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University Counselling Service

Student & Staff Counselling

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Job vacancies

Information Updated: 16th July 2014

Current Vacancies

Mindfulness Practitioner (50% FTE - possibility FT)

3 years fixed term contract

£28,695– £37,394 (pro-rata for 0.5 post)

Position reference number:   70033094     

Cambridge University Counselling Service is seeking to recruit a Mindfulness Practitioner to deliver mindfulness based interventions to students across the Collegiate University. This role is part of a new initiative aimed to improve student wellbeing and resilience. It is combined with a research project (to be run jointly with the Department of Psychiatry) which will evaluate the impact of the interventions.

Applicants should have substantial in-depth training and expertise in delivering Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), or Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to groups in a similar institutional setting.

The post is subject to enhanced DBS disclosure.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

The University is committed to equality of opportunity.

Closing date for applications:  12 noon on Monday 15th September 2014

Vacancy available from:  November 2014

Interviews provisionally arranged for:  Wednesday 24th September 2014.


Further Information

Job Title: Mindfulness Practitioner (University Grade 7)

Reporting to:  Head of Counselling and Senior Counsellors/Mental Health Advisor, University Counselling Service

Brief Outline: This is an opportunity to contribute to the development of an exciting new mindfulness project at the University of Cambridge. It is anticipated that the mindfulness sessions will be delivered at College and University level, but the post will be based in the University Counselling Service. 

Background Information

The University of Cambridge is one of the oldest universities in the world.  Its reputation for outstanding academic achievement is known world-wide and reflects the intellectual achievement of its students, as well as the world-class original research carried out by the staff of the University and the Colleges.

The University of Cambridge consists of over 100 departments, faculties and schools plus a central administration.

During the academic year 2012/2013, 18,899 students studied at the university, 11,878 of which were under-graduates.

The University Counselling Service was founded in 1969.  It offers counselling to undergraduate and postgraduate students of all of the Cambridge Colleges.  Many students self-refer, others are signposted by College tutors, chaplains, nurses, or by GPs and psychiatric services.  Over 1,500 students attended the Service last year, the majority being seen individually on a weekly or fortnightly basis for mostly brief focal therapy.  As well as individual counselling, the Service also offers:

•        a wide range of workshops and counselling groups, typically offering 10 per week.

•        various training activities for students and College staff.

•        and reflective practice groups to a variety of staff groups such as college nurses.

The Service is well respected within the University and Colleges. The culture of the Service is friendly, collaborative and valuing of team-work and team decisions, but also expects all staff to work hard and set high professional standards. 

The Service is located in a pleasant building in central Cambridge, which comprises 19 counselling rooms and appropriate group and meeting rooms, as well as administrative and staff space.

It is an exciting time to be joining the university counselling service. The well-established and respected team has undertaken some recent changes with a new Head of Service having started in October 2013, a new Senior Counsellor (Groups and Outreach) in April 2014, and a number of new counsellors and CBT therapist starting in September. The service will move to a new purpose-build city centre location in 2017.

A separate staff counselling service supports university staff:

Further information about the Service is available on the Service website:

Recent Student Counselling Annual Reports can be downloaded as PDF documents from:


Further information about the post

This post is currently time-limited, and the impact of mindfulness will be assessed as part of the evaluation project.

Counselling Service staff include counsellors from different modalities as well as mental health advisors. Applicants should be interested in working alongside a multi-disciplinary team.



Key duties and responsibilities

% time spent/ frequency


Provide mindfulness interventions




Deliver mindfulness sessions, taking into account the needs of the participants and adapting accordingly.

Provide guidance to students while maintaining appropriate professional boundaries.



60% daily


Prepare mindfulness sessions




Plan and prepare sessions, including material and hand-outs. This will include developing session content in response to changes in the programme or student feedback.

Change and adapt course material following research and evaluation.



15 % daily


Administration for the project





Promote mindfulness sessions to students and Colleges.

Keep accurate records of sessions.

Monitor attendance.

Collect data and use evaluation tools as required by the Service and the Mindfulness Evaluation Project Group.

Undertake administrative duties, as commensurate with the grade of the role.



15 % daily






Engage constructively in line management and supervision.


Participate in Service meetings.











Maintain close contact and co-operation with the University Counselling Service, College Staff, the Mindfulness Project Evaluation Team and the Mindfulness Project Research Assistant.



5 % daily






Undertake such other duties as may be required by the Head of Service or the Senior Counsellors/ Mental Health Advisor.


As required


Person profile

Essential knowledge, skills and experience required for role


Education & qualifications

A first degree or equivalent professional qualification.


Substantial in-depth training in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), or Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR).

