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School of Social and Political Science: Research


Academic Visitors

SPS Visiting Scholars and Distinguished Visiting Scholars


Thank you for your interest in the School of Social and Political Science. As we are unable to accept all those wishing to visit and work with us, we especially welcome those whose research interests fit most closely with those of our subject areas, research centres and groups. We will work with visiting scholars in advance of their visit to develop an agreed research work plan, which brings clear benefits to both parties. In order to make most effective use of your time with us, we suggest that plans are made well in advance of your visit.

Application procedure

In order to be considered for Visiting Scholar status, you must first identify and contact an academic within the School who will support and sponsor your application. We cannot consider your application unless you are successful in finding an academic within the School to support and sponsor you. (The procedures described below apply to those who wish to visit SPS for longer than 1 month –for any visits shorter than that, informal arrangements can be put in place between the visiting researcher and host academic).

Please send a) a current copy of your curriculum vitae; b) a brief synopsis (500 words max.) detailing your research interests, the reasons for applying to the School and the time period you want to spend with us; and finally, c) a letter of support from the academic sponsoring you. You need to send this documentation to  by 1st of October (for consideration for visits starting from 1 January onwards) or 1st of March (for consideration for visits from 1 September onwards).

The relevant subject area/research centre will then consider your application and, if approved, pass it on to the School (Deputy Director of Research) for final approval. Please note that this process may take 6-8 weeks. Research Office staff will notify you if your application has been successful.

Please note that it is usually the case that academic visitors to the School are self-funded; the School does not offer any financial support. Visiting Scholars and Distinguished Visiting Scholars who are not nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) need to explore the VISA implications of their visit at:

To express your interest in applying please contact .

Expectations and arrangements

If we do accept you, you can expect that normally we will provide you with:

•    full access to library resources including e-resources;

•    full access to ICT facilities, using a login and password, including access to ICT clusters and Eduroam wifi;

•    induction and orientation when you arrive, including health and safety;

•    a research mentor (your host academic) who will act as your main point of contact for planning your visit and throughout your time with us and whom you can expect to see regularly for discussion;

•    access to research activities such as attendance at research seminars and other research training;

•    access to Graduate School or Staff training courses offered within the School;

•    a formal letter of invitation to present to your institution once you are accepted as visitors, and also a letter at the end of your  time here confirming your contribution.

In turn we will expect you to:

•    abide by the School’s procedures, especially those to do with ethical research conduct, copyright and the appropriate use of the SPS facilities;

•    acknowledge SPS appropriately in any publications which arise from the period of your visit to us;

•    contribute positively to the research culture and life of the School and any research group or centre to which you are attached during your visit.

Examples of such a positive contribution that past visiting scholars have offered are: research seminars and blogs; a PhD masterclass; media and knowledge exchange work; articles for student magazines and journals; and contributions to the School’s practice programme.

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