Policy and Criteria for Honorary Research Associates and Research Visitors

Policy Statement

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 a non-UK academic institution 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. Applications from other UK based academic institutions are not eligible, 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 planning@ouce.ox.ac.uk for more information.

There is a separate procedure for post-doctoral researchers / early career researchers who would like to apply for a one year extension on their university card / email address to ensure the effective generation of research outputs from their work. Requests should be made via your Line Manager, with approval then sought from the Head of Administration and Finance.

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 access to hot desking 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 planning@ouce.ox.ac.uk.

If you have any queries, or have problems completing the application form, please contact planning@ouce.ox.ac.uk.