It has been an incredibly enriching experience, contributing significantly to my research and offering me invaluable insights. The welcoming and supportive environment, not to mention the wealth of knowledge shared by everyone, made my visit not just beneficial but truly enjoyable.

PhD Student 2024

Every year the Department of Land Economy at the University of Cambridge welcomes visiting scholars from institutions across the world, whether they are PhD students starting out on their academic career or experienced researchers looking to collaborate with our academics to further their particular project.

So, essentially if you are interested in becoming a Visiting Scholar you will fall into one of two categories:  Visiting Academic Researcher or Visiting PhD Student.  It is important to be clear which status you are as it may affect the visa you need to enter the UK should you wish to visit with us in person.

A Visiting Academic Researcher is usually employed by a Higher Education institution or other organisation and is actively involved in research alongside their other responsibilities.

A PhD Student is exactly that, a postgraduate undertaking doctoral research and with permission from their home institution to come to Cambridge to enrich their studies.

Firstly, what to do if you are interested in becoming a Visiting Scholar at Land Economy

We do not take the approval of potential visiting scholars lightly; places are few and our scholars must be truly dedicated to the topic of research they intend to collaborate with our academics on.  Our academics are busy teaching and conducting their own research and give their time voluntarily to support visiting scholars, so any application is considered carefully before final approval.  Please note any offer will only be made on confirmation of full funding.

You need to find an academic in our Department who has relevant research interests and is happy to support you and your research while you are visiting with us. 

To do this please see the “People” section of our website for a list of academic staff.

You are welcome to contact the person directly (email is best) and ask if they would be interested in hosting your visit.

An up-to-date CV (Resume) and short research proposal should be attached to your request.

Visitors should note that the main activities of the Department and the University are limited to three 8-week terms per academic year:

Michaelmas Term: October to Mid-December; Lent Term: Mid-January to Mid-March and Easter Term: End-April to Mid-June.

If you find an academic in the department who is happy to support you, they will ask you to complete an application form. Please do not ask them to provide you with a funding application support letter before you have submitted your Visiting Scholar application form to the Visiting Scholar Coordinator. Any offer at this time will be conditional on confirmation of funding.

How to apply

The application form is the same for both Visiting Academic Researchers and PhD Students.  Complete the and return the application form at the bottom of this page and email it to:

In addition to the completed form you must also submit the following support documents:

  • A copy of your current CV
  • Your research proposal
  • Confirmation of support from your Cambridge Supervisor (the academic who has agreed to host your visit) - an email is acceptable
  • Confirmation of funding (e.g. China Scholarship Council or Ersamus) if you have it or details of how you will be funded
  • Proof of your English Language Proficiency (an assessment certificate) if applicable

Note:  Overseas PhD student applicants MUST provide a language proficiency certificate, if English is not their first language.

For further guidance on language proficiency please see the Postgraduate Admissions webpage.


What happens next?

Your application form and support documents will be forwarded to the Director of International Relations for approval.

If fully approved, you will be sent a contractual invitation letter (issued by the Head of Department) for signing and return, and progress to the next stage of admission. This letter is essentially the contract between you and the department used as a record of your visit, including the start/end dates and "Bench Fee" fee payment details.

If you do not have confirmation of funding and/or satisfactory English language proficiency your offer will be conditional only, until these are confirmed.

If you need an offer letter to apply for funding, you may request a funding support letter by contacting the Visiting Scholar Coordinator.

Please do not ask your Cambridge host academic to provide you with a funding application support letter before you have contacted the Visiting Scholar Coordinator.

If you are living overseas and intend to visit the department in-person, this letter becomes part of the application pack submitted to either the University’s Visa and Immigration Compliance Team (for Academic Researchers) or the International Student Office (for PhD Students), as they make the decision about how you will enter the UK.  Approval is either a Certificate of Sponsorship (a CoS) for Academic Researchers or confirmation of eligibility to apply for a Student Visa for PhDs.

Details about the Visa/Immigration Process and Bench Fees payable can be found in the How to become a Visiting Scholar section of this webpage.

If you have any questions about the process of becoming a Visiting Scholar which are not answered in the FAQs below please feel free to email the Visiting Scholar Coordinator:


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