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Academic Visitor Scheme


14997057575 5ddcbb2e51 kThe Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR) welcomes academic visitors and practitioners who wish to benefit from Oxford’s vibrant research culture and contribute to activities within the department.

The DPIR’s visitor programme exists to facilitate links and collaboration with other universities, governments and organisations, both in the UK and overseas, and to allow academics and practitioners the opportunity to collaborate in joint research with the department’s academics.

Visitors are free to apply for entry in MIchaelmas Term 2021 (October - December 2021), although due to the changing situation, we are unable to guarantee that the Department will be able to physically host visitors. 


Visitor Experience

shutterstock 201162455Oxford is a world class institution, and the Department of Politics and International Relations is a leader in the field in the UK, combining strength across all the major sub-disciplines, geographical coverage and intellectual pluralism with an excellent research environment.

Our visitor scheme offers the opportunity for academics and practitioners from other universities and organisations to participate in and contribute to Oxford research-related activities for a minimum of one month and a maximum of one year. Our academic visitors hold a doctoral qualification such as a PhD or DPhil, while our practitioner visitors come with a wealth of experience. A separate vistor scheme for doctoral students exists.

Below are some of the key features of the DPIR visitor programme:

Academic Host

Each visitor has an academic host who will supply a letter of support as part of your application; provide advice on collaborations, events and other research activities; and introduce the visitor to relevant members of staff and other contacts.

Visitor Contribution

Visitors have the opportunity to contribute to a wide range of department activities during their stay. This may involve collaborating on a research project, organising an event, authoring or co-authoring a research paper or working paper, developing a research proposal for external funding or assisting a research centre in developing networks. Visitors are asked to provide an account of their activities within the department at the end of their stay. 

Resources for Visitors

In addition to the support of an academic host, visitors will be provided with a University card, University email, access to library services, printing facilities and a workspace (where possible) with IT facilities in the department. Visitors are welcome to attend seminars and guest speaker events throughout the University. Depending on the length of their visit, visitors may also be eligible to apply for limited administrative support, and for funding of events.

Academic Host

shutterstock 207830950Each visitor has an academic host who will supply a letter of support as part of your application; provide advice on collaborations, events and other research activities; and introduce the visitor to relevant members of staff and other contacts.

DPIR academic visitors are responsible for managing their own research activities and work agenda whilst in Oxford and normally will work independently. The visitor's Academic Host will offer advice and support wherever possible, although this may in practice be limited due to the host’s term-time and other commitments.

It is recommended that the prospective visitor consider who in the department might be able to offer a letter of support, and contact him/her for advice before applying. Browse our list of full academic members of the Department.


DPIR Research Centres, Networks and Programmes

Our research centres, networks and programmes organise events, publish research and maintain networks relevant to particular fields of study. If your field of research is aligned with the research agenda of a research centre and you would like to work within the unit as a visitor, it is normal to ask the relevant director to be your academic host. Applicants are also asked to ensure that they have the approval of the particular research centre before continuing with their application. Acadmic visitors are also allowed to join one of the research networks in the Department once they have arrived if they are interested in doing so.

The following research centres have formal visitor programmes: Centre for International StudiesCentre for the Study of Social JusticeOXPO Academic Exchanges, (Please note that the call for applications for an exchange in the academic year 2022-23 will open in December 2021. Please check the website for details as OXPO operates its own visitor scheme application deadlines. The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism offers journalism and visiting fellowships

If you are interested in applying to a research centre, please contact the relevant centre administrator in the first instance, who will be able to confirm if the centre is willing to host you. If there is no formal programme listed on the research centre or programme website, please feel free to email jason.hussain@politics.ox.ac.uk to enquire whether the unit may be able to host your visit.

A full list of the department’s research centres, networks and programmes can be found online.

Timing Your Visit

shutterstock 276527414Visitors may join the department for a minimum of one month and a maximum of one year. The timing of visits is an important consideration, as the atmosphere of the department changes across the academic year.

Applicants are advised to time their visit to coincide with one of Oxford’s three terms, as colleagues are more likely to be available during these times, and visitors who wish to participate in a full calendar of events and other similar research activities should aim to visit in Michaelmas or Hilary terms.

Conversely, if looking for a quieter working environment, you may prefer to visit in Trinity term or the long summer vacation.

Our Visitors

shutterstock 114474988Our academic visitors generally hold an academic appointment at a university elsewhere and visit DPIR to pursue their research agenda within one of the department’s research centres or programmes, or within the department more generally.

Practitioners likewise will visit to collaborate in joint research with our academics. Post-doctoral applicants are also welcome.

Visitors will normally be given the title of ‘Visiting Research Fellow’ and will use this title in all references to their association with the department and the University of Oxford. ‘Senior Visiting Research Fellow’ may be given where appropriate.

Browse a list of current DPIR visitors here.

We ask all visitors to supply a short biography and outline of their current research for the DPIR website.


What Our Visitors Say

Alex Bellamy, Academic Visitor in 2014-15, describes his experience of visiting Oxford:

"Being in Oxford around the fringes of term time gave me the opportunity to find extensive peace and quiet – and all the books I needed – in the department’s library. That, and more than a few helpful words of advice from the department’s experts, especially Rosemary Foot and Richard Caplan, gave me the space and the food for thought I needed to put the new project on a firmer footing and set a course for the next couple of years.What did I like about my visit? Engagement with world class scholars, the unique collegiality at DPIR which meant that everyone had time to talk and I was made to feel very welcome, the facilities which are second to none, and what could possible beat Oxford at Christmas-time?" 



In order to improve the DPIR visitor experience, we will ask you to complete a feedback form at the end of your visit.

