What an IAS Fellowship Offers and How to Nominate for 2025/26
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 supports, promotes and grows new and creative interdisciplinary ideas that transform our perspectives in challenging and provocative ways. We provide time, space, and resources to exchange and integrate ideas, knowledge and skills. We are a home to an inclusive, diverse and supportive community of scholars from Durham University and across the world.
The IAS Distinguished Fellowship welcomes world-leading researchers to Durham, providing the time and space to work on projects and build future collaborations. 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 ten-week period between October to December 2025 or January to March 2026, during term time.
Nominations are considered from international, world-leading researchers (or practitioners, such as writers, artists, policy makers etc.) who meet the criteria for the IAS 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 accommodated, at the IAS’s expense, in a Durham College where they will be offered standard accommodation in a one-bedroom flat suitable for up to two people. Family accommodation is sometimes available for Fellows, but at the point of application it cannot be guaranteed. Any requests for this should be explicit in the Nomination Form and will be discussed with successful Fellows after the assessment process is complete. Meals for Fellows are provided (in catered Colleges), 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 the full ten-week Fellowship period).
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, 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 full Fellowship period). 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 the full duration of the 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 their work to different communities within the IAS and within the Durham college hosting them. This will normally consist of one formal lecture, or other activities within the IAS or the college.
They will contribute to an IAS Major project.
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.