Apply to be a Visiting Scholar

Researchers whose work brings them temporarily to Cambridge, or who feel that their research would benefit from spending time visiting the Centre of Islamic Studies are welcome to apply for the non-stipendiary status of Visiting Scholar. Most scholars are academics but journalists, writers and diplomats have also become Visiting Scholars at various times.

Visiting Scholars are appointed for up to twelve months and are granted access to the University’s library facilities. In return they usually give a presentation as part of the Lecture Series. There is an administrative charge for visiting scholars of £650 (+ VAT) for a stay of up to six months and £1,250 (+ VAT) for up to twelve months. VAT is currently charged at a rate of 20%. Please note that UK immigration authorities will not allow academic visitors from non-EEA countries to remain in the UK for longer than one year.

To apply to the Centre for Visiting Scholar status you must supply us with the following documents:

  1. A covering letter addressed to the Director outlining why you wish to carry out your research in Cambridge. The dates of your proposed stay in Cambridge must be specified in this letter.
  2. Curriculum vitae.
  3. Your research proposal. This should be a short outline of the proposed research you wish to carry out in Cambridge.
  4. Two academic references.
  5. Signed application form.

How to get your references
Download the application guidelines and reference forms here: Application PDF

Please notify your referees once you have decided to apply for Visiting Scholar status at the Centre. There are two copies of the Supporting Reference Form attached here. Please fill in Part I of each form and give them to your respective referees. They can either give the completed references back to you in a sealed envelope (with their name signed across the seal) or scan and email the reference to One of your references should come from a scholar working at your university.

Application Deadlines

There are three deadlines each year: September 1st, January 1st and April 1st. Applications must be sent at least three months before the start of the proposed visit.

Once your full application has been received, it will be considered at the next meeting of the Centre of Islamic Studies Committee of Management. These are held once a term. You will then be informed as to whether the Centre is able to offer you Visiting Scholar status. If your application is approved at this stage, you and a representative from your home institution will be asked to sign a terms and conditions document. A welcome letter will only be issued once this document has been completed. If you are invited to become a Visiting Scholar at the Centre, the administrative fee will be due on arrival.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that compliance with UK immigration/visa requirements are met. Please ensure that you have checked your status with the guidelines on the Home Office’s website.

If you are a student and non-EEA national, please also refer to this page.


We regret to say that the Centre is unable to help with accommodation but the Society for Visiting Scholars can help with finding accommodation in Cambridge, as can the University Accommodation Service. Visiting Scholars should note that accommodation and childcare in Cambridge are expensive.