Information for visiting researchers

The School for Sociology Politics and International Studies (SPAIS) welcomes visiting researchers from other institutions at different career stages.  Established scholars are welcomed as Visiting Researchers and recent doctoral graduates are welcomed as Visiting Postdoctoral Researchers.

Postgraduate research students who are interested in visiting the School should refer to the information on how they can apply

Visiting Researchers are scholars resident in the School for a specified length of time (up to 12 months) who conduct their own research whilst benefiting from, and contributing to, the research culture within SPAIS.


  • You will have access to support and guidance provided by academic and administrative staff.  You will be able to engage with one or more of the three SPAIS Research Centres, which foster interdisciplinary research, networking and events in support of academic debate and policy interventions.
  • You may join one or more of the SPAIS Research Themes, benefiting from the vibrant academic atmosphere these engender.
  • You may attend one or more of the School’s Reading Groups in the areas of Sociology, Politics and International Studies.  At these reading groups members choose works of interest – whether already published or work-in-progress by members themselves – for discussion.
  • You will also have opportunities to present your research in School research groups and seminars, and to contribute to the SPAIS working papers series.
  • Visiting Researchers have access to a wide range of public lectures and seminars across the Faculty of Social Sciences & Law and elsewhere in the University.

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Please note that we do not offer funding.  The School charges a visitors 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.

The visitor fee of £3000 per year (or pro rata), we provide shared office 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.

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Who is eligible to apply for Visiting Researcher status?

Applicants are required to contact the member of staff they would like to work with and must seek their approval before applying for a visiting position.  See SPAIS staff’s research interests here.

Anyone holding a PhD qualification is eligible to apply for Visiting Researcher status.

Applicants should note the requirements of UK immigration procedures that need to be completed along with the standard application form below.

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Visiting Researchers who plan to be resident in Bristol are chosen on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Research topic: Of most importance is the close intellectual fit of the proposed research to the School and to individual research interests of staff.
  • Space: In order to provide adequate facilities, we limit the total number of Visiting Researchers.
  • Duration of stay: We may at any one time not have the space to accept a longer stay, but can perhaps accommodate a shorter one.
  • Confirmation from a current member of SPAIS staff to act as your host/mentor.


We ask that all Visiting Researchers  present at least one research seminar while they are visiting the School and submit one piece of research to the Working Papers series.

visiting-researchers-faqs (Office document, 39kB)

Visiting Researcher application form Feb 2021 (Office document, 54kB)

Please note that we will require two months to process applications.  Applications by non-EEA citizens will require substantially more time and effort on the part of applicants due to immigration procedures – see details on eligibility and the FAQs above.

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Sarah McAlinden, School Manager
School of Sociology, Politics, and International Studies,
University of Bristol
11 Priory Road
United Kingdom


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