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Institute of Advanced Study

How to Apply

Recruitment for the 2017-18 Structure Fellowship is now closed. Recruitment will re-open in mid-April 2017 for the 2018/19 Fellowship. If you have any queries contact

IAS Fellowship

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants of any nationality are eligible to apply (including UK citizens);
  • Applicants from any discipline are eligible to apply;
  • Applicants may come from an academic or non-academic background (e.g. public intellectuals, artists, writers, film makers, journalists, policy makers, politicians);
  • Applications should be researchers or non-academics who have a well-established or strongly emerging international reputation, have made major contributions to their field, and can provide evidence of research leadership and/or public impact. They are expected to have played a significant role in shaping their discipline or field through their outputs, achievements and indicators of esteem.
  • Applicants must submit a completeapplication as described in the Application Procedures;
  • Applicants must agree to the conditions of the IAS Fellowships as described in the Further Particulars.

Application Procedures

The following application materials are required by the deadline 10 June 2016:

  1. A letter of application;
  2. A Curriculum Vitae/Resume;
  3. Two references (at least one to be external to Durham);
  4. A Fellowship proposal;

The Fellowship proposal (#4) must also be copied into the attached pro forma and submitted for peer review to a Durham academic with whom the proposed research most closely aligns. Applicants must allow sufficient time to make contact with a potential Reviewer to allow them sufficient time to complete the review and return it directly to the IAS by the 10 June deadline. It is also essential that the letter of application confirms that this pro forma has been submitted and to whom. If it is not possible to determine an appropriate departmental reviewer, this must be noted in the letter of application. Further details about how to locate an appropriate reviewer are noted below.

Application Materials

Letter of Application

The letter of application must make clear which period applicants would like to spend at Durham (October-December 2017 OR January-March 2018. If either period is suitable please indicate).

Academics who will not be on research leave/sabbatical leave whilst taking up a Fellowship in Durham are eligible to apply for teaching buy-out costs of up to £8,000 (for the three month period or pro rata for shorter stays). If such a teaching buy-out or a contribution is required a costing must be included with the application. Note that this cannot be done retrospectively (i.e. once an offer of a Fellowship has been made) so applicants should consult with their home institution prior to applying.

The IAS normally offers teaching buy-out costs at junior replacement level, up to £8,000 (for the full three month period, pro rata for shorter periods). In due course, should the IAS offer a Fellowship, a letter from the applicant’s home institution will be required supporting this claim. The buy-out costs of salaried Fellows will be paid directly to their home institutions. Fellows who are self-employed will be reimbursed directly.

Applicants must indicate in the letter of application if they will be accompanied by a spouse or partner and/or if they have a family that will be travelling with them. However, accommodation suitable for families is limited and the IAS cannot guarantee that such accommodation will be provided. The IAS cannot cover the costs of family travel or subsistence.

Finally, applicants must indicate in the letter of application how they were made aware of the Fellowship (such as the New York Review of Books; word of month; via their own institution, Learned Society (named) etc.).

Curriculum Vitae/Resume

The Curriculum Vitae/Résumé should include evidence of research interests and career to date, international recognition and impact in the field.


References should be emailed by referees directly to the IAS Administrator (see below) by the appropriate deadline (10 June 2016). The IAS will not make any request for references not received by the application deadline. References should include comments about the applicant's standing in their particular field, the quality of the applicant's research, the level of recognition that has been received for this research, the quality of the proposed research to be undertaken at Durham, and the degree to which the applicant would contribute to and benefit from being in an interdisciplinary community of Fellows.

Fellowship Proposal

The Fellowship proposal (c.500-1000 words) should describe the activities planned whilst holding an IAS Fellowship, the contacts and contribution envisaged in Durham, and how the proposed research will fit with the 2017/18 Structure theme. Applicants should take into consideration the evaluation criteria when completing the proposal. This must be submitted with the application letter and CV.

The Fellowship proposal should also be uploaded to the proforma (see bottom of page) and sent to an appropriate Durham academic at least two weeks before the application deadline (10 June 2016). All applicants MUST seek the agreement of a Durham academic to review their research proposal. Durham Peer Reviewers must return the completed proforma by the application deadline of 10 June 2016. If the Durham academic agrees to act as Reviewer, he/she will complete the relevant section of the proforma and return it directly to the IAS (not the applicant). Please note: applicants are expected to seek an appropriate peer review, the IAS will not do this for them.

The IAS recommends using the Find an expert section of Durham University’s research directory. This has a tool for searching the Research Directory. Here applicants can search for a particular research topic and find associated staff members and publications.

Further sources of information include:

Applications are also welcome from similarly distinguished Durham University staff but, in addition to the above materials, a letter from their Head of Department must be submitted with the application, confirming that the applicant has their permission to seek a Fellowship. See Internal Applications webpage for further details.

Application Evaluation

All applications will be evaluated by the IAS Fellowship Selection Committee according to the following criteria:

  • Criterion 1. International standing and contribution of the candidate to the field, as appropriate to the career stage of the candidate (40%)
  • Criterion 2. Quality of the proposed research activities while at the IAS and relevance to the annual theme (30%)
  • Criterion 3. Contribution to the wider scholarly community at Durham (20%)
  • Criterion 4. Collegiality and ability to contribute to the community of IAS Fellows (10%)

The sources of information for assessing applications include the application materials (including references) provided by the applicant, publicly accessible information (including published articles or books, works of art etc.) and advice sought from peer reviewers.

In selecting the final list of successful Fellows, the Selection Committee will also take into account

  1. the limit of 10 Fellowships in each of the Oct-Dec and Jan-March periods;
  2. the geographical and disciplinary diversity of the Fellows in each period;
  3. the balance between established scholars/practitioners and emerging talent.

Decisions for the 2017/18 recruitment phase will be communicated by email only by the end of September 2016.

Closing Date

The closing date for applications to the IAS Fellowship scheme for 2017/18 is 10 June 2016. Full applications must be emailed to the IAS Administrator, Linda Crowe, no later than this date. Incomplete applications, or applications received after this date will not be considered. Applicants must also state how they found out about the Fellowship programme.

Tel: +44(0)191 3344686
Fax: +44(0)191 3344699

Should applicants wish to discuss informally matters relating to the IAS Fellowships in general they are welcome to contact Linda Crowe or the Executive Director, Professor Veronica Strang. The other Directors Professor Martin Ward (Physics), Professor Nicholas Saul (Modern Languages and Cultures) and Professor Robert Barton (Anthropology) are also available for informal consultation.


Nominate a Fellow

In addition to the application process, Durham scholars only may nominate a potential Fellow with whom he/she wishes to collaborate. This negates the need for the above aplication process. However, a full nomination pro forma must be completed (see here). If you have any questions about the Nomination process please contact Linda Crowe (Ext: 44686).