School of Engineering and Informatics (for staff and students)

Visitor Policy

The following FAQs summarise the information in the School's Policy for Visitors to Engineering and Informatics [pdf], which you should refer to for more detailed guidance on visitor categories and forms.

For any questions not answered below, please contact the School Administrator:  

Quick links


School policy

The School encourages 'Visiting' appointments to be offered to researchers, scholars or equivalent specialists who will contribute to the intellectual life of the School. Renewable appointments can be made for periods of one month to three years and applications must be approved following the process outlined below.

Most applications for Visiting status are for individuals working within HEIs, but Honorary titles can also be awarded to those working outside this sector. Detailed information on HR criteria for these titles is attached to the application form and should be read carefully before submission.

In certain circumstances, a member of staff may wish to invite a visitor to undergo a short-term research project or collaboration as a School Associate. This is encouraged but should be discussed with the Head of the Research Group and/or the Head of Department. It should not be assumed that this can proceed without considering available work and/or laboratory space, visa implications and insurance (see FAQs).  

Note that Emeritus appointments are still administered using the Emeritus form and sent to HR. 

What is expected of the sponsor/applicant?

Proposing and Sponsoring a Visitor

A Sponsor is the visitor's key personal link with the Department and School, and this link should be developed before making an application. The sponsor will subsequently:

  • Endorse and support the application
  • Help the Visitor integrate into the School and relevant Department professionally and socially
  • Arrange appointments for Visitors to meet others in the School with overlapping interests
  • Give advice on practical aspects of living in the local area
  • Explain the administrative procedures within the School
  • Interact with the Visitor on a regular basis in connection with the study programme/research project

Those sponsoring the appointment of a visitor should agree with them in advance what outputs are expected. These would normally include one or more of the following:

  • Giving a seminar to faculty and students or a Guest Lecture within an undergraduate or postgraduate course
  • Production of a working paper or equivalent
  • Giving advice to students (e.g. on dissertations, careers)
  • Production of a collaborative research proposal with a member of faculty 
What about bench fees?

In the case of campus-based visitors,  serious consideration must be given to available work and/or laboratory space before an offer is made.  A monthly (£350) or termly (£1000) bench fee may be applied to cover costs of administration, office space, and access to library and sporting facilities. This charge meets the costs that the School will pay through the University Resource Allocation Mechanism. Requests to waive or reduce the fee will be considered - please note this on the application form.

What about insurance?

Any visitors under an employment contract with the university will be covered by all University Insurances.  If the visitor is just using our facilities to conduct research (and/or to teach) for their substantive employer then they will need their own Professional Negligence cover. Any questions on insurance cover for visitors should be directed to the Insurance Office via

Visitors are advised to take out their own medical/possessions insurance to cover their stay.

Applications for Visiting, Honorary and Faculty Associate titles

Download HR's 'Visitor and Honorary title request form' and read the guidelines on the application form to establish which category a visitor falls into.

Applications must be accompanied by a brief rationale for the appointment and CV. After all relevant ID and/or UKVI checks and approval by HoD and HoS, the Head of School's Coordinator issues an appointment letter and contacts HR to request they are registered on the university system.  Please note that all visitors must be able to prove their right to work in the UK, according to the regulations of the government agency UK Visas and Immigration, and (if based on campus) will be expected to produce the original document.  Visitors not coming to campus can send a scan of their passport and attend a video call.

Applications for visitors outside of HR categories (School Associates)

Visitors who fall outside of HR categories (see application form for criteria) can be added within the School as School Associates. Students requesting a placement outside of an established exchange scheme fall into this category. Identity checks will still be part of the application process in order to ensure UKVI compliance. The School will send an invitation letter and, once registered, School Associates can obtain a ID/library card if required and be allocated a Sussex IT network account.

Exchange students

For placement applications from students on an established exchange scheme, contact the Study Abroad Office as soon as you decide you would like to host the student and they will take care of the paperwork, including registration.

Visiting Doctoral students

Please refer to the University Regulations regarding visiting doctoral students. Students may be required to register with the University for visits lasting more than one week. See Research Student Administration Office website for full information.

