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What an IAS Fellowship Offers and How to Nominate 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. Nominators should therefore consider whether the interests of their Nominated Fellow(s) complement their project proposal. 

Fellowships are available for a 3-month period between October 2023 and March 2024

Nominations 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. 

Nominees must carry out a programme of collaborative research. This can be directly in association with one of the IAS Major or Small research projects in 2023/24 (see: or with a Durham academic (or academics) in any disciplinary area.

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 and cannot be nominated.

Nominations can only be made by Durham academics.  Applicants should not approach Durham academics to be nominated, and they should follow the application process/procedure (see here). 

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), 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 2023/24 IAS Major or Small project or other undertake a collaborative interdisciplinary research project/activity with the nominator/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.


In line with Durham University’s equality and diversity policies, the IAS welcomes nominees of any nationality. The IAS particularly welcomes nominations from individuals from under-represented groups. Preference will be given to nominations from outside the UK. (

The nominator must submit a Nomination Pro forma in full. Incomplete submissions will not be accepted or considered. 

Full nomination materials must be received by the deadline of GMT midday 17 June 2022.

How to Nominate

To nominate a Fellow please complete in full this 2023/24 Fellowship Nomination Pro Forma. We recommend that the nominators also read the evaluation details below. 


Nominations will be evaluated in accord with the IAS’s established criteria for Distinguished Fellowships :

All criteria are marked on a scale of 0-5 with the weighting given in brackets below. Please give particular consideration to these criteria when completing the Nomination Pro Forma.

  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%)

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; 

Contact IAS Manager, Linda Crowe, if you have any questions relating to the nomination process.




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Guidance workshop relating to the 2023/24 IAS Fellowship nomination process by Professor Alex Easton

If you were unable to attend the online workshop, or wish to hear the guidance again as you complete you nomination, please see video.