Department of Engineering

Use of University IT facilities by academic collaborators

Cambridge University Engineering Department IT facilities are normally only available to people who are current members of staff or students, or who are official academic visitors to the department. Provided certain conditions are met, others involved in academic collaborations with the Department may be given access to Departmental IT facilities and to those central Cambridge University IT facilities necessary to support use of Departmental IT facilities.

Who qualifies as an academic collaborator?

In general an academic collaborator will be someone who is not officially part of the department, but who is working with members of the department on projects of academic value to the department. Academic collaborators do not normally work in the department, but need remote access to departmental and University computing facilities to facilitate their collaboration. Typical scenarios include:

  • Academics from other Universities or University Departments working on joint projects with members of the department.
  • Industrial Advisors providing feedback on our courses/teaching material.
  • Former members of staff or visitors who are still involved in collaborative work.
  • Postgraduate students who have completed their studies, but are still writing academic papers with their supervisor.
  • Undergraduates who have completed their studies, but are enhancing their student project.
  • Postgraduate students who has been removed from the register whilst writing up.
  • Staff or students whose contract/course has ended, but who expect to return within a few months, possibly in a different role, and who need to keep their account in preparation for their return.

All applications for access to IT facilities as an academic collaborator must be both sponsored by a member of established staff (normally a member of teaching staff or senior administrative staff) and supported by the Head of the relevant Academic Division, or a Deputy Head of Department or the Head of Department.

Restrictions on Collaborator accounts

Collaborator accounts are provided for the specified academic purpose only. Private and commercial work is not permitted. Note that certain licensed software and most ejournals are only available to current staff and students of the University: you must not attempt to access facilities you are not entitled to use.

Academic collaborators are expected to work remotely. They may be on the Engineering Department site occasionally as a day visitor (day visitors should sign in daily at reception and be accompanied whilst in the Department). For insurance and health and safety reasons it is essential that anyone visiting the Department for more than two weeks in a row or wishing to work unaccompanied contact the Research Office in advance to arrange becoming an academic visitor.

Applying to become a collaborator

The application form may be filled in by either the collaborator or their sponsor. You should first contact the IT Helpdesk either in person or via user-admin and let them know both

  • Who the collaborator will be.
  • Who the sponsor will be.

The appropriate collaborator form should then be filled in and returned with authorising signatures to the IT Helpdesk. The choice is:

  • The existing user collaborator form for those who already have an account at the Engineering Department, but wish to extend their use.
  • The new user collaborator form for those wishing to obtain a new account. We need to collect slightly more information to enable us to set up your account. This also includes a copy of our acceptable usage rules for the new user to keep.

It can sometimes take quite a while between a form being initially filled in and the form being returned to the IT Helpdesk complete with all necessary supporting signatures, and there is a danger that the account may be closed in the meantime if the collaborator no longer has any official status within the department. We will try to avoid this if we know the paperwork is in the system. The IT Helpdesk will normally let collaborators know when the paperwork has been received and processed.

Adminstrators are asked not to keep a stock of these forms. New forms should be collected from this website or the IT Helpdesk.

Renewal of Collaborator accounts

Collaborator accounts are allocated for a maximum period of one year at a time. If the collaboration continues beyond this an extension should be applied for: collaborations can continue for many years, but the requirement for an account will be reviewed on an annual basis. Ideally extensions should be applied for before the current collaboration expires: the collaborator and/or their sponsor should contact user-admin if a collaborator account is to be continued.


© Cambridge University Engineering Dept
Information provided by helpdesk
Last updated: September 2013