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School of Social Sciences

Visiting scholars programme

The University of Manchester School of Social Sciences has a diverse and active international visiting scholars programme, hosting visiting researchers from key regions of interest.

The School of Social Sciences at The University of Manchester is home to nearly 3000 undergraduate students and over 400 postgraduate students (with a 35% international student population). We are known throughout the world for the breadth and quality of our research, being one of only four UK Universities (with LSE, Oxford and Cambridge) to appear in the top 50 of the AWRU Social Science rankings.

Researchers in the School embrace theoretically-informed empirical research, from a platform of six discipline-specific departments. Alongside the big three social sciences (of Economics, Politics and Sociology), Social Statistics is a key element of our research and teaching strategy affording us an international comparative advantage in quantitative research methods and techniques accompanying fundamental pedagogic research in “statistical literacy”.  The School has an independent Social Anthropology department which privileges ethnographic techniques and the co-production of knowledge across the globe.  Finally, the School is fortunate to include Philosophy, exploring inter alia metephysics, aesthetics and environmental justice.

This fundamental configuration of social science disciplines within the School affords research which engages with a wide range of theories including behavioural economics, analytical political theory, critical theory, interactionism, social constructivism and more. As well as drawing on an extensive portfolio of methods, ranging from the secondary analysis of large data sets to in-depth interviews and creative qualitative methods, the School develops new methodologies including the emerging and innovative interdisciplinary area of data “social” science encompassing big data, computational social science, social media and bio-markers. These theories and methods are applied to pressing substantive social science issues including macro-economic growth and development, global political economy, sustainability and consumption, social inequalities, diversity and cohesion, social and cultural change and moral and ethical behaviour. Read more.

We make strategic appointments of Visiting Scholars which reflect our priority research areas and who commit time in residence working in our research community.  Working in collaboration with our own world leading researchers, these visiting scholars enable us to ensure a vibrant exchange of ideas and facilitate the development of innovative methodological approaches.

The School welcomes applications to the Visiting Scholars Programme from leading researchers who will be working with our own research scholars on specific projects. There are limited places available and the application process is described below. Unfortunately, we do not have spaces available for those who simply wish to attach themselves to the School, or a particular department, without a clear research connection to School-based individual academic research projects.  


During your stay, Visiting Scholars are expected to participate in the research life of the host department/institute including: attending most departmental research seminars, presenting your work to the relevant research seminar, working collaboratively with School-based researchers to produce journal articles, research proposals, grant applications, etc. For these reasons, it is important that visiting scholars be present during the length of the visit (with some exceptions for occasional conference attendance).

Fees and benefits

Scholars may visit for one semester, one year, or for a few weeks. Scholars are expected to be fully self-funding.  Fees are: £2,500/full year, £1,000/Autumn & Spring semester only (12weeks), or £100/week.

The School will offer a Welcome Pack, desk space, staff card, library access, some printing facilities and access to events organized by the School of Social Sciences.  If required, the School will provide a letter of acceptance to the Visiting Scholars Programme to assist with visa arrangements. For all other visa enquires, applicants need to contact the UK Border Agency.

The School is strongly committed to promoting equality and diversity. Our Visiting Scholars programme aims to be as inclusive as possible, and we welcome applications from scholars from all backgrounds and career stages who will be able to pursue high-quality research and engage fruitfully with existing researchers within the School. We warmly welcome applications from researchers who have access to no, or limited, funding from their own institutions or research grants that can be used to cover our standard bench fee. If this applies to you, please briefly explain on the application form; your application will be considered without regard to your ability to pay.

How to apply

  • If you wish to apply as a visiting scholar you must be sponsored by a School-based researcher.  Ideally you will have a connection with a scholar already in place.
  • Once you have a sponsor, you must complete the application form which includes a brief description of the project, a statement of support from the SoSS-based sponsor/co-researcher, a one page CV and two references.  This application should be sent to Gillian Whitworth: Download the application form.
  • It will then be considered by the School Research Director, School Internationalisation Lead and the School Resource Officer.
  • Normally applications will be considered twice per year: July (either for the coming full academic year or Autumn semester) and in November (for a Spring semester only).  Applications outside this time will be considered only in exceptional circumstances.