Visiting the school - academics and postgraduates

Visiting academics

The School for Policy Studies is often approached by academics from other countries wishing to spend time in the school to develop their research. We see this as enriching our work and offering opportunities for long-standing collaborative relationships.

However, there are limitations to the amount of resource that we can devote to this kind of experience and so the maximum stay is 6 months (we may consider a stay of up to 12 months in special circumstances). We want to make sure that visitors are well looked after and therefore, in order to keep up high standards, we have had to place a limit on the numbers we can accommodate in our school.

In order to be able to make fair decisions and maximise the effectiveness of visits for all parties, we have come up with some guidelines for visitors who wish to spend more than two weeks at a time in our department:

First contact

If you are interested in visiting the school, please email Professor Susan Harkness (School Research Director) sps-srd@bristol.ac.uk with the following information:

  • your background and areas of expertise;
  • brief purpose of the visit;
  • approximate length of planned stay (maximum is 6 months) and the specific time of year (months);
  • the name of any member of staff you are particularly interested in working with and the research centre you would hope to be based in (please state whether you have already discussed your planned visit with a member of the school);
  • whether you have any disability access requirements;
  • an up-to-date curriculum vitae.

We will aim to let you know the outcome of your application within three months.

Follow-up

A member of academic staff will be nominated as a point of contact during the visit. Visiting academics will be invited to participate in the activities of the centre and school, and also to deliver at least one seminar while here (this could be at a centre meeting, or as part of the SPS seminar series).

We aim to provide visiting academics with office and desk-space, access to a PC, the library, a phone (but not to an international line) and to photocopying facilities. Please note that we cannot provide assistance with living accommodation for visiting academics, although the University Accommodation office may be able to help.


Visiting postgraduate students 

The School for Policy Studies is often approached by postgraduate research students in other countries wishing to spend time in the school to develop or extend their studies or research. We are supportive of this enrichment which often sparks off long-standing relationships with other universities, some of them in other countries.

However, there are limitations to the amount of resource in terms of space, money and of course our time that we can devote to this kind of experience and so the maximum length of stay is 6 months (we may consider a stay of up to 12 months in special circumstances). We want to make sure that postgraduate visitors are well looked after and therefore, in order to keep up high standards, we have had to place a limit on the numbers we can accommodate in our school.

In order to be able to make fair decisions and maximise the effectiveness of visits for all parties, we have come up with some guidelines for visitors who wish to spend more than two weeks at a time in our School:

Eligibility

Visiting postgraduate research students should be currently registered as postgraduate research students at another institution either in the UK or internationally. Applicants will need to demonstrate a strong academic record and a viable programme of research to be followed during their visit.

Applicants should identify a sponsor who is an academic member of staff within the School and will personally support their application and agree their proposed set programme of work.  The sponsor is normally the person who will act as a mentor whilst in Bristol.

Applications will only be accepted from students who have the support of their prospective visit with the identified sponsor.

If English is not your first language, you need to meet profile level 'B'. Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

How to apply

Please note that the school normally considers applications from visiting postgraduate students once a year and the closing date for applications is 31 October. Applicants should expect to hear a decision on their application by the 30 November.

Interested students should email sps-srd@bristol.ac.uk after completing the Visiting Occasional Student Application Form (Office document, 139kB) (please attach the saved version to your email) together with a statement of support from the academic member of staff at the University of Bristol who will sponsor your visit. 

Fee structure

Please note that we do not offer funding.  The School charges an affiliation fee (or 'bench fee'), the amount of which depends on the length of stay.  Please note that the affiliation/bench fee must be paid prior to the commencement of any visit.

For an affiliation/bench fee of £1000 per term / £3000 per year (or pro rata) + VAT as applicable.

Visa requirements

All visiting students from outside the UK require a visa, regardless of length of study. Some students will need to apply for this visa in advance, some can travel through eGates on arrival. For visits six months of less, please read the short-term visa guidance. For longer visits, a Student visa is likely to be needed, and you must meet the eligibility requirements for this.

If you are already in the UK on a Student visa (and you are visiting from another UK institution) you need to be studying at a partner institution or agree to the visit as an agreed temporary location. You should contact Student Visa Services for advice. Please also note that most visa types will require ATAS, if the course needs ATAS. Some nationalities are exempt from the ATAS requirement.

Provision of resources

We will aim to provide visiting postgraduate students with hot-desk space, library and email/network access and access to all School events, workshops and research seminars. Visitors in this category are encouraged to bring laptop computers which can be used at wireless areas around the University.  Access to a phone will be provided (but not to an international line). Visiting postgraduate fellows will be entitled to use the School photocopiers.  Please note that we cannot provide assistance with living accommodation for visiting scholars, although the University Accommodation office may be able to help.

Please note: All visiting academics and postgraduates would be required to comply with all UK Government rules on travelling to the UK such as quarantine or self-isolation, and should ensure they have appropriate additional funds to do so.  University guidelines may also be subject to change, any visit is dependent on availability of desk space within the School.  You should also be aware that opportunities to meet academic staff and other PhD students face to face may be limited and research events continue to be online.

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