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Academic Visitors

The Centre of Development Studies has a Visiting Scholars programme which welcomes a limited number of scholars and researchers to the Department each year. The programme is aimed at scholars in established posts in other Universities or similar academic institutions who are on study leave, who wish to spend short periods working in Cambridge on topics related to Development Studies. The Department will also consider applications from Visiting Students in the final stages of their PhD studies. Visitors are given a title from one of three categories depending on their status and experience:

  • Visiting Students - in the latter stages of their PhD studies.*
  • Visiting Scholars - hold a doctorate, and are usually in a teaching position in a university elsewhere with a proven track record of research.
  • Visiting Fellows - senior academics with a major research and publications record.

Visiting Scholar and Visiting Fellow visits can be for up to one year depending on individual circumstances.

Normally, visiting student status is given for one term in the first instance but students may apply to have this extended to a maximum of two terms. The academic year at Cambridge comprises of three terms: Michaelmas (October - December), Lent (January - March) and Easter (April - June).

Competition for places is tough and a high standard of applications is expected, therefore the Department prefers Visiting Students who wish to apply to have an average GPA of 3.7 or above.

There are two application deadlines for Visiting Students wishing to be considered, full applications including references must be received by these dates if they are to be considered:

  • 30th April 2017 - for those wishing to visit in Michaelmas 2017
  • 30th September 2017 - for those wishing to visit in Lent or Easter 2018

What we provide

Visiting Students/Scholars/Fellows are not provided with dedicated equipment or desk space, but are usually provided with a share of a desk in the visitor's room and may make use of the University libraries. They can, with the prior agreement of the Lecturer, follow some lectures and seminars, and are invited to join the life of the department. The Department can offer only limited direct academic supervision as the Department assumes that visitors come to Cambridge to pursue their own independent research. Administrative/ secretarial assistance is not provided and visitors are expected to meet the direct costs of photocopying, printing and other consumables and costs associated with their work.


We are particularly interested in welcoming visitors whose research areas overlap with the interests of our own staff, therefore applications will only be considered if they are supported by a current member of academic staff in the Department. The research interests of the various academic staff are listed on the Staff section of the website.


There is a bench fee of £250 per month (plus VAT at 20%) in order to cover incidental and/or administrative expenses.

The Department does not cover any living or travel costs for visitors.


If you are not a person with settled status in the UK or a national of a country within the European Economic Area, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland then you will probably need a visa - this would normally be via the Academic Visitor route. There is more information about this at . It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that compliance with UK immigration/visa requirements is met.


The Department does not provide accommodation, nor can it assist applicants with finding accommodation in Cambridge but if you need help please log on to the University of Cambridge Accommodation Service at or contact them by email:

How to apply

Please send the following documents to support your application:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • A completed departmental application form
  • A research proposal. This should be a short outline of the proposed research you wish to carry out in Cambridge.
  • Two academic references. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ask their referees to send the references directly to us.
  • You must have a sponsor in the Department during your stay, to help us to nominate such a person please provide the name of a member of staff who you would most like to work with or whose interests have the greatest overlap with your own.

Once complete applications (including references) are received for Visiting Students/Scholars/Fellows, they then have to be considered by a committee for approval. Completed paperwork is required a minimum of two months before the proposed start date. If this deadline is not adhered to, it may not be possible for the committee to consider your application.

Applications for Visiting Scholars and Fellows are considered throughout the year: Visiting Students should apply to meet the set deadlines.

All applications should be addressed to Departmental Administrator, Centre of Development Studies, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT (Email:; phone: + 44 (0)1223 337158).

Download Application form for Visiting Students/ Scholars/ Fellows

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