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Visiting Researchers 

Through its academic departments, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities offers a Visiting Academic Programme and applications for visits of up to one year are welcomed from researchers at all stages of their careers. 

Visiting Academics are generally active researchers based at other Higher Education institutions in the UK or abroad or interested professionals from the worlds of heritage and culture, science, and business and enterprise. Typically, they may be engaged in a joint publication with Durham staff or writing grant applications and, during their stay in Durham. Visitors will have the opportunity to be involved in some of the activities within our Departments and are encouraged to contribute to the Faculty's research environment and make use of the University’s facilities and libraries as well as attend academic activities usually closed to the general public. 

We would like academic visitors to contribute positively to the overall research and learning environment of our Faculty. The aims of your visit could be to: 

  • Participate in the organisation of an event within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (seminar, workshop, conference)
  • Collaborate in research projects, publications and grant preparation
  • Participate actively in one of the research groups (by arrangement with the leader of the research group)
  • Invite or organise a reciprocal visit to your own institution for amember/ members of our Departments or graduate students 
  • Enhance the research community of theFaculty through active participation in academic life at Durham, for example through your participation in our various projects and centres 
  • Provide the staff and students with the opportunity to work with and learn from academics from outside Durham.


Academic visitors – during your visit  

Academic visitors will receive the following access to the resources in the University:  

  • A University Campus Card, giving access to our library and IT facilities
  • A host sponsor from the hosting Academic Department, who will meet with you and provide guidance and advice when you first arrive in Durham
  • Full access to the Durham University Library and all other University Library Services
  • Access to electronic holdings, databases and journals
  • Permission to join in the activities of the various discussion groups and seminars that are active during term time
  • A personal email address which will be added to our associate staff mailing list, so that you can be notified of any events that may be of interest or relevance
  • Permission to attend other talks, lectures and events, as appropriate
  • Permission to identify themselves as 'Visiting Researcher, Durham University' during your stay in Durham.


Provision of resources 

The Faculty does not provide financial support for travel, accommodation or subsistence. Scholars are responsible for ensuring that they have the correct travel documentation, including the correct entry visas required by the United Kingdom Visa and Immigration Service (UKVI). 

 Unfortunately, the Faculty is not able to provide office space for visiting academics. Durham University does have good library provision with over 1,200 study spaces in the Bill Bryson Library and additional study spaces in our outstanding special collections centre at Palace Green Library, located in the World Heritage Centre. Durham University also provides wireless access points throughout the centre of Durham, to which visitors will have access. Academic visitors are therefore welcome to bring their own laptops with them, but must be aware that all laptops must have suitable and regularly updated anti-virus software, and must have up-to-date critical updates for Windows. Macintosh computers are also supported by the University’s IT department. An induction to using the libraries can be arranged by prior arrangement. Guidelines are also available. 



Most applications are for shorter stays of between 3 days and 3 months, although we will consider applications for longer stays in order to allow scholars to engage with academics working in related fields, for example to prepare grant applications. Applicants are strongly encouraged to plan their stay to cover at least part of an academic term, in order to maximise their exposure to the research community in the Faculty. 


The role of the sponsor 

Although you will be independent and responsible for your own research activities and work agenda whilst in Durham, the Faculty considers it a priority for visiting academics to be welcomed into our research community and be integrated as far as practicable into the work of our Departments, Research Centres and Institutes. A key part in this process is played by the sponsor who must be willing to indicate clearly that they are familiar with the applicant's work and/or research area and support the application. 

Upon arrival at Durham, the visiting academic’s sponsor will introduce the scholar to other members of the research community at Durham in the host Department. They will also invite visiting academics to any events being organised by the host Department, and will otherwise be available to provide assistance. The sponsor should also facilitate the visiting academic’s active contribution to Durham's research community.  

Difficulties may arise if the sponsor is not present for the full duration of a scholar's research stay. If this is the case the sponsor is responsible for approaching a second member of staff who will provide support in their absence. 



Visitors are not charged to cover the costs of the administration involved with the visit. However, the Faculty does not provide a salary or other payments to visitors. Visitors should apply for research funding schemes through their own home institution or equivalent. The academic visitor is responsible for his/her own travel, accommodation and maintenance costs as well as ensuring that they have the correct travel documentation, including visas. Please note that some of our Departments / School may charge Bench Fees - please contact each Department individually for confirmation of this.  


Visas and work permits 

The host Department can supply an official letter of invitation to an Academic that can be used to support any application for funding that is made, but unfortunately the Faculty cannot assist the applicant with their application for a visa or work permit for the purpose of the visit. 



Visitors will be asked to provide the host Department a short biography and a statement of what they intend to do during their visit prior to their arrival. 

At the end of their stay, visitors will be asked to provide a short report to be attached to their web profile, providing a brief account of any research or other activities undertaken and how they have contributed to the Department during their stay. 

In addition, the Faculty requests that any visitor who uses his/her visit for research purposes, and subsequently publishes material arising from this research, acknowledges the host department, and also send the Department a copy or off-print of any book, article or any other publication which results from their time in Durham. 



It is the responsibility of the Visiting academic to ensure that they have somewhere to stay during their time in Durham. Unfortunately, the Faculty cannot assist in any way in helping a Visitor to find somewhere to stay. Please be advised that accommodation in Durham city centre can be very expensive and is in high demand especially during the summer months. Details on finding accommodation in and around Durham city is available on the University relocation website. Accommodation in Durham is expensive and you should budget to pay approximately £500-600 month for one/two bed privately rented accommodation.  


How to Apply 

Each Department / School has their own process and procedure for appointing academic visitors. For information about academic visitor policies and contacts, please see below: 

School of Modern Languages and Cultures Visiting Scholars   

Department of History Visiting Researchers

Department of Music

For the Departments of Classics, English Studies, Philosophy and Theology and Religion, please contact the Arts and Humanities Research Team: