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What an IAS Fellowship Offers and How to Apply for 2023/24


Introduction to the IAS

The Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) was launched in October 2006 to mark the 175th anniversary of the foundation of Durham University. The IAS provides a unique intellectual and physical environment for scholarship and interdisciplinary research across the disciplinary spectrum, promoting open and imaginative exchanges of knowledge across disciplinary boundaries. It offers foundational support to adventurous and interdisciplinary research initiatives, and to the potential for these to illuminate disciplinary perspectives. It brings into this environment leading international researchers and assists their collaborative engagement with Durham’s academic community. It communicates the outcomes of this collaborative research, and the University’s leadership in this area, to national and international networks, and to policy and decision-makers. 

The IAS Distinguished Fellowship scheme brings together world-leading researchers from all disciplines to work with Durham colleagues in developing collaborative projects of major intellectual, scientific, political and practical significance. Up to twenty visiting IAS Fellows will come to Durham each year to work with its scholars to spark new investigations and participate in a varied programme of activities. 

Each year, the Institute sponsors several major interdisciplinary projects and a range of other research developments. Fellows are expected to collaborate with Durham colleagues carrying out such activities. Fellowship applicants should therefore consider whether their interests complement the 2023/24 projects, Abusing Antiquity; Justice and Artificial Intelligence; Understanding Offence: delimiting the (un)sayable and In Absence of Others; (see:, and whether they might want to apply to work with a project team during the Fellowship period. Or they can apply to Durham for a term to work on collaborative interdisciplinary research projects with academics at Durham University. All applicants must have a Durham host and a collaboratively composed Fellowship plan/proposal to ensure that such collaborations are substantive and strategically embedded, with potential long-term benefits to interdisciplinary research at Durham University. 

Applications are now invited for the academic year 2023/24.

Fellowships are available for a 3-month period between October 2023 and March 2024. Applications are considered from international, world-leading researchers (or practitioners, such as writers, artists, policy makers etc.) who meet the criteria for the IAS Distinguished Fellowship scheme. Thus, they must have a well-established or strongly emerging international reputation and a substantial publication record (or equivalent achievements); they must have made major contributions to their field; and they must be able to provide substantial evidence of research leadership and/or public impact. They are expected to have played a significant role in shaping their discipline or field through their outputs, achievements and indicators of esteem, and they should also be able to offer experience in leading or participating directly in interdisciplinary research. 

In accord with the IAS’s remit to establish international collaborations, preference will be given to nominations and applicants from outside the UK. 

IAS Fellowships are not available to undergraduate or postgraduate students. A completed PhD with five years’ post-doctoral experience is the minimum requirement for Fellows undertaking a traditional academic trajectory, or they must have an equivalent level of experience and track record in other areas.

Previous recipients of an IAS Fellowship are not eligible for a further Fellowship.

What the Fellowships offer:

An IAS Fellowship provides recipients with the opportunity to develop their ideas and collaborations in a thriving community of researchers, and through engagement with the University’s Departments, Institutes and Colleges. 

All Fellows will be provided with office space. Each will be welcomed into a Durham College where they will be offered accommodation (in a one bedroom flat, or similar), and membership of the College’s Senior Common Room.

The IAS will cover the costs associated with the Fellow travelling to Durham from their home institution (one return fare – economy class only), and will provide all Fellows with an honorarium (£3,000 for three months; pro-rata for a shorter stay).  

Teaching buyout for visiting IAS Fellows who are employed by other universities can only be requested in exceptional circumstances (for example Fellows from less advantaged global areas, or from academics whose institutions do not make such provision for research leave/study leave are eligible to apply for teaching buy-out costs of up to £8,000 (for the three month period or pro rata for shorter stays). 
Fellows from Universities who provide study/research leave are expected to make use of this to take up an IAS Fellowship, and will not be provided with buyout. Similarly, practitioners who will experience a loss of income as a result of accepting an IAS Fellowship are eligible to apply for a contribution towards their salary/earnings of the same amount (up to £8,000). 


Fellows’ contribution to the IAS:

Fellows are required to fulfil a number of expectations:

  • They will reside in Durham for three months; however, if this is impossible, the IAS may consider alternative arrangements as long as the Fellowship provides significant benefits to Durham’s research community; however a two-month stay is the minimum duration of a Fellowship;
  • They will participate in IAS activities, including informal discussions and networking within the IAS community, and engage with staff and research students in relevant Departments, Institutes and Colleges at the University;
  • They will present a ‘work in progress’ IAS seminar within the IAS;
  • They will deliver a public lecture within a Durham College;
  • They will contribute to an IAS Major or Small project; or establish a collaborative interdisciplinary research project/activity with a Durham academic.
  • They must acknowledge IAS support in any publications resulting from their Fellowship in Durham;
  • They must produce an ‘End of Fellowship’ report of no more than 1,000 words detailing their activities and achievements during their time at the IAS, within two months of completing their Fellowship.

How to Apply

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants of any nationality are eligible to apply in line with Durham University’s equality and diversity policies. The IAS particularly welcomes applications from individuals from under-represented groups. Preference will be given to applicants from outside the UK. (

  • Applicants from any disciplinary area(s) are eligible to apply, but they are required to have at least five years’ experience following the completion of a PhD, or – if a non-academic practitioner – at least five years equivalent professional experience.
  • Applicants may come from an academic or non-academic background (e.g. public intellectuals, artists, writers, film makers, journalists, policy makers, politicians);
  • Applicants must meet the quality criteria for the IAS Distinguished Fellowship scheme. They must have a well-established or strongly emerging international reputation and a substantial publication record (or equivalent achievements); they must have made major contributions to their field; and they must be able to provide substantial evidence of research leadership and/or public impact. They are expected to have played a significant role in shaping their discipline or field through their outputs, achievements and indicators of esteem, and they should also be able to offer experience in leading or participating directly in interdisciplinary research.
  • Applicants must carry out a programme of collaborative research. This can be directly in association with one of the IAS Major research Projects in 2023/24 (see: or with a Durham academic (or academics) in any disciplinary area.
  • Applicants must submit a complete application as described in the Application Procedures. Incomplete applications will not be accepted or considered;
  • Applicants must agree to the conditions of the IAS Fellowships as described in the Further Particulars.
  • Previous recipients of an IAS Fellowship are not eligible to apply.

Application Procedures

The following application materials are required to be submitted to the IAS Manager ( by the deadline midday 17 June 2022 GMT:

  1. A letter of application (submitted by applicant);
  2. A Curriculum Vitae/Resume (submitted by applicant);
  3. A collaborative research (Fellowship) plan/proposal (submitted by applicant);
  4. Two references from suitably qualified referees. References must not be from the applicant’s own institution or Durham University. They must be requested by the applicant, and submitted by the deadline by the Referee (not the applicant).
  5.  Support Proforma for IAS Fellowship 2023/24. The Durham academic who will act as the applicant’s host must complete this proforma, and it must be signed by the appropriate Head of Department, who should submit it to the IAS Manager by the closing date for applications. Applicants should therefore make early contact with a potential host to develop a collaborative research/Fellowship proposal/plan.  
    Any applicant who has not made contact with a host will not be considered for an IAS Fellowship.

Application Materials

Letter of Application

The Letter of Application must state which period the applicant would like to spend at Durham (October – December 2023 or January – March 2024). If either period is suitable, please indicate).

Teaching buyout for visiting IAS Fellows who are employed by other universities can only be requested in exceptional circumstances (for example for Fellows from less advantaged global areas). Teaching buyout is provided at a rate of up to £8000 for three months. Up to the same amount can be requested for self-employed practitioners, artists etc. IAS Fellows from Universities who provide research/study leave are expected to make use of this to take up Fellowships.

Buy-out covers teaching replacement at a junior lecturer level. If a Fellows’ home institution requires a contribution towards teaching responsibilities, please indicate this in the Letter of Application and submit a costing based on hours/teaching etc.  This cannot be done retrospectively once a Fellowship offer is made. In due course, should the IAS offer a Fellowship, a formal letter from the applicant’s home institution will be required supporting the applicant’s claim. The buy-out costs of salaried Fellows will be paid to their home institutions. Fellows who are self-employed will be reimbursed directly.

