SOAS University of London


Visiting Scholars

The title of Visiting Scholar is granted by the School to a recognised scholar from a non-UK university or research institution, who is known to a SOAS academic Department or Centre/Institute and who wishes to spend a period of no more than 12 months at the School in the first instance. Visiting Scholars are expected to be physically present at the School for part or all of their appointment and contribute to the intellectual life of the School.

The title is granted by the School on the recommendation of a Department or Centre/Institute. 

We are looking forward to welcoming new Visiting Scholars to the School in 2021. If you would like to apply, please ensure that your preferred start date is in or after January 2021.


The benefits of a Visiting Scholar include:

  • Full membership of the SOAS Library, including off-site electronic resource access
  • SOAS login, email account and staff web page
  • Use of the Staff Common Room and library working space (we are unable to provide office space) 
  • Attendance at lectures and seminars

While the title of Visiting Scholar does not constitute a paid employment position, we encourage all our Visiting Scholars to play a full and active part in the intellectual life of the School. Visiting Scholars are not permitted to teach whilst at SOAS, however pro-bono contributions to teaching and research are encouraged where appropriate.

Process of appointment

You must be an academic based at a higher education or research institution outside the UK to be eligible. To apply, please complete and email the application form to the Department or Centre/Institute you wish to be based in.

You can find the relevant Department's contact details on its web page. See the list of Departments here: 

For your application to be successful, it must have the approval of the relevant Head of Department or Centre/Institute.

All appointments are for a fixed term.



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 arrival.


Visiting Scholars should ensure that they make appropriate visa arrangements if necessary. Please see the official government site, providing information and advice on UK visas:


Please note that SOAS does not have any residential accommodation of its own, and we ask you to make your own arrangements. You may find the University of London Accommodation Office helpful:   


The host Department or Centre will issue an attestation which can be used as documentation:

  • To open a UK bank account
  • For prospective landlords