Visiting Fellowships 2023: frequently asked questions


What disciplines are considered with the humanities and social sciences?

Please find a list here of disciplines which we consider to fall into the Humanities and Social Sciences. This list is not necessarily exhaustive, and we welcome inquiries if you are unsure whether your discipline falls within the remit of the British Academy.

What sort of activities are considered support / mentorships by the host organisation?

The Academy is not prescriptive on which activities are considered mentorship / support. However, a broad principle behind assessment is that we will be looking for a relationship which adds value to the Fellow’s research and career experience.

What qualification is required for the Fellow?

We require the Fellow to hold a PhD or equivalent experience at the point of application. Equivalent experience will look different in different contexts and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. However, broadly we would expect a track record of producing research that is of doctoral standard.

What provision is allowed for parental leave and long-term sickness?

We aim to be flexible in managing awards around parental responsibilities, childcare, long-term sickness absences and disability. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, but please contact us if you have any specific queries.

Are creative outputs such as exhibitions, films, photography etc allowed?

Outputs involving creative practice are welcome but will be considered to fall within the Academy's remit only when they form part of an integrated project of critical or historical significance.

Must I be employed by a university to apply to this?

No, we welcome applications from independent scholars, as well as those currently employed outside of the university sector. Applicants may be on permanent or fixed-term contracts. If an applicant is on a fixed-term contract it must not end before the end date of the Visiting Fellowship.

Will I need a visa to take part in the scheme?

All non-UK nationals, except for Irish citizens, are subject to UK visas and immigration rules. Visa applications are an eligible cost. Please discuss with the research office of your UK Institution who will be able to confirm which visa route is most suitable

Is it possible to split the visit into two period i.e. the award would be for 3 months but take place over 6 months?

The Visiting Fellowship must be fulfilled in a single period. Short fieldwork trips abroad may be possible where appropriate. During the award Visiting Fellows may normally spend up to a total of one month’s worth of such fieldwork outside the UK (if holding a fellowship for six months).

I have a temporary role in the UK at the moment, can I still apply for this fellowship?

You may not apply for the Fellowship if you are based in the UK. However, if you have a temporary contract, such as a visiting professorship, with a UK organisation you may be able to apply for the Visiting Fellow scheme if that contract expires before the beginning of the Fellowship.

Can I apply to be hosted by an institution which I already have links with? Or does this need to be a new research collaboration?

The relationship does not need to be a new collaboration. You may, for instance, apply to be hosted by an institution where you have previously worked or studied. Applications should demonstrate the host institution’s strong interest in the Fellowship, how the Visiting Fellow will be supported and/or mentored, and how the Fellowship will be mutually beneficial to both the overseas researcher and the UK host institution. You should demonstrate how a visit to a UK higher education or other research institution will be beneficial to them at the particular stage of their career.

I am at a UK host institution, can I sponsor more than one application?

We welcome UK institutions to sponsor multiple applications. However, please ensure that you will be able to provide suitable support and mentoring to every applicant.


Who do I put as the Primary Organisation?

The Primary Organisation is the UK host organisation rather than your current employer, if you are employed. This organisation should be selected from the ‘lookup primary organisation’ box on Flexi-Grant.

How should I format my CV?

We are not prescriptive on the format of a CV. However, please note that it should be no longer than 4 pages and no larger than 3 MB in size. Please avoid including illustrations with fine details or colour as this can cause problems when creating a PDF of the application. Please note we will only print your applications in black and white.

What should an Institution Head of Department statement include?

The Head of Department should confirm their support for this application, and also comment briefly on the match between the proposed research of the applicant and the interests of the Faculty, Department or Research Institute. It should explain why this Visiting Fellowship will be beneficial to both the applicant and the UK host institution. Finally, outline the envisaged type of project, collaboration, partnership, or other engagement to be achieved through the Visiting Fellowship, and any mentoring or other support which the UK host institution will be able to provide to the Visiting Fellow.

How much can I apply for?

You can apply for up to £22,000 of personal costs, broken down as follows:

a) Up to £12,000 for subsistence and accommodation costs;

b) Up to £8,000 for research expenses (e.g. archival research, training, conferences and other events, dissemination, and research assistance);

c) Up to £2,000 for travel expenses;

50% of the costs requested should also be added as a contribution to cover the costs of the UK host institution. If you were to request £22,000 this would be an additional £11,000 bringing the total to £33,000.

What costs are ineligible?

Broadly, any item that is non-consumable (such as hardware, assets or permanent resources) are not eligible costs. Any costs related to publication, such as production or editorial costs, including those related to online publications, are ineligible. More detail is available in the scheme notes.


How will my application be assessed and who by?

The following factors will be considered in the assessment process:

  • The excellent academic track record or promise of the overseas applicant;
  • The quality and value added of the proposed research agenda, project, collaboration and/or partnership;
  • The fit between the overseas applicant and the UK host institution as well as the level of support which will be made available to the Visiting Fellow.
  • Value for money.

Your application will be considered by relevant British Academy peer reviewers and a final selection panel.

If you have any further questions, please email [email protected]

v.1 Last updated 19/10/22

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