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Visiting Professorships

For UK institutions to invite an eminent researcher from overseas to enhance the skills and knowledge of the academic staff and/or students

Value

Applications are invited for a minimum of £10,000 and a maximum of £150,000. 

Duration

A Visiting Professorship may last for between 3 and 12 months, and tenures of 6 months or more can be spread over 2 or more visits.

Before beginning your application, please read the information below or download it as a PDF Guidance for Applicants.

Eligibility

Applications must be made by a member of academic staff, based in a UK university or other higher education institution, who will be responsible for coordinating the visit. 

The host academic’s employing institution must also agree to administer the grant, if awarded, and to provide appropriate facilities for the Visiting Professor.

Visitors who have previously held a Leverhulme Visiting Professorship can only apply if at least 7 years have elapsed since the last one.

The over-riding criteria for selection are:

  • the academic standing and achievements of the visitors in terms of their research and/or teaching
  • their potential for making a substantial contribution to skills in the host institution
  • the specific and systematic nature of the proposed programme while in the UK

In special circumstances, the Trust Board is prepared to consider candidates who do not hold a university post. 

Collaborative research alone will not be a sufficient justification for a grant. The emphasis should be on the diffusion of skills and expertise. Priority will be given to new or recent collaborative ventures. 

Where a visit builds on an existing collaboration, the host should explain what the visit(s) will achieve over and above past outcomes. 

It is the intention that the visitor will provide a degree of expertise that is not otherwise available within the UK research base. 

Visiting Professors will be expected to offer a short course of "Leverhulme Lectures” to mark their residence in a UK institution.

The Trust will not fund applications for research of which advocacy forms an explicit component.

The Trust does not support research which is aimed principally at an immediate commercial application.

The Trust will not fund applications in which the balance between assembling a data bank or database and the related subsequent research is heavily inclined to the former.

Eligible fields of study

Applications will be considered in all subject areas except:

  • studies of disease, illness and disabilities in humans and animals
  • research that is intended to inform clinical practice or the development of medical applications

The Trusts always excludes these areas because substantial funding is available from other sources for applied medical research and the Trust’s priority is to support investigations of a fundamental nature. 

What the Trust offers
Duration and timing of grant

Visits should be for no less than 3 and no more than 12 months, although a Professorship may be spread over a number of visits and over a period of up to 2 years if such an arrangement is justified by the nature of the programme. 

Tenures of 6 months or more total duration are eligible to be spread over 2 or more visits. Tenures of less than 6 months must be completed within one visit. 

If more than one visit is planned the applicant should explain explicitly how the programme will benefit from this. 

The award should commence within 15 months of receipt of the offer letter.

Maintenance grant

Depending on the individual circumstances of candidates, the Trust will award a maintenance grant up to a level commensurate with the salary of a professor in the comparable field in the UK.

Account must be taken of existing income from the proposed visitor’s own university, i.e. whether they will be on paid or unpaid leave during their visit. 

The maintenance grant is only payable for the period of the visit to the UK.

Replacement salary costs

As an alternative to a maintenance grant/salary, the Trust will consider funding replacement salary costs for the visitor in their home institution, on the condition that the UK host institution is willing and able to administer these funds in an appropriate manner. 

If approved, these funds can only be used for the visitor’s replacement costs, and not as a general contribution towards the home department/institution’s staff costs; it is the UK host institution’s responsibility to ensure that the funds are used correctly. 

The replacement salary costs are only payable for the period of the visit to the UK.

Accommodation and utilities

Visitors may apply for funds for accommodation and utilities in the UK in cases where such costs are also payable in their home country during tenure of the award or where the UK costs are significantly higher than in their home country.

Travel costs

Travel costs to and from the UK will be met for the visitor and dependent partner, and should be based on the lowest reasonable tariff for economy travel.

If two or more visits are made the Trust will pay for a maximum of two return fares for the visitor and accompanying partner.

Associated costs

Associated costs, if justified by the programme, will also be considered. These may include:

  • travel within the UK (for the visitor only)
  • laboratory consumables
  • technical assistance etc. 
Ineligible costs

The grant does not cover the costs of the following:

  • items of equipment
  • non-UK conference attendance and travel
  • departmental costs
  • overheads
  • bench fees

Personal expenditures on items such as visa costs, car hire and health insurance are also ineligible. 

Please note that the Trust does not make awards on a full economic costing basis.

Host institution’s commitments
Costs

The host institution should provide general support costs, e.g: 

  • photocopying
  • inter-library loans
  • routine administrative assistance for help with making travel arrangements and arranging publicity for lectures etc. 
Institutional commitments

The host institution must undertake the following: 

  • to meet all overhead and departmental costs
  • to provide facilities (including departmental membership, office consumables and other usual privileges) at a level commensurate with the conditions enjoyed by existing staff of the same level
  • to manage all necessary arrangements relating to the visitor’s visa and tax requirements
  • to administer the funding in accordance with the approved budget
How to apply

To make an application, please access the Leverhulme Trust Grants Management System. The recommended browser to use is Google Chrome.

When completing the application form, please refer to the Application Help Notes.

Applications must be completed by the responsible academic in the UK host institution; the visiting academic cannot make an application. 

The UK host applicant is expected to organise, direct and take academic and organisational responsibility of the Professorship. 

As part of the application process both the proposed Visiting Professor and the UK host institution must give approval by the closing date. 

The Trust will report results to applicants within 5 to 6 months of each closing date.

There are two closing dates a year, in May and October. 

Current grant holders

Funded projects
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