SOAS University of London


Visiting Scholars

The title of ‘Visiting Scholar’ is granted by the School to a recognised scholar from a university outside the UK, who is known to the recommending Department or Centre/Institute, and who wishes to spend a period of time at the School for a stated period of no more than 12 months in the first instance. Visiting Scholars are expected to be physically present at the School for part or all of their appointment, and play an active part in the intellectual life of the School.

All appointments are for a fixed term, but can be terminated without notice by either side, or renewed for a further fixed term where appropriate.

This status is granted by the School on the recommendation of a Head of Department or Chair of a Regional Centre.


The privileges of a Visiting Scholar include:

  • Full membership of the SOAS Library, including off-site electronic resource access, subject to publishers’ restrictions.
  • SOAS login, email account and staff web page.
  • Use of the Staff Common Room.
  • Attendance at public lectures and seminars.

 The offer does not constitute an offer of employment and Visiting Scholars are not expected, or permitted, to teach whilst at SOAS, although pro-bono contributions to teaching and research are encouraged where appropriate.

 We encourage all our Visiting Scholars to play a full and active part in the intellectual life of the School, equivalent to that of an academic member of staff.

Process of appointment

Requests for the title of ‘Visiting Scholar’ should consist of:

  • A written request from an academic based at a higher education or research institution outside the UK
  • A curriculum vitae
  • A short statement of the proposed work to be undertaken at SOAS
  • Written approval from the Head of Department or Chair of Regional Centre.


To apply please contact the relevant Head/Chair or team:

  • SOAS Languages and Cultures
  • SOAS Faculty Law & Social Sciences
  • SOAS Faculty Arts & Humanities
  • Centres & Programmes Office (regional centres): 


A bench fee is charged at the rate of £2,200 per annum plus VAT (or £2,640 inclusive), or £220 per month plus VAT (or £264 inclusive) for periods of less than a year.  The bench fee is payable two weeks before your arrival.  Failure to pay in advance may result in library access not being available at the time of your induction.

Payment is done via the SOAS online store

Office space

Unless special arrangements are made, appointees are not normally offered office space or administrative assistance.

Library Membership

Full membership of the SOAS Library, including off-site electronic access, subject to publishers' restrictions is included.  A SOAS ID (library) card will be issued during the induction.

IT arrangements

Visiting Scholars will be issued a SOAS login and email account.

Visitors should be able to connect their own laptop to the School network. Please consult the IT Service Desk in the Library for assistance/ or ask for assistance during the induction.  This is more practical for long-term visits to SOAS and not advised for short visits.


It is the individual’s responsibility to ensure that they make appropriate visa arrangements if necessary.  Refer  


Please be aware that SOAS does not have any residential accommodation of its own so we ask visitors to make their own arrangements.  Visitors may find the University of London Accommodation Office helpful (   


The host Dept/Centre will issue an attestation which can be used as documentation:

  • To open a UK bank account
  • For prospective landlords

Get involved

Public events help create a vibrant and outward facing research environment that bring leading thinkers and researchers to the School.  They aim to stimulate debate and enrich the student/staff experience by providing opportunities for collaboration.

Most of our public events are free and draw a  crowd from both internal and external audiences.