Essex International Visiting Fellowships

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Essex International Visiting Fellowships are prestigious, competitive awards for high performing, established academics and researchers. This flagship programme provides support for outstanding researchers to undertake a period of research at Essex that is of major importance in its field and of significant benefit to Essex's research.

The programme provides a platform to:

  • work with Essex academics on a research project or publication
  • champion Essex as a centre of scholarly excellence at an international level
  • raise the profile of the multi-disciplinary research community at Essex
  • enrich the research and training environment for early career postgraduate and postdoctoral scholars at Essex

Suspension of Essex International Visiting Fellowship scheme

The University of Essex has closely monitored the global COVID-19 pandemic as it unfolds. In light of recent developments and the uncertainty around future travel restrictions in the UK and across the world, the decision was made to suspend the International Visiting Fellowship scheme for 2021-22. We hope to offer it again in 2022-23. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this decision, but we are convinced that prioritising the health and welfare of everyone is the most sensible approach. Please keep an eye on the webpage for future updates about the scheme.

Programme components and current availability

The Essex International Visiting Fellowship programme has two options:

Short-stay Essex International Visiting Fellow

This fellowship enables researchers to spend between two and four weeks at Essex. There are two calls for applications:

  • Call 1 2019/20 - For short-stay visiting fellowships between 1 October 2019 and 29 February 2020
  • Call 2 2019/20 - For short-stay visiting fellowships between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 
Extended-stay Essex International Visiting Fellow

This fellowship enables a researcher to spend between two and four months at Essex. There are two calls for applications:

  • Call 1 2019/20 - For an extended-stay visiting fellowship between 1 October 2019 and 29 February 2020
  • Call 2 2019/20 - For an extended-stay visiting fellowship between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020


Essex International Visiting Fellowships are open to researchers based outside the United Kingdom with an excellent track record commensurate with career stage to undertake research at the University of Essex.

Students and graduates (e.g. undergraduate students/graduates, Master’s students/graduates, PhD students, and post-doctoral students) are not eligible for the scheme.

International Visiting Fellows applications must be supported by a senior Essex academic and during their visit it is expected that the Visiting Fellow(s) will contribute to the wider activity at the University, engaging with a wide cross-section of the research community.

We cannot accept applications to our Southend or Loughton Campuses. Should you wish to visit one of these campuses, please see our staff mobility information for other funding opportunities.

Successful applicants who were International Visiting Fellows in the past at Essex are not eligible to apply for another Essex International Visiting Fellowship.

Please keep in mind that the International Visiting Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis.


An Essex International Visiting Fellowship includes:

  • economy airfare from the Visiting Fellow’s nominated home airport to a London based airport and return from London to the nominated home airport
  • self-catering accommodation, including the cost of utilities
  • a contribution to subsistence (£100 per week)

Award holders are given the title International Visiting Fellow for the period of their stay.

How to apply

During your stay, it is anticipated that you will contribute to a number of activities. When you apply, you should therefore identify events and activities that you will contribute to during your stay. The programme of events should aim to incorporate some of the following:

  • presentation of your core research to a targeted audience
  • research and/or training event targeted at PhD students and early career scholars
  • exploration of further collaborative opportunities with groups/individuals
  • a public event
  • interdisciplinary activity aimed at an audience beyond your immediate field of specialism, eg lecture, performance, exhibition, seminar, workshop

Application process

Step 1: Create an account

To access our application form and you will need to create an account on our system.

Once you've created an account you will receive an email from our system to activate your account, after which you can log in and start completing the form. When setting your password please make sure it is a minimum of ten characters and it includes at least one capital letter, one number and one special character.

Step 2: Complete the form

The form has several sections which you are asked to mark section as complete (using the tick boxes). You must do this for each section, otherwise you will not be able to submit your application.

In addition, sections marked with an asterisk (*) are compulsory. Your application will not progress without completing these sections. The form has information circles (marked 'I') that provide help when filling out the form.

