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Visiting PhD students

Visiting PhD students

The Scott Polar Research Institute is cautiously accepting applications for our Visiting PhD Students scheme. However, due to the continuing volatility surrounding COVID-19, there can be no certainty of being able to accommodate successful applicants in the Institute. We will be keeping the viability of the scheme under routine review in light of staff availability and travel restrictions, etc.

Applications for visiting PhD students can be made by contacting a current member of academic staff at SPRI. Retired and affiliated staff, and Institute Associates, cannot host visiting PhD students. Academic hosts must be available throughout the period of the visit.

Visits will normally take place towards the later stages of a PhD course of study, however applications from 1st year PhD students will be considered.

Visits of 2 weeks to a maximum of 3 months can be considered. Extensions are not normally permitted. Visits of less than 2 weeks will not come under this scheme – please contact the Librarian:

Desk space in the Institute cannot be guaranteed to visiting students, but if there is space they may be able to work in the Polar Library or other research spaces in the Institute.

Applications will be considered by the Senior Staff Committee on a termly basis. The Committee will use the criteria below to evaluate applications. An approved applicant will be e-mailed by the Institute Administrator and asked for any information needed to process their application and confirm arrangements for their visit.

Criteria to be considered in evaluating applications:

  1. That the period of the student's research/study at Cambridge comprises part of their registered degree at their home institution.
  2. That there will be clear benefits to the student's research/study.
  3. Whether the academic host has met the PhD student and in what context.
  4. That the visiting PhD's academic thesis advisor or supervisor has indicated in a reference letter that
    • they confirm that the visit comprises part of the student's degree,
    • they feel the student will benefit, and
    • they approve of the visit.
  5. What activities the visiting student will undertake while at SPRI.
  6. What benefits the student's time in the Institute will make to the academic host and his/her PhD students.
  7. Whether the visiting PhD student may offer benefits to other Institute PhD students, and if so what those benefits might be.
  8. Whether there is any plan by the student for publications or for future research collaboration with the academic host.
  9. How the costs of the visit will be covered (the student will be expected to cover their own travel and personal accommodation costs).
  10. Whether the visit will call upon computing resources, and how these will be covered, defrayed or otherwise managed.
  11. The extent to which resources such as library books, library special collections, archival papers and museum collections will used for the length of the visit.

Further information

Visiting PhD students to the Institute will not be affiliated with a college. They will not receive accommodation. They will not have any supervisions.

How to apply

Check the SPRI website to see which member of academic staff aligns most closely with your PhD study, and contact them to ask if they are willing to host/supervise your visit.

When you have agreement from your Home Institution for the visit, ask the potential host to agree formally to support your request.

Send your CV, statement of research and letter of support from your home institute academic thesis advisor or supervisor to the Secretary of the SSC via:

Depending on your nationality/country of residence, you may need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa, please check the UK government website. SPRI will provide an invitation letter. When applying for a visa, you should refer to yourself as "visiting researcher" for the purpose of entry into the UK.

Please note: Identification of a potential host, while an essential requirement for application, does not imply a guarantee of acceptance and the full application procedure must be followed in all cases.