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Becoming a Visiting Scholar or Visiting Student

Every year we are approached by scholars from all over the world who want to spend short periods working in Cambridge on topics related to History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine. These people typically fall into the category of Visiting Scholar or Visiting Student.

We charge visitors a fee of £600 a term for the use of the University and Departmental facilities; these privileges include being set up with an email account and having access to shared computing and workspace facilities in the Department and the University Computing Service Public Workstations, as well as use of the University and Departmental libraries and an invitation to attend research seminars and lectures throughout the University. Applications normally need the approval of the HPS Board or Executive Committee before a visit can commence – these committees meet twice a term, so applications are usually dealt with quite quickly.

Visiting Scholars

We are able to give the title Visiting Scholar to those who are already engaged in an academic career, and who are employed by a higher education institution. Such a person will normally have a PhD and will probably wish to come to Cambridge for part or the whole of a sabbatical leave to work on material available here in Cambridge. Anything from a month to a year is possible. Applications for longer than a year are rare, and special permission will be required.

Visiting Students

Visiting Students are postgraduate students who are pursuing doctoral research and have permission from their university to come to Cambridge to enrich their studies. Visiting Student status is given for one term in the first instance – Michaelmas (October–December), Lent (January–March) or Easter (April–June) – but Visiting Students can apply to have their stay extended to a maximum of two terms.

Visiting Students are expected to meet the University's standard English language requirements for PhD students in History and Philosophy of Science.

Once approved, Visiting Students will be issued with a Student Visitor's Agreement. This should be signed by the student visitor, their home institution and the Cambridge Head of Department.

Visiting Students who are not EEA nationals, and subject to immigration control, will need to be issued with appropriate visa supporting documentation once the Student Visitor Agreement has been signed and returned. If an intended visit is six months or less, the student will require a short-term study visa.

If you are an undergraduate student wishing to spend some time here, you will have to apply directly to the College of your choice and ask them if they are willing to give you a place as an Affiliated Student. Each College will have its own quota for such students and its own fees. This process is nothing to do with the Department of History and Philosophy of Science and will have to be managed entirely by the applicant.

How to apply

Please send:

  • A brief curriculum vitae (no more than three pages).
  • A covering letter stating why and for how long (provide dates) you wish to come to Cambridge.
  • An outline of the research you propose to conduct while you are here.
  • The name of a member of staff in the Department of HPS who is willing to act as your sponsor. This should be the person you would most like to work with or a person whose interests have the greatest overlap with your own. Please see the People section of this website for further information on staff interests.
  • A letter of recommendation from your university supervisor or head of department stating the reasons why it would be helpful for you to spend some time in Cambridge. For Visiting Students this letter must confirm that the period in Cambridge contributes to the degree you are registered for at your home institution.

Please merge all the documents into a single PDF file and email it to the Department.

Unfortunately the Department does not have funds for visiting studentships.

If you have any questions, please contact the Department.

Please note that applications will be judged strictly on academic merit.