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Academic Visitors

The Department of Sociology welcomes applications from academics and practitioners to its Visiting Scholars Programme. Visitors will have the opportunity to be involved in some of the activities within the department and are encouraged to contribute to the department's research environment. Amongst the benefits, the visitor will be entitled to make use of the University's research facilities and libraries, in addition to attending seminars, lectures and other academic events.

Application process:

If you wish to come to the Department of Sociology as a Visiting Academic you need to send the following information:

  • Provide an up-to-date CV
  • A statement on how you will contribute to research in the department
  • Have written support from an identified academic member of staff in the Department. See list of staff at this page
  • Confirmation that you or your home institution have enough funds to pay your bench fees (see below) and support yourself whilst in Durham

Applications must be submitted to Once the application is received, details will be forwarded to the Director of Research who will either refer the application to a full Research Committee meeting or take Chair’s action.

Please note that letters of invitation will only be issued once the decision by the Research Committee or the Director of Research has been taken. Compliance with recent changes to immigration regulations require us to adhere to this. 

Important: It is the Visiting Academic’s responsibility to deal with immigration, visas, and accommodation

This scheme is not available to PhD researchers, and if you are currently a postgraduate research student, please follow the online postgraduate application process and apply under course code ‘YAL330’. Further information can be found here

Bench Fees:

The Department charges a bench fee to cover the basic costs of access to the University and Department facilities as follows:

£200 (+VAT) per month

The bench fee covers the following:

  • A University campus card
  • IT facilities, photocopying and printing in the department
  • Departmental University Library facilities
  • Permission to attend lectures and seminars run by the Department of Sociology
  • Permission to join in the activities of various research group meetings, seminars and other discussion groups that are active
  • The visitor is also welcome to attend other talks, lectures and events as appropriate
  • Visiting academics may identify themselves as 'Visiting Scholar, Department of Sociology’ during their visit. Prospective visitors who wish to identify as Visiting Professors should follow the conferment of honorary or visiting titles policy

The bench fee does not cover:

  • Housing and subsistence
  • Equipment costs
  • Field research costs
  • International phone calls from the department
  • Use of a workstation (you are advised to bring your own laptop)

Durham University provides wireless access points throughout the department and the centre of Durham, to which visitors will have access. Visitors are therefore welcome to bring their own laptops with them, but must be aware that all laptops must have suitable and regularly updated anti-virus software, and must have up-to-date critical updates for Windows. Macintosh computers are also supported by the University’s IT department.

Whilst the Department is open to hosting visitors at all points in the academic year, decisions are made on the basis of both the benefits associated with the visit, as well as the availability of space within the department. At times, we may need to negotiate the timing of visits if we are already hosting other visitors at the requested time.


Visiting academics may be based at Durham for a period from a month to a year.