Appendix 3 of the Research Student Information for Supervisors (March 2021) (

The University of Sussex has long benefitted from a collaborative research environment in which doctoral mobility is key, and we welcome visits from Doctoral Researchers registered for an award elsewhere.

Visits may be accommodated under four separate schemes:

  1. Doctoral Researcher Informal Visit: Doctoral Researchers who wish to visit Sussex in order to attend a conference or seminar, to meet students and faculty, to observe specific methodological practice, and/ or to plan a future collaboration or supervised visit, may visit for a maximum of two weeks. Such visits are to be arranged locally within the School and the Head of School is expected to maintain details of any such visits. The visitor would be insured to be in laboratories, but not to work independently. No formal application is required and no fee will be charged. Students who require a visa should apply for a Standard Visitor visa.
  2. Doctoral Researcher Placement: Doctoral Researchers who do not require any academic supervision but who wish to visit the University in order to independently use laboratory equipment or consult archives or other holdings, may visit for a maximum of three months. The fee for a Doctoral Researchers placement in Fee for 2019/20 is £550 and visits may not be extended or repeated. The visitor would be insured to work independently under standard safety guidelines and practices. The application must be made via the online application system PG Apply. Where appropriate the Postgraduate Admissions Office will provide documentation to support the student’s visa application.
  3. Doctoral Researcher Supervised Visit: Doctoral Researchers requiring academic supervision by a member of Sussex faculty may visit for a maximum of 12 months. Visits may not be extended or repeated. These visitors will be charged the full tuition fee for the course pro rata, based on the length of their visit, and will receive the same level of academic supervision as a graduating Doctoral Researcher. The visitor would be insured to work independently under standard safety guidelines and practices. The application must be made via the online application system PG Apply. Where appropriate the Postgraduate Admissions Office will provide the appropriate documentation to support the student’s visa application.
  4. Doctoral Researcher Supervised Visit (Under Partnership MOU): Doctoral Researchers studying at a partner institution who require academic supervision by a member of Sussex faculty may visit for a maximum of 12 months. Visits may not be extended or repeated. Such visitors will not be charged a fee for their visit where a fee arrangement is explicitly agreed in the terms of the partnership, and will receive the same level of academic supervision as a graduating student. The application must be made via the online application system PG Apply. The Postgraduate Admissions Office will provide documentation to support a student in making either a Tier 4 visa application or Short-Term Study visa application. The type of visa required will depend on the length of the visit. A handbook for visiting Doctoral Researchers outlining the application process, the different types of visits available and what visitors may expect in terms of access and supervision while visiting Sussex is available. Please contact PG admissions for further details. For each type of visit, local induction, to include health and safety induction where appropriate, will be the responsibility of the host School.
Table - Visiting researchers


What is the application process?

 This flow chart [ppt] outlines the application process and includes links to related information.

ID checks & appointing visitors from overseas
  1. The School Office will complete an ID/UKVI check with every applicant either via video call or in person.  Applicants must be able to present an original document before the visitor's application can be signed off.
  2. When appointing (or extending) a visitor who is not a UK/Irish National please refer to 'Appointing Visitors from Overseas” guidance document.
Can a visit be extended?

If it is decided to extend the visit, confirm this as early as possible before the current end date using section B of the original application form. The School will check that the visitor is still eligible to remain in the UK, issue an extension letter, and inform HR or the School Administrator to update the system. Please let the school office know if the visit ends early.

Practical matters
  • Where to Stay

  • Access to Sussex IT network

  • No Eduroam? Try the 02 network

  • Please find the visitor expenses claim form here 

  • Books of parking vouchers can be purchased from SEF. Please note the school office no longer sell parking vouchers so groups are recommended to buy a book of vouchers well in advance of needing them.



School of Engineering and Informatics (for staff and students)

School Office:
School of Engineering and Informatics, University of Sussex, Chichester 1 Room 002, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QJ
T 01273 (67) 8195

School Office opening hours: School Office open Monday – Friday 09:00-15:00, phone lines open Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00
School Office location [PDF 1.74MB]