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Department of Development Studies

Academic Hospitality

The Department of Development Studies receives visiting scholars who wish to associate their work with the department, contribute to the academic life of the department, and be located at SOAS to take advantage of its research culture and its excellent library holdings.

All successful applicants must be sponsored by a member of the department. Before applying, applicants will therefore need to make contact with a member of academic staff who is willing to act as mentor during their stay. The mentor’s written approval should be included in the relevant section of the ‘Academic Hospitality Application Form’ (download form to the right).

If you only require access to the SOAS library you may apply as a member of the public or through another of library’s membership statuses, such as SOAS Alumni. If you are a retired member of SOAS staff or affiliated to another UK HEI you may already have access to library resources. Please refer to the Admission to the Library webpage for further information.

Application Process:

Applications should be submitted to Anna Seecharan (as104@soas.ac.uk). Please submit your application in good time to be considered before your intended arrival date. Please note that it may take up to three months for a decision to be finalised.

Applications are considered termly. Deadlines for the 2015/16 academic session are:

  • Term 1: Friday 13th November 2015
  • Term 2: Friday 5th February 2016
  • Term 3: Friday 29th April 2016

Applications must include:

  • A completed ‘Academic Hospitality Application Form’, including written support of an academic member of the department who is willing to act as mentor;
  • Curriculum vitae, including list of publications (no more than three pages);
  • A SOAS Research Ethics form, if applicable.


Visiting Scholar

Professorial Research Associate (PRA), Research Associate (RA), or Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA)


Recognised scholars from a non-British university, known to the Department, wishing to make use of the School's Library and public seminars.

Nb. Overseas Doctoral / Research students wishing to carry out research at the School should refer to the Visiting Research Students policy, and make any enquiries to the Doctoral School team.


Honorary status offered to individuals known to the Department and wishing to affiliate their work with, and contribute to, the academic life of the Department.

PRA status is awarded to distinguished scholars with professorial status.

PDRA status is awarded to those who have successfully completed a PhD within the previous year, particularly those with PhDs obtained at SOAS.

Nb. University of London academics are covered by intercollegiate agreements and cannot apply for RA status.


A bench fee of £264 (inclusive of VAT) per month is payable upon arrival at the School

No bench fee is charged. PRAs, RAs and PDRAs wishing to make use of SOAS library resources can apply in person at the library membership desk at the same rate as the General Public.


Specified dates, with a maximum of one year.


A maximum of two years, ending on the 31st August irrespective of the start date.

PRA and RA may be extended by one year upon application to the Head of Department. A brief report is required, outlining the benefits to both the Associate and the Department during their stay. 

PDRA status cannot be renewed.

Library Access

Borrowing rights (50 items, long loans for 4 weeks)

Full access, including off-site access to electronic resources.


Borrowing rights (3 items, long loans for 4 weeks)

On-site access only to electronic resources (i.e. no off-site access).


  • Formal association with the department of Development Studies
  • SOAS email address
  • Mentor within the department
  • Use of the Staff Common Room (SCR)
  • Attendance at public seminars
  • Formal association with the department of Development Studies
  • SOAS email address
  • Mentor within the department
  • Use of the Staff Common Room (SCR)
  • Attendance at public seminars
  • Personal profile on the Department Staff webpage
  • Participation in the academic life of the department (see below)


To be agreed with the supervisor and Home Institution.

PRAs, RAs, and PDRAs are expected to:

  • Collaborate with academic colleagues and contribute to departmental activities (e.g. departmental seminar series, graduate teaching / workshops, research cluster activities) as appropriate and in discussion with their designated mentor;
  • Acknowledge their professional link with the Department of Development Studies at SOAS on any publications which are published during the period of associateship;
  • Write a report at the end of their associateship outlining what they have achieved during their stay.

Application Process

Applications are considered by the Head of Department on a termly basis.

Applications are considered by the Departmental Research Committee on a termly basis, and recommendations made to the department. Once the application is approved by the Department it must also be approved by the Law and Social Sciences Faculty Board.