About Visiting Fellowships
Visiting Fellowships at the RSC are open to PhD (DPhil) students, post-doctoral scholars and professional academics researching aspects of forced migration. The main purpose of the Visiting Fellowships programme is to enhance the academic work (research and teaching) of the RSC by mutual exchange and learning.
An RSC Visiting Fellow has no official affiliation to the University of Oxford and the association is designed for a period of independent, self-directed research work. It is not a training course, nor is it applicable for people wishing to apply for a student visa to study on a course.
Admission to the Visiting Fellowships programme is competitive and places available each term are limited. Each Fellow is assigned an academic contact and is expected to undertake a specific programme of self-directed study or research. Fellows are able to attend the RSC’s weekly public seminar series in forced migration and the core seminar series of the MSc in Forced Migration. The opportunity is provided for Fellows to present their work, if they so wish, in the RSC Work in Progress Seminar Series.
Visiting Fellows have access to the University’s academic facilities, including libraries, seminars, language laboratories and computer training courses. The RSC’s Library holds the world’s largest collection of unpublished literature in refugee and forced migration studies. Separate rooms are not usually available but there is dedicated space with computers for Visiting Fellows. Fellows may also enjoy the Departmental social facilities at Mansfield Road.
There are three categories of Visiting Fellow:
Visiting Research Fellows
Visiting Research Fellows are senior academics, postdoctoral researchers and other specialists coming to Oxford to pursue research, and with the department as their main link with the University. Research fellowships are normally held for one term of the Oxford academic year, with the possibility of extension for up to two more terms.
Visiting Study Fellows
Visiting Study Fellows are in general independent or freelance non-academic researchers. These are normally held for one term of the Oxford academic year, with the possibility of extension for up to two more terms.
Student visitors (PhD/DPhil students)
For doctoral students, the maximum period of affiliation is usually one term.
“I was a visiting research fellow at the RSC during Hilary Term 2018. During my fellowship, I worked on a book manuscript on Chinese refugee law and policy which is now under contract with Cambridge University Press. I found the RSC an extraordinarily intellectually inspiring place and am grateful for the mentorship I received and friendship that has since developed. The colleagues were genuine, warm and friendly. They apparently also know how to throw a party at the end of a busy academic term. Outside the RSC, I enjoyed seminars (which Oxford has no shortage of), concerts and the English countryside. I must admit that at the beginning of my fellowship I looked forward to going back to the tropical islands of Vanuatu. But by the end of the fellowship I enjoyed it so much that I was reluctant to leave!”
Dr Lili Song, Visiting Research Fellow, Hilary term 2018
“I came to the RSC to work on my dissertation ‘To Whom Should We Grant Asylum? The Lack of Legal Political Status as Determining Factor for a claim to Refugee Status’. My time at the RSC proved to be extremely beneficial for my work in several regards. I was offered the opportunity to present my dissertation in the Work-In-Progress seminar series and received many useful comments. I was also able to present my work on the situation of refugees in Hungary after 2015 in the same seminar series. These, combined with the weekly presentations by invited speakers at the RSC, were tremendous not only for widening my perspective on different foci involved in the study of refugees and asylum, but also because it provided me with the opportunity to meet a number of prominent scholars in the field.
Throughout my stay, I enjoyed the familiar atmosphere at the RSC. The advice and encouragement in my regular meetings with Matthew Gibney proved to be invaluable for the progress of my dissertation and the conversations with Gil Loescher and Dawn Chatty ultimately led me to publish on my presented work in OpenDemocracy and Refugees Deeply. I found Oxford, and especially the RSC, to be an exceptionally helpful working environment. The staff were always eager to help with inquiries and the library and its staff offered valuable help in researching material I would otherwise not have had access to. For all these, but also for the reason of having had the opportunity to establish a number of great lasting personal relationships, I would recommend a stay at the RSC to anyone working in the field of refugee studies.”
Felix Bender, Student Visitor, Hilary term 2018
“I came to the RSC as a Visiting Research Fellow in order to continue my research on sexual and gender-based violence against refugees, refugee governance and resilience, which was generously supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). An additional central aim was for me to discuss research ethics, thus ethical considerations while carrying out fieldwork to study forced migration. The stay enabled me to access a broad range of literature, listen to diverse presentations, and enter into discussions with a number of colleagues at the RSC and beyond. I presented my thoughts on research ethics along with proposed ways forward to practice what is preached, enjoyed critical questions from colleagues, and developed a subsequent paper which has been published as an RSC Working Paper. My time at the RSC was very productive, academically challenging and thought-provoking, but most of all inspiring. As visiting fellows, we receive several introductory sessions, are invited to all meetings at the centre, and literally located right in the middle of everything. The atmosphere is welcoming – not only to new people but especially also to critical thought. I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to spend time at the RSC and look forward to further exchange.”
