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Department of History and Philosophy of Science


Every year we are approached by scholars from all over the world who want to spend short periods working in Cambridge as Visiting Scholars or Visiting Students. We charge visitors £650 per term (or part of a term) for the use of University and Departmental facilities. Visitors are given the following privileges:

  • a Cambridge email account;
  • access to shared computing and workspace facilities in HPS and throughout the University;
  • access to the Department's Whipple Library and the main University Library;
  • the right to attend research seminars and lectures throughout the University.


Visiting Scholars

To be eligible to become a Visiting Scholar you must:

  • already be engaged in an academic career;
  • be employed by a higher education institution;
  • hold a PhD, or some similar relevant qualification.

Visiting Scholars typically stay for a period ranging from a month to a year; applications for longer than a year may be considered under exceptional circumstances.

Visiting Students

To be eligible to become a Visiting Student you must:

  • be a postgraduate student pursuing doctoral research (master's students may be considered under exceptional circumstances);
  • have permission from your home institution to come to Cambridge;
  • meet the University's English language requirements.

Visiting Students may apply to come for up to six months. A longer period is not possible, as it would require formal registration at the University of Cambridge.

When your visit is approved, you will be issued with a Student Visitor's Agreement, to be signed by the student visitor, their home institution, and the HPS Deputy Departmental Administrator (on behalf of the Head of Department).

All applicants who are not UK or Irish nationals are subject to immigration control. You must apply for appropriate visa supporting documentation, which can be done once the Student Visitor's Agreement has been signed and returned.

Undergraduate student visitors
Undergraduate students wishing to spend some time here should apply via the College of their choice for a place as an Affiliated Student. Each College has its own quota for such students and its own fees. This process is outside of the Department's control. To choose a College, view the list here.


When to apply

You can apply at any time but please be aware that applications received between terms may not be reviewed until the following term. You can see the dates of university terms here. It will take at least three weeks to process an application. Please apply at least one term before you are planning to visit (e.g. by October for a January visit, by January for an April visit, by June for an October visit).

What to submit

Please make a single PDF file containing all of the following, and email it to the Department:

  • A brief curriculum vitae (no more than three pages).
  • A covering letter stating why and for how long you wish to come to Cambridge, with the proposed start and end dates of the visit.
  • Details of the type of visa you will be travelling on. (Advice for visiting students can be found here.)
  • 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 whose interests overlap most with your own. You must contact this person to discuss their availability before submitting an application. Please note that the application will only be successful if there is a person willing to sponsor you and that person will be present in Cambridge during the proposed period of visit. Please see the People section of this website for our staff interests.
  • A letter of recommendation from current university supervisor or head of department. This should state the reasons why it would be helpful for you to spend some time in Cambridge. For Visiting Students, the letter should include a confirmation that your visit will contribute positively towards the degree you are studying for.

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