1. Objective/Purpose of an External Visitors Programme
Visitors may come via our own visitors programme, as IAS visiting fellows or through an externally funded route. The duration of their stay may be as short as one week or up to one term. In all instances, visitors should represent a clear research benefit to the School. Although often working primarily with one or two individuals, they should enhance the research profile and culture of the School as a whole. Visitors are expected to engage with the School at some level, by for example presenting a research seminar or delivering a public lecture. The University’s strategy includes the promotion of inter-disciplinary activities across departments and faculties. Visitors whose work is likely to promote this aim are therefore particularly encouraged. This is required of IAS fellows, but co-sponsorship of other types of visitors may also be beneficial to strengthen interdisciplinary links across departments. The University has a number of strategic partnerships with universities around the world. Visitors from these institutions may offer additional benefits in supporting these links, or indeed those established by the Law School. (There may also be University funding available for these visitors).
2. Approving applications
(i) Externally (competitive) funded visitors
Externally funded visitors will have to undergo a selection process in order to obtain their funding (eg British Academy Fellows or IAS Fellows) and a case will already have been made by a Law School colleague for their appointment as a visitor. It is therefore undesirable to place any additional bureaucratic burden upon such potential visitors who in general, are to be encouraged. The sponsoring academic will be responsible for outlining the visitor’s participation/wider contribution during their stay, along the lines set out in the general form.
(ii) Externally (non-competitive) funded visitors
These visitors should apply in the same way as Law School funded visitors. Although not requesting funds directly, in order to access office space, library facilities etc we need to have the same kind of guarantees of quality and value to the School’s research culture.
(iii) Law School funded visitors
Where funding is requested from the Law School, a simple application and planning procedure will help to make transparent the criteria for selection, and ensure the maximum benefit from visitors to the School. Applicants will be asked to fill out a brief form and to attach a short cv to include relevant publications or research experience (eg PhD work).
The application form requires applicants to set out briefly their research interests; list of principal relevant publications; the names or letters of recommendation from two referees; how they expect to fund themselves for the duration of the visit; the research they seek to undertake whilst they are here; how this research contributes to that within the School and other departments; what undergraduate or postgraduate programme they could contribute to if applicable; the title of the seminar paper they would like to give; the individual they would like as their contact person at the Law School; and how the visitor would advertise the fact that they are visiting us, for instance, joint statements on the home and host websites.
The form should provide information on which we can base a decision and which can be used to plan for and to publicise the visit across the university.
The director of links and visitors should make a recommendation to research committee, whose decision will then go to the Head of School.
The research administrator, together with the visitor’s contact person, should prepare a plan of activity for the visit as well as brief details of the person’s research biography and where in the School they will be based. This will be circulated to staff and put on the School website.
In addition, research committee will need to consider how much funding is appropriate for each visitor out of the £5k overall budget for links and visitors. No single visitor would generally receive funding in excess of £1k and in most instances it would be less than this. Consideration might also be given to a sum from the budget being allocated to cover costs such as telephone and photocopying.
For non-EU visitors, those sponsoring the applicant should be aware of the University procedures and information necessary to ensure that an appropriate letter of invitation is issued from the Registrar, which will then enable the visitor to obtain the necessary visa.
3. PhD and early career researchers
PhD students and early career researchers may also apply to be visitors at the School. They are often engaged in high quality research and would be expected to contribute to the School in the same way as other visitors, as outlined above. All visitors conducting research will engage with colleagues and this will be of mutual benefit. However, visitors to the School may not expect their research to be supervised by colleagues. If this is necessary, it must be agreed on a separate basis and an appropriate charge made. Whether this is possible will also depend on staff interest and availability.