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Department of Land Economy

Environment, Law & Economics

Hinc lucem et pocula sacra
This our University of Cambridge Motto reads as “From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowledge”.

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

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 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 either ask you to contact the Visiting Scholar Coordinator directly or refer you to them to complete an application form

How to apply

The application form is the same for both Visiting Academic Researchers and PhD Students.  To complete the form download it from HERE 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
  • 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 a member of staff in the department for approval.  If approved, you will be sent an Invitation Letter (issued by the Head of Department) for signing and return.

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 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 Prior to Arrival section of this webpage.

If you have any questions about the process of becoming a Visiting Scholar please feel free to email the Visiting Scholar Coordinator: