As of November 2017, SoGE's Honorary Research Associate (HRA) and Short-term Research Visitor (SRV) schemes for associated researchers have been modified. The SRV scheme is being replaced by the Short-term Research Associate (SRA) scheme. Those holding current SRV status will continue until the end of their term of appointment. Applications on old HRA/SRV forms or made under the old criteria will no longer be accepted. Please see below for the new system for researchers to become associated with the School (including ECI, TSU and SSEE).

Policy Statement

Jan Burke

If you have any queries, or have problems completing the application forms, please contact Jan Burke.

SoGE welcomes applications from individuals who have genuine reasons to be associated with us for purposes of research, where mutual benefits will accrue from such an association. This policy covers formal associations in one of the following categories.

'Honorary Research Associate': A researcher from another academic institution (usually overseas) or a non-academic institution, for example in government, the NGO sector or business (in the UK or overseas) who contributes to, and collaborates on, specific research activities or projects based in SoGE in ways that would be difficult or impossible to conduct without access to resources in Oxford. HRAs often physically spend time at Oxford, for long or short periods of time, but this is not essential for the status to be awarded. Members of other UK Universities are not normally considered for an HRA, since research collaboration with such individuals is considered a normal part of the research process. HRA appointments are for a period of one to two years, and may be renewed for up to a further two years. Applications are made on a pro forma and are considered by the Director of Research and Research Committee. HRAs may be listed on the School's websites on request.

Short-term Research Associate: Either, an individual whose research allies with that of a member or a research group in the School and who wishes to spend a short period of time (one year or less), in Oxford (for example on sabbatical or study leave), or a researcher who has been working with a member of staff (for example on a post-doctoral contract) and who needs a short period of time (up to one year) to complete the research they were conducting in conjunction with that staff member. This status would not normally be granted if the individual moves to a position at another UK institution. Applications are made on a pro forma and are monitored by the Research Committee. SRAs are not listed on the School website.

This policy statement does not cover the following categories of people for whom separate policies and procedures apply:

  1. student visitors to the University of Oxford;
  2. recently completed Oxford research students;
  3. direct employees of the University of Oxford (e.g. teaching staff, contract researchers, PDRAs/PDRFs on funded research projects with a principal investigator in the School);
  4. those wishing to apply for 'Visiting Professorship' status.

There is a separate procedure for student visitors.

There is a separate procedure for recently completed SoGE research students who wish to have continued access to departmental and university library facilities for a fixed period to ensure the effective generation of research outputs from their studies. Please email Jan Burke for more information.

There is a separate procedure for the award of the title of Visiting Professor, operated by the Social Sciences Division.

The department may also recognise the contribution of an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to research or research prospects in the School through a special award. Such awards, made only occasionally, will only be considered at the discretion of the Head of School and Executive Committee following nomination by a senior member of academic staff.

All applications for HRA and SRA status must be nominated by a member of the School and made on the application form below. The completed application form should clearly indicate the category of status (HRA or SRA) requested.

An award is governed by six main principles:

  1. Any such status should be for a fixed time period (see application form).
  2. The award of HRA status should be dependent upon a demonstrable association with a named academic staff member resulting in a material benefit to the core research activity of the School. All applications will need to be supported in writing by the named academic staff member in the appropriate section of the application form.
  3. The award of SRA status is usually dependant on the applicant having research interests allied to those of a academic staff member or research group. All applications should be supported in writing by the named academic staff member in the appropriate section of the application form.
  4. Applications for the award of HRA status must be formally considered by the Director of Research and approved by the Head of School. No person shall be entitled to claim HRA status without having successfully completed this approval process. There should be no assumption or culture of expectation of the award of this status or its renewal.
  5. Applicants are expected to acknowledge an affiliation with the School in the authorship of any papers written during the period of the association and, in return, you will be listed as a HRA on the School's website (unless you specifically request otherwise with your application).
  6. The award of HRA or SRA status may entitle the holder to access to University and/or School services, subject to the following charges:
    1. a compulsory standard administration charge of 50 to cover processing costs, which may lead to the provision of a University Card that will expire on the date the status ends;
    2. a bench-fee of 5,000 per annum (pro-rata) if desk space is required;
    3. there may be an additional surcharge to cover visa/work permit fees if applicable. Applicants must liaise with the School's HR Office to ensure that they meet the UK Border Agency's visa and work permit requirements before making an application. Please see the UK Border Agency website for more information.
    Such charges are to be met by the applicant or the SoGE nominator.

