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Safeguarding Work Away

Staff and students planning to travel on University-related business

Currently (and expected to remain the case until at least 17 May 2021) travel overseas for the purpose of carrying out research or studying away (including fieldwork) will not normally be permitted by the University. This is based on the application of UK Government and FCDO guidance which applies to Cambridge, as a UK and English institution. 

It is hoped that this position will change later this year and this website will be updated accordingly.

Exceptionally however, the University will consider overseas student travel provided the following criteria are met:

  1. You have completed all the risk assessment forms which must include:

  • evidence that you have consulted in detail any FCDO advice
  • evidence that you have researched the pandemic effects in the overseas country and checked any restrictions in place in the overseas country due to the pandemic and your ability to return to either UK or other country is not affected

  • you have in place COVID 19 risk contingency plans for medical care and travel arrangements

  • have submitted these to your Department

  1. The overseas destination is not a red country 
  2. You have evidence as to why the travel is essential i.e. it must be absolutely necessary and at the current time. If you can delay your travel, then you should.
  3. Your research cannot be undertaken at home and there is no possibility of alternative means of working e.g. remote working/online contact or interviews or adjustment of your programme of study. Your physical presence must be required overseas.
  4. You have taken into account the need for any Covid-19 imposed quarantines or testing and subsequent additional costs
  5. You have valid insurance
  6. If travelling from England,  you must be able to complete the ‘Declaration form for international travel from England’ 

    You must have a legally permitted reason to travel outside of England.

    [If your research involves clinical trials or studies, this is likely to be a legally permissible reason to travel]

Year abroad students should continue to liaise with the Year Abroad co-ordinator in your Faculty or Department and your Director of Studies in your College to discuss your situation taking into consideration the latest Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidance and any relevant international travel restrictions. Plans for year abroad activity will need to be approved in advance of travel.

The SharePoint site will have background information for updates and decisions post 17 May.

Travel Risk

These pages have been designed to assist students, staff and others who are required to complete a risk assessment as part of an application to study or work away from Cambridge and, therefore, focus specifically on the safety aspects of study or work away. For more information about how working away may impact on course requirements students are advised to check departmental guidelines (for example, for undergraduate work away) or the Graduate Students page. Staff travelling on University business may also find the information in these pages useful in meeting safety requirements.

Additional information for those who authorise work away can be found in this section.  

Work or study away undertaken by members of the University is varied and wide-ranging. This has included trips all across Europe as well as to Afghanistan, India, Panama, South Africa and Vietnam with students studying in other institutions, working on excavations, with indigenous peoples, in remote locations, with animals, conducting archival research, interviewing a diverse range of people and in working or studying in war torn countries. It is not practical to try and produce guidance to cover the diverse nature of the University, but we can point you in the right direction with the underlying principle that a detailed risk assessment must be completed and this must reflect the nature of the work, the individual and the location.