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Visiting Fellowships

Clare Hall brings together research scholars of different nationalities and academic disciplines, from graduate students studying for a higher degree to senior professors.  

Visiting Fellowships (any subject)

The standards for Visiting Fellowships are high, with Fellowships only awarded to applicants who have made a substantial contribution to their fields, who have an excellent record of publication, and who enjoy an international reputation for intellectual achievement. In addition to welcoming applicants from academic institutions, we also recognise that many commercial or industry bodies, as well as art institutions, have research interests and collaborations with the University of Cambridge, and may have senior executives who would benefit from an extended stay in Cambridge to facilitate their work.

Clare Hall is a small college but has the largest Visiting Fellowship programme in the University. This means that Visiting Fellows meet each other, permanent Fellows and graduate students daily over lunch, dinner and College events, enabling academic conversations and contacts with other mature and critical-minded thinkers. Many distinguished academics have researched and written their major works as Visiting Fellows at Clare Hall.

Most Visiting Fellows, like many of the graduate students, are from overseas, thus adding an international dimension to life in the College, and are encouraged to bring their partners or family. They become Life Members of Clare Hall and are welcomed back at any time to participate in college life.

Before applying, if they do not already have a personal invitation, applicants should make contact with the University of Cambridge department most closely related to their work. The department will be asked to provide a letter of invitation or support by the online system.

Applicants should submit a CV, personal statement and research proposal in PDF format, and the names of three referees familiar with their work. At least one referee should be from outside your university. The FAS online system will send emails requesting references and letters of invitation or support. The system will inform you by email if any references are missing seven days before the deadline.

Please make your application for a Visiting Fellowship using the online system FAS.

The deadlines in the 2023-4 academic year are:

1 October (for 25 October Governing Body meeting)

5 November (for 29 November Governing Body meeting)

14 January (for 7 February Governing Body meeting)

18 February (for 13 March Governing Body meeting)

21 April (for 8 May Governing Body meeting)

19 May (for 12 June Governing Body meeting)

Please scroll down for further details in the FAQ below.

Sir Nicholas Shackleton Visiting Fellowship 2024

Clare Hall is proposing to appoint a Sir Nicholas Shackleton Visiting Fellow to begin no earlier than October 2024. The fellowship will be of at least 6 months duration, to the maximum of a year, and would be especially suitable for a research-active, established academic seeking sabbatical leave from their home institution. The selected candidate will become a non-stipendiary Visiting Fellow of Clare Hall, one of the two University of Cambridge postgraduate-only colleges. 

Professor Sir Nicholas Shackleton (1937-2006) FRS, was a Fellow of Clare Hall and Professor of Quaternary Palaeoclimatology within the University of Cambridge. Nick Shackleton’s research was fundamental to our understanding of long-term climate change. His contributions to Earth system science embraced many areas including palaeoclimatology, oceanography, isotope geochemistry, palaeontology, global warming, orbital dynamics and chronology. Amongst many international accolades, Nick Shackleton’s research was recognized by receipt of the Crafoord, Vetlesen and Blue Planet Prizes. He was knighted for services to the Earth sciences in 1998. 

The subject of research associated with the Fellowship should be within the scope of Quaternary Palaeoclimatology. The applicants will also be required to have already made contact with a host University department and to provide a statement from the proposed Head of Department that adequate space, finance and facilities are available to support any associated costs. Likely departments could include Earth Sciences, Geography, Plant Sciences, Zoology, Chemistry and Archaeology.  

The Visiting Fellowship is non-stipendiary and the holder will be provided with a single studio apartment and an allowance of free meals. The Fellow is expected to be ordinarily resident in Cambridge for the duration of the Fellowship. Family accommodation may be available on request, subject to charge for the additional facility.

Application process

Applications will be examined by experts in the fields concerned and by the Fellowship Committee. The final choice, however, will be made by the Governing Body, and the research proposal should therefore be written to convey to the non-specialist something of the interest and importance of the topic.  The final round of candidates will be called for interview (online).

Applications must include the following documents in PDF and must be made online using the following link:

Fellowship Application Portal

The closing date for receipt of applications is 26th November 2023 and for references is 3rd December 2023. Interviews are to be held online during the week of the 8th January 2024, with decisions communicated by the end of the month.