Step 3: Upload documents

Some sections of the form will ask you to upload documents to support your application. You must upload:

  • your abbreviated curriculum vitae (one to two A4 pages maximum)
  • proposal of your research activity (one to two A4 pages maximum)
  • letter of invite/support from a hosting department or centre at Essex – must be on official letter headed paper and signed by Head of Department or Centre / Institute Director

Please ensure the documents are in PDF or JPEG format, otherwise the form will notify you of an upload error.

Step 4: Submit


When you submit your application you will receive an email notifying you of your application being complete, and you will also have the ability to download a PDF version of your application.


Once your application has been submitted no more changes can be made to it. If you submit your application and it contains errors or would like to change the content of any of the sections in your application, please email with your request and we will be in contact as soon as possible to allow you access to your application. Please bear in mind that you can only change sections that have been completed with the wrong information.

Contact us

If you experience any issues with the form, please contact us at and we help you with any issues you might have.


Application deadlines

Applications are invited throughout the year and should be submitted by midnight
(UK time - UTC+1) on the day of the deadline:

Short-stay and Extended-stay International Visiting Fellows
  • for visits from October and February, submit by 1 September
  • for visits between March and July, submit by 31 January

Selection of Fellows

Applications to the Essex International Visiting Fellowship programme will be assessed on:

  • quality of your contribution to your field, as attested by your curriculum vitae
  • ability of the programme to advance collaborative research activities
  • breadth and/or depth of research constituency at Essex to which you will appeal, as demonstrated by the letter of support from a hosting department
  • ability of programme of events to enrich the research environment across a wide range of departments/audiences
  • value for money – potential impact of activity relative to the University’s contribution

Selection decisions are made by a panel, chaired by the PVC Research, and including the PVC Education and one nominee from each faculty.


Decisions for applicants of both, short-stay and extended-stay fellowships are made within three to four weeks of the deadline.

Fellows will be required to complete a report at the end of their visit. Additionally, Extended-stay International Visiting Fellows will be asked for a publication such as a journal article, conference paper, or other relevant form of research publication that has been produced during or as a result of the stay at the University of Essex and will contribute to the research community at Essex.

Fellows profiles

Abel Escriba-Folch - Impact of security forces on civil wars

During his two weeks at the University of Essex, Professor Abel Escriba-Folch worked with a number academics from the Department of Government to carry out research for a joint project on the impact of security forces structure on the duration and outcome of civil wars. He also met with PhD students, contributed to a workshop with the Michael Nicholson Centre for Conflict and Cooperation and gave a presentation about his research on security force structure and civil wars. Talking about his successful visit, Professor Escribà said:

"My short stay at the University of Essex has allowed us to lay the groundwork for a collaborative paper. Combining our respective knowledge and expertise in different topics, we've been able to identify a relevant research question and develop some initial hypotheses. We have also merged data and run some initial tests. Tasks are now divided and we'll keep working."

Greg Wright - Health impact of trade embargo

Hailing from Radboud University, Greg Wright focused on two different research projects during his trip to the University of Essex. His primary focus was to work with Matthias Parey to research the long-term health impact of a trade embargo, which he now feels is ready to be published in a journal.

He also worked with Tianxi Wang to explore the impact of new technologies on the income distributions within occupations, and left our University having also made significant progress in this field of research.

Jieling Xu - History of Anti-Schistosomiasis campaign in the Jiangxi Province

The first International Visiting Fellow to be hosted by the Department of History, Professor Jieling Xu joined Professor Xun Zhou to curate an upcoming public exhibition on the history of Anti-Schistosomiasis Campaign in the Jiangxi Province. Professor Xu’s expertise came in useful when creating a narrative for the exhibition, and when identifying certain exhibit objects.

At her home institution, East China Jiaotong University, Professor Xu teaches the Modern History of China, and the Principles of Political Economy.

Julian Togelius - Video game artificial intelligence

Visiting from the New York University, Professor Julian Togelius worked with Professor Simon Lucas to develop research plans to exploit recent advances in video game artificial intelligence. Professor Togelius also presented a seminar to all first-year IGGI-PhD students and most second/third-year IGGI-PhD students to discuss developments in AI, and how games can be used as a benchmark to improve AI.

Professor Togelius and Professor Lucas share long-term plans of establishing general video game AI as the foundational basis for game-designers to tune and play-test their games.

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