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Institute of Advanced Study

Further Particulars for IAS Fellowship Scheme

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

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 aim of the Institute is to foster creative interdisciplinary thinking – and to communicate this to public audiences – through dialogue and collaboration across disciplinary boundaries. At the core of IAS activities lies a now internationally acclaimed Fellowship programme organised around an annual research theme. This allows the IAS to gather together distinguished scholars and non-academics (e.g. artists, writers, journalists, policy makers, and politicians) from the full spectrum of sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities to address shared research themes. Located at the centre of Durham’s World Heritage Site, the Institute provides its Fellows with a setting that offers them time and freedom to think, away from the demands of their everyday professional lives. By recruiting Fellows from all around the world, the IAS also provides an exciting intellectual environment in which scholars from diverse cultural and disciplinary backgrounds can exchange ideas. A recurring comment in their subsequent reports is that their Fellowship experience has transformed the way they think.

2017/18 Theme

The theme for 2017/18, for which applications are now invited, is Structure, interpreted in its broadest sense to be of potential interest to those working in a wide range of disciplines. A number of tentative sub-themes have already been identified, including:

  • Structural Relations;
  • Structural Dependencies and Impositions;
  • Structure and Sustainability;
  • Destruction;
  • Constructure;
  • Structure and Scale;
  • Structure and Representation;
  • Structure and Interdisciplinarity;
  • Structuring Knowledges;
  • Envisioning Structure;
  • Experiencing and Embodying Structure;
  • Structure and Symmetry;
  • Structure and Temporality;
  • Governing Structure;
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

Fellows can engage in these sub-themes or propose others.

Fellowships are available for a 3-month period between October 2017 and March 2018. Applications are considered from 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/orpublic impact. They are expected to have played a significant role in shaping their discipline or field through their outputs, achievements and indicators of esteem. It is expected that the research or professional interests of applicants will complement the 2017/18 annual theme. Up to 20 IAS Fellowships are available each year.

Please note that these Fellowships are not available to undergraduate or postgraduate students. A completed PhD is the minimum requirement for applicants undertaking a traditional academic trajectory, or an equivalent level of experience in other areas.

What the fellowships offer

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

For the duration of their stay, all Fellows will be provided with a single occupancy office in Cosin’s Hall, the home of the Institute of Advanced Study. The Hall, a magnificent listed building dedicated to the IAS, is situated at the centre of a World Heritage site that includes Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle. In addition, all Fellows will be welcomed into a College where they will be offered half-board 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 (return fare – economy class), and will provide all Fellows with an honorarium (£3,000 for three months or pro rata for shorter periods.

Limited funds exist for teaching buy-outs or contribution to loss of income. 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). Alternatively individuals 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.

Fellows' contribution to the IAS:

To ensure the best experience at the IAS, Fellows are required to:

  • Reside in Durham for three months;

  • Participate in IAS activities and engage with staff and research students in relevant Departments and Colleges at Durham University;

  • Present a ‘work in progress’ IAS seminar, as well as a public lecture;

  • 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 output;

  • Contribute, where appropriate, to other relevant activities in the thematic programme;

  • Acknowledge IAS support in any publications resulting from their Fellowship in Durham;

  • Produce an ‘End of Fellowship’ report of no more than 1,000 words) detailing their activities and achievements during their time at the IAS.

How to apply