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Department of Social Anthropology



Visiting Researchers at the Department of Social Anthropology

The Department welcomes a number of Visiting Researchers each year. Such visitors hold a doctorate and are usually employed by a higher education institution.  Prior to applying, applicants are advised to obtain support from a Department member.

Visiting Researchers can apply to be associated with the Department for up to twelve months (but more usually two to six months), although applications for longer visits will be considered. Visitors in this category are self-funded or supported by their home institution.

All Visiting Researchers are given access to research facilities, including libraries. We do all we can to welcome Researchers into the Department’s research community and invite them to attend as many academic and cultural events as they wish both at and beyond the Department. 

Applications are considered by the Department’s Executive Committee and decisions are made strictly on academic merit. 


Visiting Researchers Application Procedure



The Department can award the title of Visiting Researcher to a suitable applicant who is already engaged in, or building, an academic career. Visiting Researchers hold a doctorate and are usually employed by a higher education institution in the UK or abroad.


Application procedure

Prior to applying, applicants are advised to obtain support from a Department member.

Applications are considered throughout the year. All enquiries and applications should be sent to the Administration Assistant c/o

Applications should comprise:

  • An academic curriculum vitae (up to four sides A4);
  • A research outline (up to four sides A4);
  • A covering letter with the proposed visit dates and a short statement describing its purpose including your academic plans while resident in Cambridge. This should clearly outline why you wish to spend time in Cambridge (e.g. to work closely with a particular staff member or to consult specific resources);
  • Two academic references (sent by the referees themselves);
  • Statement of support from the University Teaching Officer at our Department who is hosting your visit (send directly to us);
  • Confirmation that you will be employed by your host institution during your visit. If self-funded, please specify the funding scheme you have applied to and confirm that, if successful, you will be holding the funds personally.



We advise that applications are submitted a minimum of three months ahead of the proposed visit, although more time may be required.

Applicants may have a greater chance of success if their projects connect with research already being undertaken at Cambridge. Applicants are encouraged to set out in their covering letter any possible points of contact they envisage with the research specialisms of teaching staff or postdocs here, which may form the basis of productive discussions and/or collaborations during the period of their visit.

Provision for Visiting Researchers

Facilities provided for Visiting Researchers

The Department provides:

  • A temporary Cambridge University e-mail address and access to Wi-Fi;
  • A temporary Cambridge University identity card;
  • An introduction to the University and Haddon Libraries and access to online resources;
  • An invitation to attend the Department’s research seminars, events, and invited-speaker lectures;
  • Attendance at lectures and seminars that are part of our undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programme, subject to the permission of the lecturer concerned.

We are unable to provide desk facilities at the Department or cover the cost of photocopying, printing and other consumables. We are also unable to provide secretarial assistance or academic supervision to Visiting Researchers.


The University’s Newcomers and Visiting Scholars Group, an organisation run by volunteers, aims to assist newly arrived partners and families of Visiting Scholars to settle down in Cambridge. There is a wealth of information, advice and details of activities available on their dedicated website.

Grants and fees

Visiting Researchers are subject to a bench fee for affiliation to the Department, payable in advance.  For further details please email:

Visa procedures

The UK Border Agency’s website provides advice on visa applications and timescales. In all case, it is the Visiting Researcher’s responsibility to apply for the correct visa.


The Department is unable to help with accommodation, but the University’s Accommodation Service might be able to provide advice and assistance.