Pathways for joining CAR

CAR has a robust business model which was designed 30 years ago by its founder members; all of them academics working within the built environment, using the company as a vehicle to commercialise their work.  At the time the Cambridge University had no mechanism for researchers to turn their research into practical and saleable solutions for the wider business community.

CAR was developed as this mechanism and the model has stood the test of time.

CAR has now been involved in over 3,000 projects, in a wide variety of fields all linked to the built environment. CAR is always looking for new talent to join its team.

The model works on the basis that all Directors run their field as an enterprise within the CAR umbrella structure. CAR offers a 30-year track record and reputation for excellence, office premises and support, including insurance, administration and accounting so that Directors and Associates can concentrate on developing their business areas and bring in work. An overhead is taken on the income, only paid if the business area or director wins work, which is very beneficial when starting out or if there is a lean period, the whole supports the individual.  However, CAR expects that the Director or business area will win work and contribute to the overhead over the long term, it could not survive without this.

There are various pathways for joining CAR:

Each of the pathways offers different opportunities and carries different responsibilities.

Team member
As a member of a team you would be covered by the CAR professional indemnity insurance and you would be offered a desk space for the duration of the project, during the project you would be given administrative and accounting support as well as general office services which would include printing and IT support. You would not be expected to work at risk and you would be paid once the client has been invoiced and the Director in charge has approved your invoice. You would be a free agent and able to work on other work in a similar field while being a subcontractor to CAR.

As an associate you would be featured on our website under the relevant business area, and you would be subject to similar conditions as above.

As a Director you and your research area would be featured on the website under an existing heading or a new website would be built at the appropriate time. You would be offered desk space for yourself and your team and be given full accounting and administrative support. Directors do not pay an overhead if they do not have any income. CAR is owned and run by its members, therefore if there is a surplus in a given year this may be returned to projects at year end.

Directors must follow Companies House rules on Directorships. It is helpful if prospective directors have a clear idea of the research or business area they have to offer and a business plan as to how they aim to achieve their turnover, CAR can then work out how to provide support needed to accomplish this aim.

Advantages of working through CAR in its various guises:

  • Collaborative and egalitarian structure
  • Research and career progression as an Associate
  • Ability to concentrate developing your research and building an income stream while the administration is taken care of
  • A safety net for the times when work is scarce as the costs associated with running a business are shared

To find out more please contact [email protected]