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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 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 £650 per term (or part of a term) for the use of University and Departmental facilities which include a Cambridge email account; access to shared computing and workspace facilities in the Department and throughout the University; access to the Department's Whipple Library and the main University Library; and to attend research seminars and lectures throughout the University.

Please note that potential visitors should ensure they are able to pay the fee. The Department may waive or reduce the fee in cases of hardship – details should be included in the covering letter.

There is a deadline for applications each term:

  • Michaelmas: 30 October
  • Lent: 13 February  
  • Easter: 15 May

Applications received before the deadline will be considered at the next relevant committee meeting that term. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered until the following term, so please ensure you submit your application in plenty of time.

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 home institution to come to Cambridge to enrich their studies. Visiting Student status cannot be given for more than 6 months since a longer period requires formal registration.

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.

All non-UK and Irish National applicants are subject to immigration control and must apply for and be issued with appropriate visa supporting documentation once the Student Visitor Agreement has been signed and returned.

If you are an undergraduate student wishing to spend some time here, you should apply directly to the College of your 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 and must 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.
  • 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 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.