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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Further Particulars for IAS Fellowship Scheme

Recruitment for the 2021/22 Fellowship - A message from the IAS Executive Director

The IAS is currently discussing with the University’s senior managers contingency planning in relation to Covid-19. We are therefore putting our Call for Applications for IAS Fellowships on hold for the moment. Further information will be available on this website as soon as our contingency plan is decided, and we hope that this will be very soon.

Professor Veronica Strang


Introduction to the IAS

The Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) was launched in October 2006 to mark the 175th anniversary of the foundation of Durham University. The IAS provides a unique intellectual and physical environment for scholarship and interdisciplinary research across the disciplinary spectrum, promoting open and imaginative exchanges of knowledge across disciplinary boundaries. It offers foundational support to adventurous and interdisciplinary research initiatives, and to the potential for these to illuminate disciplinary perspectives. It brings into this environment leading international researchers and assists their collaborative engagement with Durham’s academic community. It communicates the outcomes of this collaborative research, and the University’s leadership in this area, to national and international networks, and to policy and decision-makers.

The IAS Distinguished Fellowship scheme brings together world-leading researchers from all disciplines to work with Durham colleagues in developing collaborative projects of major intellectual, scientific, political and practical significance. At least twenty visiting IAS Fellows will come to Durham each year to work with its scholars to spark new investigations and participate in a varied programme of activities.

Each year, the Institute sponsors four major interdisciplinary projects and a range of other research developments. Fellows are expected to collaborate with Durham colleagues carrying out such activities. Fellowship applicants should therefore consider whether their interests complement the 2021/22 projects, and whether they might want to apply to join a project team during the Fellowship period (see pro forma below). Or they can apply to join Durham colleagues in other collaborative research developments.

Applications for the academic year 2021/22 - will be announced shortly. Applications will not be accepted until the Fellowship is formally open.

Fellowships are available for a 3-month period between October 2021 and March 2022. Applications are considered from international, world-leading researchers (or practitioners, such as writers, artists, policy makers etc.) who meet the criteria for the IAS Distinguished Fellowship scheme. Thus they must have a well-established or strongly emerging international reputation and a substantial publication record (or equivalent achievements); they must have made major contributions to their field; and they must be able to provide substantial 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.

In accord with the IAS’s remit to establish international collaborations, preference will be given to nominations and applicants from outside the UK.

IAS Fellowships are not available to undergraduate or postgraduate students. A completed PhD with five years’ post-doctoral experience is the minimum requirement for Fellows undertaking a traditional academic trajectory, or they must have an equivalent level of experience and track record in other areas. Applications from early career researchers will only be considered if they demonstrate exceptional promise. Previous recipients of an IAS Fellowship are not eligible for a further Fellowship either by nomination or application.

What the Fellowships offer:

An IAS Fellowship provides recipients with the opportunity to develop their ideas and collaborations in a thriving community of researchers, and through engagement with the University’s Departments, Institutes and Colleges.

All Fellows will be provided with office space. Each will be welcomed into a Durham College where they will be offered accommodation (in a one bedroom flat, or similar), and membership of the College’s Senior Common Room.

The IAS will cover the costs associated with the Fellow travelling to Durham from their home institution (one return fare – economy class), and will provide all Fellows with an honorarium (£3,000 for three months; pro-rata for a shorter stay).

Fellows from Universities who provide study leave are expected to make use of this to take up Fellowships. Academics whose institutions do not make such provision 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), however a full justification is required. Similarly, practitioners who will experience a loss of income as a result of accepting an IAS Fellowship are eligible to apply for a contribution towards their salary/earnings of the same amount (up to £8,000).

Fellows’ contribution to the IAS:

Fellows are required to fulfil a number of expectations:

  • They will reside in Durham for three months; however, if this is impossible, the IAS may consider alternative arrangements as long as the Fellowship provides significant benefits to Durham’s research community; however a two-month stay is the minimum duration of a Fellowship;
  • They will participate in IAS activities, including informal discussions and networking within the IAS community, and engage with staff and research students in relevant Departments, Institutes and Colleges at the University;
  • They will present a ‘work in progress’ IAS seminar within the IAS;
  • They will deliver a public lecture with a Durham College;
  • They will either:
  1. establish a collaborative undertaking with a Durham academic: this can be a joint publication; research project; co-convened workshop or conference; exhibition; or other joint research development
    or
  2. Contribute to IAS sponsored research projects. In this case the project PI should be asked to peer review their proposal;
  • They must acknowledge IAS support in any publications resulting from their Fellowship in Durham;
  • They must produce an ‘End of Fellowship’ report of no more than 1,000 words detailing their activities and achievements during their time at the IAS, within two months of completing their Fellowship.

How to apply

IAS Sponsored Projects 2021/22