Visitor Charges

Departmental visitors will normally apply for research funding schemes through their home institution in order to fund the cost of their visit. Please note that the department does not provide salary or other financial payments to visitors, unless these form part of a visiting fellowship grant (see External Funding Schemes below).

The department visitor charges are:


Fee (either per term or per month for shorter visits)

Resources included

Remote working (or hot-desk when the department is able to physically host visitors) 

£250 per month   

£600 per term                                                 

University card, University email account,   access to library services, IT support                                                                                    

Dedicated Workstation (available when the department is able to physically host visitors)

£350 per month                                                 

£750 per term

University card, University email account, access to library services, printing facilities and workspace, IT support





In addition to the support of an academic host, visitors will be provided with a University card, University email, access to library services, printing facilities and a workspace (when available) with IT support in the department. Visitors are welcome to attend seminars and guest speaker events throughout the University.


External Funding Schemes for Visitors

If you wish to apply for funding through the department, please make a case for exceptional consideration at least two months in advance of the funder's deadline. Applications through the department to external funding bodies will be considered separately from the application to visit, by the department's Research Committee.

Please note that the Department does not have any funding availalbe for visitors to apply for directly in order to support their visit to the Department.

Enquiries regarding research funding schemes should be made to the Department's Research Support Team. Other bodies provide research funding and fellowships such as the British Academy Visiting Fellowships (for overseas visitors) and the Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorships and Fellowships. A number of Oxford colleges also offer Visiting Fellowships – details of their schemes are available on their respective websites.

How to Apply

shutterstock 311619221Application Deadlines

The deadlines for the academic year 2021 – 22 are:

  • Monday 20 September 2021 (Michaelmas term)
  • Monday 3 January 2022 (Hilary term)
  • Monday 4 April 2022 (Trinity term)


Your Application

Applications to the Academic Visitor scheme will be considered by the department's General Purposes Committee/Head of Department and will be assessed on suitability of the applicant’s qualifications, background and experience, the proposed contribution to the department's activities, and the strength of the letter of support from the Academic Host.

Your application to the DPIR visitor programme will include the following:

Please send completed applications to jason.hussain@politics.ox.ac.uk

Once we have processed your application, we will write to you confirming the outcome, and if successful, confirm the details of your visit.


Visas and Work Permits

Please contact jason.hussain@politics.ox.ac.uk well in advance of your proposed visit start date in order to discuss visa arrangements. Please note that you will need to wait until you are accepted as a DPIR Visitor before you apply for a visa. Once accepted we will provide a letter of support to facilitate your visa application. The following will apply:

  • If you will not be undertaking paid employment as part of your visit, you will need to apply as an Academic under the Standard Visitor Visa.
  • If you will be collaborating on a research project hosted by the University and receiving a salary, you will need to apply as a Sponsored Researcher under the Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange (T5) visa; the University will need to assist with the submission of your application.

Please contact jason.hussain@politics.ox.ac.uk if you require further information. For further information regarding Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange (T5) visas, please contact the Personnel Manager Penny Taylor (penny.taylor@politics.ox.ac.uk) or the Personnel Officer Charlotte Chambers (charlotte.chambers@politics.ox.ac.uk).  


ATAS (Academic Tehnology Approval Scheme)

 An additional requirement that has been introduced is to check whether the academic visitor has to apply to the ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) for an ATAS certificate. This applies to those international students who intend to study at postgraduate level in certain sensitive subjects, where an individual’s knowledge could be used to develop military technology, weapons of mass destruction or the means of delivering weapons.

From 21 May 2021, this will be extended to international researchers, or posts which contain an element of research, at PhD level or above in a sensitive subject, in the following visa routes:

  • Initial and extension Skilled Worker and Tier 5 (GAE) Sponsored Researcher visa. The ATAS certificate must be obtained before SIT can issue the Certificate of Sponsorship
  • Visiting researchers coming under the Standard Visitor route. The ATAS certificate must be obtained before the individuals commences their research, although it will be strongly recommended they obtain this prior to travelling to the UK.

An application is made to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) for an ATAS certificate. Nationals from the EU, EEA, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, South Korea and the USA will be exempt.

Further information can be found at: ATAS Expansion from 21 May 2021 | Staff Immigration (ox.ac.uk).

However, this only applies to those subjects that would be considered ‘sensitive’. As such, this would not apply in the case of most Social Science subjects.


Covid-19 Requirements

All visitors to the UK are also currently required to take a COVID-19 test less than three days before you travel to the UK. This can be either a PCR test or a lateral flow device (LFD) test. Whichever test you choose, it must be from a reputable supplier. You will need to have documentation of a negative result before you are allowed to travel, and will also need to provide proof upon entry to the UK. Go to the UK Government website for more information about tests before you travel. The University and colleges will not meet the costs of tests for visitors. Please note that you will also be required to quarantine when travelling to the UK and I’m afraid there are no exemptions to this quarantine. However, this may change closer to the time of your intended visit.

If you are from a country on the ‘red-list’ you must read the latest Government guidance about whether you are able to travel, or whether you will need to quarantine in a government approved hotel.


College Association

If you wish to apply for association with a college for the duration of your visit, you will need to contact the relevant college directly. Please note that there is a separate fee for college association: you will find details on individual college websites. (Browse the full list of colleges). Being accepted as an Academic visitor does not automatically grant College association. 


Terms and Conditions

Visitors who are accepted onto the Department's Visitor Programme will be required to adhere to the University's Statutes and Regulations, during their visit and to sign the Department's Visitor Agreement.

Please note that the Academic Visitors programme is for academics and practitioners. Students are not eligible. If you are undertaking study towards a PhD/DPhil or equivalent qualification, you must apply via the visiting student route. Please see our student visitor pages for more information