Please note that applications must be signed by the applicant and nominator before they can be processed.

All applications for the award of HRA status must be made using the following application form:

You may need to download this form in order to complete it. Please send completed application forms to Jan Burke.

Frequently Asked Questions

Overview of the HRA process. Click to download PDF version
Q: Who can apply to be a HRA?
A: Award of HRA status is for research collaborators who wish to visit the School for a period of time longer than 2 months as part of their research collaboration. It is dependent upon a demonstrable association with a named academic staff member resulting in a material benefit to the core research activity of the School. All applications will need to be supported in writing by the named academic staff member.
Q: Do I need HRA/SRA status in order to just visit the School?
A: Not for very short visits. If however you intend on visiting to collaborate on research for a longer period, then yes - you should apply. If the duration of your visit is for less than two months you should complete the application form indicating that you will be a Short-term Research Associate (SRA). Please remember to check with the School's HR Office regarding visa requirements if appropriate.
Q: Can employees of the School, or University of Oxford, be HRAs?
A: No. Direct employees of the University (e.g. teaching staff, contract researchers, PDRAs/PDRFs on funded research projects with a principal investigator in the School) are not eligible.
Q: Can students at the School, or University of Oxford, be HRAs?
A: No. There is a separate procedure for Student Visitors.
Q: Can UK based academics apply?
A: UK based academics can apply to be short term visitors (SRA), for example when on study leave/sabbatical. UK academics cannot normally apply for HRA status - we regard collaboration with UK academics to be a normal part of the research process and not something that warrants special status at Oxford.
Q: Do I need to apply for HRA status in order to collaborate on a research project with members of the School?
A: You do not need HRA status to collaborate with us. If however you decide to visit the School for a period of time, then you should apply for either HRA or SRA status depending on the duration of your visit.
Q: I'm about to leave the School and want to maintain an association with the School, can I do this through applying for HRA status?
A: There should be no assumption or culture of expectation of the award of this status on leaving the School.

Recent staff should check the criteria to see whether they qualify for HRA status, and if so may make an application.

Recent students who wish to maintain an affiliation in order to write up their research should be able to extend their current University card through their College and do not need HRA status. Your graduate research profile will remain listed on the SoGE website for approximately one year after you have completed.
Q: I'd like to be a 'Visiting Professor' at the University, is this the same as a HRA?
A: No, there are separate procedures for awarding 'Visiting Professorship' status.
Q: I'm based in another academic institution (i.e. not the University of Oxford) and I'm collaborating on research with members of the School, can I apply to be a HRA?
A: No, you do not need to be a HRA. You can however be listed on our websites as a research collaborator or Distinguished Scholar / Friend of the School. If you wish to have a University card please email your request to Jan Burke.
Q: I'm teaching on one of the School's courses can I apply for HRA status?
A: No, you should be a Teaching Associate rather than a HRA.
Q: Can I visit the School multiple times during my time as a HRA?
A: Yes. Please email Jan Burke to confirm individual visits. Please remember to check with the School's HR Office regarding visa requirements if appropriate.
Q: How much will cost to be a HRA/SRA?
A: There is a compulsory standard administration charge of 50. There is a bench-fee of 5,000 p.a. (pro rata) if desk space is required.
Q: Does being a HRA/SRA automatically entitle me a desk, or entitle me to the use of services, in the School?
A: No, you will need to pay the bench fee. Desk space in the School is subject to availability.
Q: What's the difference between a HRA and "Distinguished Scholar/Friend of the School"?
A: HRAs are for people who intend on visiting the School in order to collaborate on research. Research collaborators who do not intend on visiting the School, or are based at other academic institutions, do not need to apply for HRA status.
Q: Do HRAs get a profile on the School's website?
A: No. HRAs may be listed on the School's websites on request, but do not automatically receive a profile. We are happy to link through to existing profiles elsewhere. SRAs will not be listed on the School's websites.
Q: How long does the HRA status last?
A: All HRA status are for a fixed time period - normally for up to 2 years.
Q: Will my HRA status be automatically renewed?
A: No. At the end of your HRA period your status expires. You will also be removed automatically from any listings on the School's website.