Visiting Scholars Programme

The School of Education invites applications to our Visiting Scholars scheme. The scheme is open to academics at other institutions wishing to undertake research within the School which is similar to that which is already undertaken at the School and to take part in the academic life of the University of Birmingham. The School of Education welcomes requests from individual scholars who wish to spend periods of up to one year in the first instance in the School pursuing research, but without registering for a formal academic qualification.

A visiting scholar whose application is successful will be granted affiliation to one of the School’s three departments during their time working in Birmingham. The scheme is designed for those scholars who wish to focus on a specific research area, and is not suitable for those who simply want to gain general experience of the UK education system. There are two designations available: 

  • Research Fellow (for those already with a Ph.D or Ed.D). 
  • Research Associate (for experienced and qualified education personnel anticipating doctoral work).

As all activities are conducted in English, prospective scholars will be expected to have a level of IELT 7 in written and spoken English. Confirmation of this will be requested.

Applying to be a Visiting Scholar 

Prospective Visiting Scholars are also required to contact members of staff in the School of Education to seek their support before making a formal request. This will help ensure that the proposed area of research coincides with current research interests and expertise within the School of Education.

Once confirmation has been received from the supporting staff member, please email the School of Education Research Office for an application form at

The title of Visiting Scholar will apply for the fixed duration of the Scholar’s association with the School of Education as agreed by the terms of the successful application.

We advise that you apply 3 months in advance if you are from the EU 4 months in advance if you are not from the EU.

Visa Requirements

As a UK Border Agency (UKBA) Tier 4 Sponsor, The University of Birmingham is required to ensure that all our international visitors hold a visa which is appropriate for the purpose of their visit to the UK. If your application is successful, our International Student Team (IST) will carry out an assessment to identify the correct visa for your visit. If necessary, we will issue the correct documentation in support of your visa application; but it is the Scholar’s responsibility to use this to enter the UK under the advised visa route. No correspondence from the University of Birmingham, other than where specified, should be used in support of a visa application.

Fees and Entitlements

A fee of £3,000 per 12 months or £2,000 per 1-6 months is payable to the University of Birmingham for the period of the scheme. The fee entitles the Scholar to:

  • University of Birmingham ID card, which enables access to University staff and student facilities; 
  • Access to Information Services (including libraries) and to computer facilities; 
  • A University of Birmingham email address (if required); 
  • Contact with a ‘mentor’, who will be a member of the School of Education academic staff; 
  • Attendance at general seminars and open lectures; 
  • Potential to host a seminar within the School and present research findings to staff and students before the visit ends; 
  • Request to write a short report providing feedback on your visit and detailing what has been achieved.

The fee is payable once the application has been approved and should be made before the start date of the Scholar’s term at Birmingham. If additional resources or inputs are required by the Scholar, then the above fee may be increased. Space in the school is extremely limited. If possible, a hot-desk will be provided; alternatively, scholars are entitled to use the dedicated post-graduate study rooms in the building.

Fees can be paid online at the University Online Shop

Please note that it isn’t possible to conduct research within schools in the UK without a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check. Responsibility for arranging for a DBS check to be completed, or for arranging to undertake research in schools will lie with the Scholar. Please visit the Home Office pages UK Visas and Immigration for more information.


University living accommodation is very limited, particularly for periods of less than one academic year. The University may be able to provide limited advice on where to find appropriate private accommodation or reasonable bed-and-breakfast hotels, however responsibility for arranging accommodation will lie with the Scholar. Please visit the Accommodation pages for more information, or visit the LIVING shop, Ground Floor, University Centre on campus once at the University.

Current visiting scholars

Former visiting scholars

  • James Chisholm
  • Véra Léon
  • Denise Bruxelles
  • Dr Kerry Taylor-Leech
  • Dr Abolaji Mustapha
  • Dr Christian Ydesen
  • Marta Padovan-Özdemir