Overseas Institutional Visit Application Form Guidance Notes For Aplicants

All full-time WRDTC ESRC PhD studentship holders are eligible to apply for financial support for Overseas Institutional Visits (OIVs) within their studentship period. This additional funding is intended to provide applicants with the opportunity to establish research networks, to disseminate early research findings, to participate in seminars and other academic activities that are directly relevant to their research, or to undertake specialist research training that is not available within the UK.

Scheme regulations

Applicants are asked to read and note the following OIV scheme regulations before completing the application form.

  • Applications can only be considered from ‘research’ award holders in the +3 component of their studentship. Students in the initial ‘training’ year of a 1+3 award are not eligible to apply.
  • As OIVs are intended to be an integral part of the student’s research training, any visit in the first year of the PhD must not commence within the first three months of the studentship period. Additionally, visits taking place in the final year of the studentship must be completed at least three months before the end date of the award and prior to the extension period being implemented.
  • Applicants should consult the Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidance relating to their intended destination. Visits must not be undertaken if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against visiting the country concerned Further guidance can be found at www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad.
  • Only one application can be made during period of the studentship. Applications can be for up to three separate OIVs to the same host university or esteemed research institution during the course of the studentship as long as the total period of the visits does not exceed three months.
  • Applications should usually detail to visit universities but in exceptional circumstances applications to esteemed research organsiations will be considered. Applicants will need to demonstrate within their application justification for visiting the research organisation.
  • OIV’s are nodesigned to cover fieldwork expenses. Separate funding is available for overseas fieldwork visits. It is recognised that under certain circumstances an element of fieldwork might be undertaken in what is principally an OIV. These circumstances should be clearly justified in the application.
  • Successful applicants in receipt of a full studentship award will receive a paid extension equal to the period of time spent overseas. Fees only students will receive an extension to their fees and thesis submission date only.
  • Confirmation of approval and the level of support will be sent to you by your DTC Office prior to your first visit. You must not commence any visit until you have received formal written approval from your DTC Office.
  • All successful applicants are required to submit an end of award report within two weeks of the end of the OIV. Students undertaking more than one visit should submit a report on completion of each separate visit. It is expected that your supervisor and the main academic contact at the overseas university or esteemed research institution will provide comments on the benefits of the visits. Failure to submit a satisfactory end of award report will result in ESRC withholding repayment of OIV expenses to your home university in the annual claims process. Failure to submit an end of award report will also jeopardise future funding applications to ESRC.
  • Retrospective claims will not be considered.

How to apply

  1. Read these notes
  2. Read the document “Things to think about
  3. Complete the application form

How to complete the application form

Each OIV application will be considered on its own merits by a panel of academics.

Applicant details

Please ensure that you complete all information in section one including:-

  • The start date of your ESRC award
  • The year you are in of your PhD
  • The type of award you are on (eg 1+3 / +3)

Details of the visit/s

Applications can be made for up to three separate OIVs to the same host university or research institution during the course of the studentship as long as the total period of the visits does not exceed three months.

Please ensure you provide:

  • The start and end dates for each visit.
  • The full address of the host university or research institution
  • The total number of weeks for each visit

Case for support

You should indicate the purpose of the visit and how it relates to your doctoral research. Please describe what has been achieved to date and how the proposed visit will extend/enhance this. Reasons for such a visit might include establishing research networks, disseminating early research findings, participating in seminars and other academic activities that are directly relevant to the student’s research, or undertaking specialist research training that is not available within the UK.

If you are proposing to undertake more than one visit to the same university or research institution you should provide clear justification as to why more than one visit is required.

You are asked to demonstrate the potential benefits of the proposed visit/s to your current or future academic career and, in particular, to demonstrate how the visit/s will offer ‘added value’ to your PhD experience. If the OIV is to be undertaken for research training purposes, the applicant must demonstrate why the training is integral to their research, and also why this training cannot be undertaken within the UK.

Please note that the OIV scheme is not to be used for undertaking fieldwork; however in exceptional circumstances there may be a requirement to carry out some fieldwork as part of an OIV. In these cases the applications must be of high quality and be integral to the work of the PhD and the fieldwork component is not being covered from the Overseas Fieldwork application process (managed by the RO).

The case for support should not exceed two sides of A4.

Detailing visit costs and justifications

Applicants should clearly break-down the posposed costs of the visit with notes detailing the justification for each cost.

Information on flights and accommodation should be provided, in addition to costs for general living expenses. The costs of the visit should be reasonable and dependent on the country, time period and activity proposed.

There is a cap on the total costs of the visit of £4000, though applicants should note that

the value of financial investment will be taken into consideration when assessing applications. Applicants may wish to liase with their scholarships office to complete this section.

Confirmation of support from the home university

Supervisors are asked to comment on the quality of the student’s research to date and how the proposed visit will extend/enhance this. If the OIV is to be undertaken for research training purposes, please explain why the training is integral to their research, and also why this training cannot be undertaken within the UK.

You are expected to continue their PhD research and training throughout the course of the visit/s and maintain regular contact with your supervisor. Supervisors are asked to demonstrate what arrangements are in place to meet this requirement.


Confirmation of support from the proposed host university or esteemed research institution

The main academic contact at the host university or research institution should provide written support for the proposed visit. This should include confirmation of the work plan for the proposed visit/s, details of the academic facilities to which you will have access, as well as your registration status at the host university or research institution during the visit period.

Confirmation of support from the proposed host university or research institution can be provided in the form of an email.

DTC Contact Details

University of Leeds
Shirley Yeardon
Administrative Officer
Research Student Administration
Student Services Centre
Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Building
University of Leeds
Leeds, LS2 9JT
pgr_scholarships@leeds.ac.uk
0113 343 4973

University of Sheffield
Rachel Shirley
Scholarships Officer
Floor 1 and 2,
New Spring House,
231 Glossop Road,
Sheffield, S10 2GW
pgr-scholarships@sheffield.ac.uk
0114 222 1417

University of York
Kay Mitchell
Research Student Administrator
Research Centre for Social Sciences
6 Innovation Close,
University of York
Heslington
York, YO10 5ZF
kay.mitchell@york.ac.uk
01904 321458