Specialist knowledge & skills

Proven specialist expertise in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), or Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR)


Expertise in recognising mental-health issues and the need for specialist referral.

Interpersonal & communication skills

Excellent relational and communication skills are required to explain concepts and complex information to non-experts, develop and encourage the commitment to learn in others and to present material to a range of audiences.

The post holder should be a proficient computer user, in particular in the use of Microsoft Office and a willingness and ability to become proficient in the use of the Service’s database and IT systems.


Relevant experience

Demonstrate a substantial experience in delivering MBCT or MBSR to groups in a similar institutional setting.

In-depth personal experience and practice of mindfulness meditation programme.

Additional requirements

Daily formal and informal practice of mindfulness.

Engagement in regular supervision and CPD. The role holder is expected to maintain and develop his/her knowledge in the subject area by reading academic material, attending relevant training events and active discussions with other practitioners in the field.

Proven administrative skills; record keeping, note-writing, reports etc.

Desire to work in a university context and an understanding of how this impacts on interventions.



Based on the UK Mindfulness-Based Teacher Trainer Network, Good practice Guidance for Teachers, Nov 2011.


Conditions of Service


The hours for a full-time practitioner are not specified, but should be in the range 37 – 40 hours per week.

The Service is currently open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8.45 am – 5.30 pm, 8.45 am - 7.30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 8.45 am – 5.00 pm Fridays.  Those appointed will be expected to work during at least one evening to 7.30 pm, with some occasional weekends. The exact pattern of work is to be agreed with the Head of Service.

The Service closes for about one week at Christmas/New Year and at Easter each year, but remains open throughout the summer.


Annual leave entitlement is 33 days pro rata, excluding Public Holidays.  Annual leave should be taken with the agreement of your line manager and should be taken out of Term and during periods when the Service is closed at Christmas/ New Year and Easter.

The University does not take school half terms, and where Public Holidays fall during Term, i.e. those falling in May each year, the Service is open and staff work as usual (staff working on Public Holidays may take time off in lieu out of term-time).


The pensionable salary is on a scale from £28,695– £37,394 pro rata (Grade 7 on the University's single salary spine). There is no payment for overtime hours worked. 

DBS disclosure

Depending on the professional registration of the successful applicant, the post may be subject to an enhanced DBS disclosure.

Probationary period

The appointment will be subject to confirmation on completion of an initial probationary period of nine months.

Application procedure

A Cover Sheet for CV applications [CHRIS6] can be downloaded from the University’s HR Division web site:

You should complete:

  • Part 1 (including the names of two referees)
  • Part 2 (Section B only) - for applications to positions which are eligible for a Disclosure and Barring Service check
  • Part 3 (Equal Opportunities Monitoring Slip).  Completing this is optional and is separated prior to the selection process.

Application Process

To submit an application for this vacancy, please click on the link in the ‘Apply online’ section of the advert published on the University’s Job Opportunities pages. This will route you to the University’s Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a covering letter in the Upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Please make sure that your CV includes all previous employment and outlines clearly whether your role was part time or full time and the proportion of clinical/contact hours when appropriate.


The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Monday 15th September 2014.


If you have any questions about this vacancy or the application process, please contact:

Géraldine Dufour, Head of Service, Cambridge University Counselling Service, 2-3 Bene’t Place, Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1EL.   


The University as an Employer

The University of Cambridge is committed to a policy and practice which require that entry into employment with the University and progression within employment be determined only by personal merit and by the application of criteria which are related to the duties of each particular appointment and the relevant stipend or salary structure.  No applicant for an appointment in the University, or member of staff once appointed, will be treated less favourably than another on the grounds of sex (including gender reassignment), marital or parental status, race, ethnic or national origin, colour, disability, sexual orientation, religion or age. If any employee considers that he or she is suffering from unequal treatment on grounds of sex (including gender reassignment), marital or parental status, race, ethnic or national origin, colour, disability, sexual orientation, religion or age, he or she may make a complaint which will be dealt with through the agreed procedure for dealing with grievances.


Information if you have a Disability

The University's recruitment and selection procedures follow best practice and the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act.  Fair selection for employment is based on the ability or potential ability of an applicant to carry out the duties of the post and decisions on appointments are based on the merit and suitability of the candidate.  If you have a disability you are invited to request any special arrangements you may require for interview, or adjustments you may anticipate would be needed in your working arrangements, at the point of application.  However, the University recognises that you may prefer to forward this information if and when you are called for interview and you may do so at that stage without prejudice, if you prefer.


Géraldine Dufour,

Head of Counselling

1st September 2014




Training placements for 2014-15

The closing date has passed for applications for training placements with the University Counselling Service 2014/2015. We will not be accepting further applications at this point.