School of Global Studies

Visiting Research Fellows

Prospective VRFs should follow the procedure outlined in the section below entitled ‘How do I request a Visiting appointment?’. However, any future visit by a VRF will be subject to whatever university and government guidance relating to travel and in-person academic activity is in force at the time.

Current Visiting Research Fellows, Honorary Research Fellows and Visiting Professors

What is the distinction between a Visiting Research Fellow and a Research Fellow?

Visiting Research Fellows (VRF):  those whose funding is independent of the University. VRFs come for a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of three years and normally pay an administrative fee to the School.

Contact: Sharon Krummel, Research Coordinator (

Research Fellows (RF): those with funding that is paid through the University (e.g. ESRC Post-Doctoral Research Fellows; Marie Curie Research Fellows; Nuffield Research Fellows). RFs can come for varying lengths of time and receive their salary through the University’s payroll. 

Contact: Clare Neil, Research Development Manager,

Visiting Research Fellowships (VRF)

The School of Global Studies encourages all Departments, Research Centres and Clusters to offer Visiting appointments to researchers and scholars who contribute to the intellectual life of the School.

Appointments can be made for periods of two weeks to three years and must be approved by the Head of School (Professor Elizabeth Harrison) and/or Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange (Professor Michael Collyer).

This status is generally offered to:

  • academics from another institution, either from UK or abroad
  • individuals working in the private or public sector
  • self-employed research consultants

Please note that visiting fellows must have completed a PhD.
Fellowships are not available to undergraduate or postgraduate students.

Applicants should contact a member of faculty or Head of Department to complete the Visiting research fellowship application form [DOC].

Who can propose VRFs?

VRFs must be proposed by a member of faculty in the School who should agree to act as their sponsor for the period of their visit. Fellows can be associated either with:

  • Departments
  • Research Centres or Research Clusters
  • or with the Global Studies School as a whole

Members of faculty who become a sponsor for a Visiting Research Fellow will be expected to act as a point of contact for the VRF and to make reasonable attempts to integrate them into the life of the School where appropriate.

The sponsor's role may include:

  • Supporting the applicant through the VRF application process
  • Introducing them to other members of the School
  • Guiding applicants to relevant areas of the University of Sussex campus and facilities e.g. Housing Office website in advance of visit
  • Meeting with the Fellow from time to time to answer any questions they may have or direct them to someone who can help them
What are the expectations of VRFs?

The purpose of appointing Visiting Research Fellows is to contribute to the intellectual life of the School. With this in mind, those proposing the appointment of a VRF should agree with the Fellow in advance what outputs are expected from the Fellowship.

These would normally - but not exclusively - include one or more of the following:

  • Giving seminars to faculty and students or Guest Lectures within  undergraduate or postgraduate teaching provision
  • Production of a working paper or equivalent
  • Giving advice to, or engaging in knowledge exchange with students, faculty and research staff (e.g. on dissertations, careers, data sources, analytical strategies, policy frameworks etc.)
  • Production of a collaborative research proposal with a member of faculty
What fees are associated with VRFs?

Visiting Research Fellowships incur a one-off administrative fee of £200 (regardless of the length of the visitor’s stay) to cover costs of administration and allocated resources including a Sussex email address, stationery, postal facilities, and access to the University Library. The VRF will have access to the Library’s Sussex Research Hive, a dedicated area for visiting researchers and doctoral students with computer access as well as private study areas. Depending on Covid-related restrictions, there are also bookable meeting rooms and space for discussion and collaborative work.

The fee may be waived in exceptional circumstances although this is subject to variation depending on funding available to the applicant and the perceived contribution the applicant can make to the School's academic life.

Once your application has been approved, you will receive a letter of confirmation of award of VRF status from the School of Global Studies Research Coordinator, Sharon Krummel. This will state the fees payable. This figure cannot be amended retrospectively. An element of fieldwork and time away from the campus during your stay is not a reason to request a discount on your fees as this would be expected by the nature of the research of the School, and the administrative cost remains the same.

How do I request a Visiting appointment?
  1. To request a Visiting Research Fellow appointment, applicants should initially contact the faculty member they are interested in working with or the Head of the Department or Research Centre that they wish to work within.
  2. The faculty member or Head should then talk with the Head of School and/or Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange to agree that the expectations of the Visiting Research Fellow are met in principle and confirm whether the administrative fee is payable.
  3. Contact Sharon Krummel (Research Coordinator) at to ensure any resource requirements can be met.
  4. The faculty member or Head of Department should complete a Visiting research fellowship application form [DOC] in partnership with the applicant. This form along with a current CV and two letters of reference should be emailed to Sharon Krummel at

Applicants should allow at least one month for their applications to be processed, and ideally longer than this. The reason for this is that the application process involves coordinating with other offices within the university, which can be time-consuming. Thus there is a need to ensure there is enough time for the various necessary administrative procedures to be completed.

Decisions on appointments to general Visiting Research Fellow positions rest with the Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange and/or the Head of School.  All decisions will be based on the following criteria:

  • The anticipated contribution the applicant will make to the School's academic life
  • The quality of the proposed project or activity
  • The fit between the applicant's interests and those of the proposer and host centre or Department
  • The appropriateness of the proposed outputs

Once the appointment has been approved by the Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange and/or the Head of School, the following steps will take place:

  • The appointment will be confirmed to the member of faculty who proposed the appointment.
  • The documentation sent in by the prospective VRF and his/her referees will be reviewed within the School of Global Studies.
  • A letter of appointment will be issued.
  • Identity and eligibility to visit the University will be confirmed, including checking passports and visas where applicable. This will normally be carried out by video call.
  • An invoice for payment of the fee will, where appropriate, be issued by the School.

Applicants for visiting appointments must be awarded an equivalent title to that which the academic holds in their own institution. Those who are Professors should apply as Visiting Professors rather than VRFs. An application to become a Visiting Professor follows the same process as that of a VRF.  The only additional requirement is that a short statement of support by the academic sponsor of a Visiting Professor applicant should also be supplied.