Ulrike Krause, Visiting Research Fellow, Hilary term 2017
“I came to the RSC as a Visiting Study Fellow to work on my dissertation, ‘Refugees Welcome: A Multilevel Analysis of Refugee Labor Market Integration in the Swedish Welfare State’. Having the opportunity to present my ongoing research at the Work-in-Progress seminar series was tremendously useful. The erudite feedback provided by the audience, helped me rethink and more clearly approach and restructure certain aspects of my research. In addition to the numerous daily benefits at the RSC, I also regularly attended the seemingly endless line-up of engaging roundtables, panels, and presentations around Oxford.
Having the opportunity to engage with the community of scholars at the RSC and with those at the Department of International Development, most notably, receive feedback from Professor Betts, among many others, and speak regularly with Professor Andersson (ODID) about my research and Swedish politics more generally, was immensely beneficial to my growth as a scholar. Finally, the support staff (Susanna, Jen, Gary, and Sarah Rhodes) were beyond helpful throughout my residence. In addition, I was also fortunate enough to be joined by four of the most genuine people I have ever met (Aslihan, Bruce, Mark, and Paulina). Needless to say, I sincerely enjoyed my time with the RSC.”
Jeff Maslanik, Visiting Study Fellow (Student Visitor), Michaelmas term 2016
“As a Visiting Research Fellow at the RSC I have mainly worked on my forthcoming monograph on ‘Asylum, Readmission, and Migration Controls’ (Hart Publishing, Oxford). During my stay, I exchanged ideas with researchers working in the area of migration and refugee law and policy. I attended seminars and conferences and conducted extensive research at the law library. I also had the opportunity to present the findings of my research on deportation with assurances of undesirable and unreturnable foreigners at the Work-in-Progress Seminar Series, where I received valuable comments from researchers in different disciplines. In June, I participated as a speaker in the Refugee Week Panel Discussion on ‘How Should Europe Respond to the Mediterranean Refugee Crisis’. I also taught at the Summer School in Forced Migration, and co-authored an article with Cathryn Costello on the responsibility of European States following the tragic death of almost 900 migrants at sea in April 2015.”
Dr Mariagiulia Giuffre, Visiting Research Fellow, Trinity term 2015
“I have spent the Hilary term of 2015 as a Visiting Research Fellow in the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) at the beautiful Queen Elizabeth House. The main purpose of my staying was to work on the manuscript of my forthcoming book on the Mursi, an agro-pastoralist group of South-Ethiopia. As an anthropologist I wanted to benefit both from the RSC’s academic environment and from other departments’ (anthropology, African studies etc.) public seminars and lectures. And, of course, besides these, using the library services was an obvious reason of my staying in Oxford.
The RSC gave plenty of opportunity to do all of these. Among others, I had access to the Social Science Library that accommodates a large collection of otherwise unavailable materials on refugees all over in the World. Moreover I could attend on various seminars and lectures and make further contacts with people who work on similar issues. And last but not least it was great to give my paper and discuss my research topic in the RSC Work in Progress Seminar series where I have received valuable feedbacks on my ongoing anthropological work on South-Ethiopia.”
Dr Tamás Régi, Visiting Research Fellow, Hilary term 2015
“The purpose of my visit to the RSC was to develop my doctoral research on EU refugee law, which I am undertaking at the University of Louvain in Belgium. My doctorate explores the origins, effects and defects of the ‘mutual trust’ between EU Member States that underpins the Common European Asylum System. I wished to exchange ideas with researchers whose perspectives would complement the ones of civil lawyers I usually exchange ideas with, to learn from academics in other fields of social science. During my stay at the RSC, I attended seminars on refugee issues as well as other EU law issues, met with my academic contact, Professor Cathryn Costello, and other researchers she referred me to, and conducted extensive research at the library. The RSC Public Seminar Series, where academics from various countries and disciplines took the floor on forced migration related issues, opened new perspectives. I also had the opportunity to present the findings of my research as part of the Work-in-Progress Seminar Series, which provided me with useful feedback from other researchers working in similar areas.”
Luc Lebeouf, Visiting Study Fellow (Student Visitor), Trinity term 2014