the PhD programme, other valuable training opportunities are offered. You are free to utilise and design these into your own schedule:

Weekly research lunches

Research lunches bring together PhD students, faculty and research MPhil students one day each week over lunch. They can take the form of:

  • a specific research presentation by a PhD student
  • an expert talk about methodological issues
  • career talks about the job market or publication

The research lunches are part of Community Thursday.

Winter Doctoral Conference

The School's Winter Doctoral Conference is a meeting point for students and faculty working in diverse areas. It is an opportunity to get acquainted with other people's work and for first year students to get a taste of advanced doctoral research. The conference aims to provide a safe, academically useful environment that nurtures the development of PhD students in terms of creating research papers and making presentations at professional seminars and conferences.

Normally, two prizes worth £250 each are awarded to the papers considered to be the most outstanding. At the 2016 conference, the prize-winning paper was The Political Economy of Carbon Pricing: A Panel Analysis by Geoffroy Dolphin.

Visiting faculty talks & workshops

The School welcomes frequent academic visitors from around the world, who engage with PhD students individually and offer workshops in their areas of specialisation. Examples of recent prominent speakers who ran seminars in the last academic year include:

Organisation Theory & Information Systems

  • Professor Wanda Orlikowski, MIT Sloan School of Management (PhD research practicum theorising and presenting organisational research)
  • Professor Candace Jones, University of Edinburgh Business School
  • Professor Royston Greenwood, University of Alberta School of Business


  • Professor Murillo Campello, Cornell University
  • Professor Chris James, University of Florida
  • Professor Anthony Saunders, NYU 

Operations & Technology Management 

  • Professor Chris Tang, UCLA, Editor-in-Chief of Manufacturing & Service Operations Management
  • Professor Beril Toktay, Georgia Tech, Area Editor for Operations Research
  • Professor Fernando Bernstein, Duke University, Associate Editor of Operations Research
  • Dr Manuel Sosa, INSEAD, Senior Editor of POMS (Production and Operations Management)


  • Professor Xiao-Ping Chen, Foster School of Business, Washington University 

Organisational Behaviour

  • Professor Markus Baer, Washington University, Olin Business School 
  • Professor Timothy Judge, University Notre Dame
  • Dr Aparna Joshi  Smeal College of Business, Penn State

Strategic Management

  • Professor Michael Barnett, Rutgers Business School
  • Professor Brian Connelly, Habert College of Business Auburn University, Associate Editor of Academy of Management Journal
  • Professor William Ocasio, Kellogg School of Management, Senior Editor for Organization Science
  • Dr Deepak Somaya, University of Illinois
  • Professor Dovev Lavie, Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technion
  • Professor Juliane Reinecke, Warwick Business School

Teaching & supervision opportunities

Teaching and assessment form an integral part of academic life, and you'll need to learn and develop these skills as part of your PhD. PhD students provide vital assistance for our taught and executive education programmes in a variety of roles. These vary considerably from group to group and can include organising and running tutorials or review sessions, supervising undergraduates or student projects or co-teaching part of a course with a faculty member.

The CJBS Certificate of Teaching Proficiency includes teaching workshop(s), voice training, observation and reflection, as well as teaching assistance and co-teaching with faculty. Whilst the certificate is voluntary, we strongly recommend that you register for this. The majority of observation and teaching assignments will be in core courses relevant to your own discipline on the MBA, Executive MBA and Master of Finance (MFin) programmes.

Regular seminars within the School

Numerous high-quality research seminars and speaker events take place at the School each week. These are organised by the various special interest groups, research centres and subject groups, and include talks by both business leaders and academics.

Buddy scheme

MRes and MPhil students who are made an offer for PhD continuation are teamed up with one or two 'buddies', who are current PhD students.

This helps them to:

  • integrate with the PhD community
  • get to grips with the first steps in the PhD programme
  • balance college life with work at the School

Modules at other University of Cambridge departments

Training offered by other departments can help develop:

  • knowledge of specialised methods (e.g. modules from the Faculty of Mathematics)
  • inter-disciplinary awareness, which inspires great research questions

With the permission of the lecturer, you'll be entitled to attend lecture series from nearly all of the University's degree programmes. These range from economics, finance and social science programmes to lectures on astronomy, medieval history and nanotechnology.

Research exchanges at other business schools

Our students often value the opportunity to undertake research visits at other leading business schools. Recent research stays have included the University of Michigan, Cornell University, Northwestern University, UCLA,the University of Alberta and the University of Chicago.

The Experimental Laboratory

The Experimental Laboratory is a dedicated space where you can run your own psychology and behavioural economics experiments. The lab contains 21 computers equipped with experimental software, including z-Tree (Zurich Toolbox for Readymade Economic Experiments), which allows both stand-alone and networked experiments.

At the lab, you'll have access to a subject pool database and an online recruitment system, which allows you to filter participants based on different characteristics.

Writing clinics

We offer free, one-to-one mentoring in writing skills throughout the year. Students can book 45-minute sessions directly with the mentor, and you can usually book as many sessions as you wish (subject to availability).

Voice training

We also offer free, one-to-one training that focuses on aspects of voice projection, intonation and confidence, and you can book up to three one-hour sessions per year.

Skills training

We offer a presentation skills workshop for PhD students to help them prepare for their first year report, as well as funding for students wishing to take language or software training (if approved by their supervisor). The University of Cambridge also offers a comprehensive range of free researcher development courses that you can sign up for, including on presentation, negotiation and supervision skills.

Visit the University of Cambridge Human Resources Division website to find out more.