Clare Hall represented to me a unique space to think, to read, to write and to reflect in a scholarly community which is inclusive and supportive. The leadership, faculty, students and wider support staff collectively contributed to a warm, collegial environment which places the person at the centre. The College is family-friendly and the accommodation and wider facilities are excellent. The main library and the various archives are all exceptionally well-run and accommodating. Having the opportunity to meet with other Visiting Fellows from diverse disciplines and contexts on a regular basis was also a privilege. The high point of my week was Formal Hall dinner each Wednesday, where I met exceptional people – students, faculty, Visiting Fellows and their guests – and enjoyed the debate, dialogue and laughter, as well as the fabulous food and wine! I count it a privilege to now hold Life Membership of Clare Hall and look forward to returning soon, to rekindle old and to forge new friendships.
Professor Judith Harford
Visiting Fellow 2022
I cannot imagine a more fruitful sabbatical environment than Clare Hall. Everyday life is perfectly arranged, and enables the Visiting Fellow to concentrate 100% on work, but on top of the 100%, college life offers a lovely intellectual community and support, from great meals and housing to a rowing club, choir, concerts and stimulating discussions. I did not expect to find both calm and fun (nor actually learning to row!) in Cambridge, as I was geared to work my hardest during my much-awaited writing period. Clare Hall has proven to be the intellectual oasis any multitasking professor needs.
Professor Elina Oinas
Visiting Fellow 2022

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the deadline dates for applications?

The Visiting Fellowship competition is a rolling programme. The deadline date shown is the date by which completed applications must be received to be considered at the next meeting of the Fellowship Committee and then, if recommended, for approval by the Governing Body.

The deadlines in the 2023-4 academic year are:

1 October (for 25 October Governing Body meeting)

5 November (for 29 November Governing Body meeting)

14 January (for 7 February Governing Body meeting)

18 February (for 13 March Governing Body meeting)

21 April (for 8 May Governing Body meeting)

19 May (for 12 June Governing Body meeting)

When can I expect to be notified of the Governing Body’s decision?

On receipt of all documentation and references, your application will be considered, and you will be notified of the outcome as soon as a decision is made (usually within a few days of the Governing Body meeting).

What happens if I miss the deadline date for applications?

If you do not complete your application by this date, your application will remain open, to be completed for the subsequent deadline, unless this is less than six months away and you require accommodation.

Are Visiting Fellows classed as full members of the College?

Visiting Fellowships carry full membership of the College, with use of all its facilities.

Do Visiting Fellows need to reside in Cambridge for the duration of their Fellowship?

Fellows are required to reside in Cambridge for at least two-thirds of each term for which they hold a Visiting Fellowship, and are normally elected for a minimum period of three months and a maximum of one year.  Those wishing to come to Cambridge for a shorter period should note that it may not be possible to arrange this unless the period is in term time and that Visiting Fellows coming for longer stays may be given accommodation preference to those staying for only a few months.

Are Visiting Fellows eligible for College accommodation?

Yes.  However, we would recommend that any application for accommodation be submitted as soon as possible as we have limited availability and high demand. Please email for further details.

Is there a minimum term for a Visiting Fellow?

It is unusual to elect Fellows for periods of less than three months. However, the Fellowship Committee do consider all applications on their individual merits.

Are there any associated College duties for Visiting Fellows?

There are no special duties, but the Governing Body naturally hopes that Fellows will take part in College activities.

Are Visiting Fellows entitled to free meals?

Fellows are entitled to twenty free meals per calendar month, funded out of College Trust Fund income. The equivalent of £259 is uploaded on the Fellow’s University card, using the Upay online system. The allowance covers normal lunches, suppers and dinners, but not College Feasts, which are charged at cost. Fellows can also use their allowance to pay for one other person. There is a drinks charge for all attendees at Formal Dinners; this covers wine and a range of soft drinks. The meals allowance does not cover the drinks charge and Visiting Fellows and students must upload sufficient credit before attending the dinner.

Can membership privileges be shared between couples?

Membership privileges can be shared. However, only the Visiting Fellow will receive a university card.

Are there any other financial considerations when applying as a Visiting Fellow?

When considering whether to apply, you are advised to assess the financial implications carefully. In addition to rent and other charges related to your accommodation, Visiting Fellows are liable for an establishment charge which helps to defray the cost of providing College services and facilities; this is revised each October and will be charged at the rate of £350 per month for the 2023/24 academic year.  A charge is also made for (optional) membership of the College sports facilities.

Any further questions?

Please contact the College Registrar via or the College Administrator via

Meet our Visiting Fellows

Find stories featuring past and current Visiting Fellows of Clare Hall via our news pages. Here are some recent highlights:

Explore our academic community directory to read about current Visiting Fellows of Clare Hall.

Get in touch

If you have further questions or require more information, please contact the College Registrar.

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