Applicants must indicate in the Letter of Application if they will be accompanied for the duration of the Fellowship by a spouse or partner and/or if they have children (under 18 years) who will accompany them. However, accommodation suitable for families is very limited, and the IAS cannot guarantee that such family accommodation will be provided. The minimimum accommodation provision is a one bedroom flat/apartment suitable for a couple. The IAS cannot cover the costs of family travel, family subsistence costs or any additional costs relating to family members during the fellowship period.

Applicants must also indicate in their Letter of Application, the name and department of the academic who has agreed to act as their host.

Finally, applicants must indicate in the Letter of Application how they were made aware of the Fellowship (word of month; via their own institution; website etc.).

Curriculum Vitae/Resume 

The Curriculum Vitae/Resume should include evidence of research interests and career to date, international recognition, impact in the field and experience in interdisciplinary research.


References must be from suitable colleagues who are external to the applicant’s own institution, and external from Durham University. References should be emailed by referees directly to the IAS Manager (see below) by the appropriate deadline of midday 17 June 2022. The IAS will not make any request for references, including any not received by the application deadline. No application will be considered without the provision of two references by the application deadline. Applicants should therefore ensure that their referees are made fully aware of the deadline and conditions of application.  
References should include comments about: the applicant's standing in their particular field; the quality of the applicant's research; the level of recognition that has been received for this research; the quality of the proposed research to be undertaken at Durham; the applicant’s interdisciplinary experience; comment upon and the degree to which the applicant would contribute to and benefit from being in an interdisciplinary community of Fellows; and elaborate on the applicant’s collegiality/teamwork).

Fellowship Research Proposal/Plan

The Fellowship proposal (c.500-1000 words) should describe the activities planned whilst holding an IAS Fellowship, the contacts and contribution envisaged in Durham. This statement should be prepared with the assistance of the collaborating academic at Durham University and should include (i) an explanation of how the proposed activity will contribute to the University Strategy (ii) the anticipated outputs of the activity. Applicants and hosts should take into consideration the evaluation criteria when completing the proposal. This proposal must be submitted with the application letter and CV.  

Please note: all applicants are expected to seek an appropriate host themselves: the IAS will not undertake this task.   

The IAS recommends using the information below to support the search for a host. 

Further sources of information include: 

Application Evaluation 

All applications will be evaluated by the IAS Fellowship Selection Committee according to the following criteria:

  1. International standing and contribution of the candidate to his/her field, as appropriate to the career stage of the candidate. (40%)
  2. Quality of proposal for research activities during the IAS Fellowship, and relevance to IAS projects in 2023/24, if relevant (see IAS website), or other collaboration. (30%)
  3. Contribution to the wider scholarly community at Durham and community of IAS Fellows. (20%)
  4. Experience and track record in leading/participating directly in interdisciplinary research. (10%)

The sources of information for assessing applications include the application materials (including references) provided by the applicant, publicly accessible information (including published articles or books, works of art etc.) and advice sought from peer reviewers.

In selecting the final list of successful Fellows, the Selection Committee will also take into account

  1. the limit of 10 Fellowships in each of the Oct-Dec and Jan-March periods;
  2. the geographical and disciplinary diversity of the Fellows in each period;

Decisions for the 2023/24 recruitment phase will be communicated by email only by the end of October 2022.

Closing Date 

The closing date for applications to the IAS Fellowship scheme for 2023/24 is midday GMT 17 June 2022. Applications must be emailed/ to the IAS Manager at no later than this date/time. Any application lacking the required material will not be considered. 


Should applicants wish to discuss informally matters relating to the IAS Fellowships in general they are welcome to contact the IAS Manager, Linda Crowe, or Director of the Institute of Advanced Study, Professor Alexander Easton (Psychology).  The other Co-Directors, Professor Nayanika Mookherjee (Anthropology), and Professor Patrick Zuk (Modern Languages and Cultures) are also available for informal consultation.



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Support Proforma for IAS Fellowship 2023/24