Visiting Fellowships Scheme

Visiting Research Fellows

Visiting Research Fellow and Study Fellow appointments are intended to help development professionals, practitioners and academics to advance their research, while strengthening links with partner institutions globally.

Visiting Research Fellows are typically experienced academic scholars, or those employed in business, government or NGOs, who come to IDS to pursue their own research in close collaboration with IDS staff.

Students are not eligible to apply for Visiting Research Fellow status. If you have not yet completed your PhD, please refer to the Visiting Research Students scheme.

We can only accept a few among many applications each year. Preference is given to applicants who are working in areas that have strong overlaps with current IDS research. This maximises the benefits for all parties, so strengthening the basis for future collaboration.


You must be sponsored by an IDS Fellow. The IDS Fellow is your 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 (s/he will arrange appointments for you to meet others in IDS with overlapping interests)
  • advise on practical aspects of living in the surrounding area
  • explain IDS administrative procedures
  • interact with you on a regular basis in connection with your research.

Duration and timing

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

Your visit may start at any time that is convenient for the IDS sponsoring Fellow and consistent with achieving effective interaction with other potential collaborators in the Institute.


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

Office space at IDS is 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 this cost. Wifi is available throughout most of the building.

Secretarial assistance is not provided. You’ll be responsible for covering the costs of all external telephone calls. Photocopying/printing credits can be purchased if required.

Fees and funding

No fee is payable to IDS. Unfortunately, IDS cannot provide funds to help support Visiting Research Fellows during their stay at IDS. Applicants should discuss funding arrangements with their sponsor prior to applying.

Visa and related formalities

We’ll provide a letter of invitation and appointment to help you make visa arrangements. However, we are unable to provide special advice and assistance in this area. We recommend that you seek advice from the office of the British Council in your home country.


You’re responsible for finding accommodation for your 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). You’re responsible for the cost of all accommodation.

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

How to apply

Before completing an application, you must make direct contact with the IDS member with whom you hope to collaborate during the fellowship. Once you have their agreement to sponsor you, you should complete Part A of the Application Form and send it to your sponsor who will then complete Part B and submit your application to the Visiting Fellow Coordinator.

Your application will be assessed in terms of your contribution to the IDS research strategy and on the compatibility of your proposed work to current IDS research. 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:

By submitting your application form you agree to abide by the IDS_Code_of_Conduct.

Successful applicants will be notified in writing.


Queries about the Visiting Fellows scheme should be directed to Gemma Males.