Become an Academic Visitor

The Department wishes to develop and sustain a vibrant research culture through a range of research and exchange activities. We run a visitors programme for academics and practitioners who have the active support of a sponsor in the Department. Visitors may be associated with the Department in general or with one of its research centres.

The aims of the visitors programme are:

  • To contribute to the Department's research environment and graduate programme
  • To foster research collaboration between Oxford sociologists and outside colleagues
  • To develop and promote links with other academic departments, government agencies, and organisations in the UK and overseas


There is no minimum stay but it should be borne in mind that visits of less than a month or so are unlikely to allow immersion in all that Oxford has to offer, especially when the visit falls entirely in the vacation. It is therefore advisable to plan to come for at least a whole term as this is when most events take place and when colleagues are most likely to be available. (Dates of university terms)

Visitor contribution

Visitors will be asked to contribute to one or more of the following activities in proportion to their length of stay:

  • Collaborate with their departmental sponsor on a research project (subject to certain provisos for non-EU nationals)
  • Organise or co-organise a departmental event (seminar series, workshop or conference)
  • Contribute an article to the department's working paper series
  • Develop a research proposal to apply for external funding via the department
  • Contribute to our departmental activities by, for example, giving a seminar
  • Assist the department/research centre in developing a network of contacts (academic, practitioner, policy, and/or media) and to facilitate introductions/networking events where appropriate

Please note that visitors must hold a passport from an EU member country or a Tier 5 Work Permit for Temporary Workers under the "government authorised exchange category". Those who hold an Academic Visitor visa may visit the department but may undertake private research only, and may not contribute to University projects or activities or participate in collaborative work with university employees. It is important to allow sufficient time to organise the correct immigration paperwork in advance of your visit. Every prospective visitor who is a non-EU citizen should familiarise him/herself with his/her particular requirements. Applicants who do not hold a passport from a European Union member country must contact us well in advance of the proposed visit to discuss work permit arrangements and allow time for the application process. If you require a Tier 5 visa the university will need to assist with the submission of your application.

A tourist visa is not acceptable proof of the right to be in a UK workplace under current Home Office legislation.

Information on visa status, visiting the UK and what the university expects from its visitors.

Department Provision

The Department will provide you with a university card (for access to university premises and the libraries), workspace in the department, IT facilities and support, and general assistance with meeting the department's expectations.

Departmental Sponsor

It is essential for the visitor to have identified and corresponded with an academic sponsor who is a full member of the department before submitting his or her formal application. The departmental sponsor will be available at the beginning of the stay to meet the visitor and facilitate their introduction to the department so that they get the most out of their time here. Before agreeing to act, prospective sponsors should note that they are expected to:

  • Communicate with the visitor in advance of his/her formal application to the Department, to confirm likely dates for the visit, to discuss possible collaborations and activities and to ensure that biographical information is added to our website when appropriate
  • Communicate with administrative staff in the department to ensure that all the necessary arrangements can be made in a timely manner and to book departmental induction at the beginning of the visit
  • Play an active role in the induction of the visitor to the Department, including providing introductions to relevant academic colleagues and informing him/her of activities of interest (research seminars, workshops, meetings, informal gatherings)
  • Engage the visitor in co-authoring publications, organising and participating in events and developing contacts and networks

Finance and External Funding

The Department does not provide a salary or other financial payments to visiting academics. Visiting academics and visiting students are normally charged a small fee to cover administrative overheads. Prospective visitors may wish to explore external funding to support a stay in Oxford, as living costs in Oxford, especially for short visits, can be relatively high. Sponsors offering this sort of funding include the British Academy Visiting Fellowships, Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorships, Leverhulme Trust Visiting Fellowships (a yearly rota of institutions is run). A number of Oxford Colleges also run Visiting Fellowship schemes, details of which will be available on their respective websites. Applications for external funding should normally be made through the visitor's home institution. Further information is available from the Departmental Secretary.

Visitor Profiles, Reporting and Feedback

Before arriving in the department, visitors will be asked to provide a short biography and a statement of what they intend to do during their visit. This information will be added to the Department's website when appropriate.

At the end of their stay, visitors are asked to provide a short activity report on their time in the Department, to be attached to their web profile. Feedback from visitors and their departmental sponsors is always welcome.


Application Form (Word .doc)

Before completing this Form, prospective visitors need to identify and contact a full member of the department who is willing to act as the visit sponsor. Prospective visitors should discuss with their sponsor the opportunities for contributing to the Department in their area of research and include this information on their application form.

The completed form should be sent, together with a cv, a statement of plans and evidence of the sponsor's willingness to act (e.g. an email from him/her), to Receipt of your application will be acknowledged and the outcome communicated as soon as possible.

General Information for Visitors

Accommodation is always at a premium in Oxford. Unfortunately the Department cannot assist in searching for accommodation, but the University Accommodation Office may be able to help. See also the Daily Info for listings of accommodation to let.