Visiting Fellows at IDS

Visiting Fellows are typically experienced academic scholars, or those employed in business, government or NGOs, who come to IDS in order to pursue their own research in collaboration with IDS staff. They may be on sabbatical leave from their own institutions or sponsored directly by other organisations. They may be at almost any stage of their career: pursuing a mid-career 'break'; or seeking an opportunity for reflection and writing.

Students are not eligible to apply for Visiting Fellow status, but can instead apply to be a Study Fellow or Visiting Student.

Space constraints mean that only a few among many applications can be accepted each year. Because the main purpose of a Visiting Fellowship is to foster close collaboration between Fellows and IDS researchers, preference is given to those who are working in areas that have strong overlaps with IDS ongoing research. It is hoped that this will maximise the benefits to both Fellows and IDS, so strengthening the basis for future collaboration.


All Visiting Fellows must be sponsored by an IDS Fellow. The IDS Fellow is the visitor's personal link with the Institute. This link should be developed before making an application. The sponsor will subsequently:

  • endorse and support your application
  • help you to integrate into IDS professionally and socially arrange appointments for you to meet others in IDS with overlapping interests
  • advise practical aspects of living in the Brighton/Lewes area
  • explain IDS administrative procedures 
  • interact with you on a regular basis in connection with your visiting fellowship programme.

The basic arrangements

The normal minimum length of a visit is one month, and the maximum is three months. Shorter or longer visits will be considered.

Visiting Fellowships may start at any time convenient for the Fellow and consistent with achieving effective interaction with collaborators in IDS.

Visiting Fellows have a formally recognised status as members of the Institute. They have full access to all IDS facilities (library, seminars, etc.) and are encouraged to take an active part in the life of the Institute. They may be asked to give an occasional seminar or to contribute to the teaching programme.


Unfortunately, IDS cannot provide funds to help support Visiting Fellows during their stay at IDS. Applicants should discuss funding arrangements with their sponsor prior to applying.

Visa and related formalities

IDS will provide a letter of invitation and appointment to help Visiting Fellows make visa arrangements. However, we are unable to provide special advice and assistance in this area. We recommend that the Visiting Fellow seeks advice from the office of the British Council in their home country.


It is the responsibility of the Visiting Fellow to find accommodation for their stay (apart from the first week when accommodation will be arranged, if required, either in IDS accommodation if available or in a guest house in Brighton). The cost of all accommodation must be met by the Visiting Fellow.

See the Accommodation web page for more details


All visitors have access to the IDS Library.

Office space at IDS is very limited. Where space permits, a hot-desk system in an open-plan office is available (£55 a month). Computers with Microsoft Office and internet access are included in the cost. For those Visiting Fellows who have personal laptops, wifi is available throughout most of the buiulding.

Secretarial assistance is not provided. All external telephone calls are to be paid for by the Visiting Fellow and photocopying/printing credits can be purchased if required.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is essential and must cover medical expenses. Guidance on NHS charges for NHS hospital care can be found on the UK Department of Health website. Please refer to their website or seek advice from the IDS Visiting Fellowship Coordinator, Liz O'Brien.

We strongly recommend that you organise travel insurance prior to your departure to the UK.

How to Apply

Before completing an application, applicants should make direct contact with the IDS member with whom they hope to collaborate during the fellowship. Our website provides considerable details about:

The application must be submitted via the intended sponsor who must therefore have agreed in principle to act in that capacity before the application is submitted.

Applications are assessed in terms of their contribution to the IDS research strategy and on the compatibility of their proposed work to the programme of work at IDS. Financial and space constraints are also taken into account.

Applications should be made at least six weeks before the proposed start date of the fellowship. Two documents should be submitted:

Both the CV and the application form should be submitted in the first instance to the Visiting Fellow Coordinator. The application will then be considered by the Sponsor and Cluster Leader and, if approved, a confirmation letter will be issued.


All enquiries about the Visiting Fellowship programme should be sent to the Visiting Fellowship Co-ordinator,  Gemma Males - Directorate Executive Assistant

T: +44 (0)1273 915842