If you are a full time ESRC Wales DTP funded student, you are able to apply for financial support for Overseas Institutional Visits (OIVs) during the period of a studentship award. This funding is intended to provide an opportunity for you to establish research networks, disseminate early research findings, participate in seminars and other academic activities that are directly relevant to your research, or to undertake specialist research training that is not available within the UK.
We expect to be able to fund around 10 overseas visits per academic year, each up to a 3 month duration. Please note that as there are only limited funds available for the scheme not all OIV costs will necessarily be met. The actual allocation of funds for overseas visits is at our discretion and the DTP Management Group will oversee the process.
Overseas Institutional Visit Experiences
In the following 3 minute video, a Wales DTP student who has done an overseas institutional visit describes his experience
You can listen to a 10 minute talk by Wales DTP student Annabel Wilson on her OIV to Duke University recorded at our induction event in 2017.
- Only one application can be made during the period of your studentship. An application can be made for up to three separate OIVs to the same host university during the course of your studentship as long as the total period of the visits does not exceed three months.
- Visits must be undertaken to a Higher Education institution. Only in exceptional circumstances will applications to other esteemed research organisations with substantive research outside of the UK be considered. Justification for visiting a research organisation will need to be provided.
- As OIVs are intended to be an integral part of research training, any visit in the first year of a PhD must not commence within the first three months of the studentship period. Visits taking place in the final year of the studentship must be completed at least three months before the end date of the award (prior to the OIV extension period being implemented).
- You should consult the Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidance relating to your 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 the gov.uk pages on passports, travel and living abroad.
- OIVs are not designed to cover fieldwork expenses. Separate funding is available for overseas fieldwork visits. We recognise that under certain circumstances an element of fieldwork might be undertaken in an OIV. These circumstances should be clearly justified in your application.
- Retrospective claims will not be considered.
You can only apply if you are in the doctoral phase of your award. You are not eligible if you are in the masters element of your award..
Full time studentship award holders will receive the costs of the visit (or a contribution to costs as determined by the Wales DTP assessment panel) plus a paid extension equal to the period of time spent overseas. Fees-only students will receive visit costs (or a contribution to costs as determined by the DTP assessment panel) plus an extension to their fees and to the thesis submission date only. Please note that there is a cap of £4000 on the total costs that will be paid for an OIV visit(s).
All successful applicants will be required to submit an end of OIV End of Award Report within four weeks of the end of the visit. It is expected that your supervisor and the main academic contact at the overseas university will provide comments on the benefits of the visit.
Please let the Wales DTP office know if there are any changes made to your visit plans.
How to apply
Due to the measures put in place to control the COVID19 pandemic, the Wales DTP is suspending the application process for overseas institutional visits until further notice. We are not able to consider any new applications, and this policy will be kept under review. See our COVID19 page for more on our response.
There are two deadlines for receipt of OIV applications each year (usually during the autumn and spring semesters).
Applications should be made at least 3 months before the date of travel.
How to complete the application form
Each OIV application will be considered on its own merits by a panel drawn from the DTP Management Group.
Please ensure that you complete all information in section one including:
- The start and end dates of your ESRC award
- The year you are in of your PhD
Details of the visit(s)
Applications can be made for up to three separate OIVs to the same host university or in exceptional circumstances, other research institution, during the course of your 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 total number of weeks for each visit
- Details of the host organisation and location
Case for support
You should indicate the purpose of the visit, outline an intended work plan and how it relates to your doctoral research. Please describe what has been achieved in your research 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 your 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 in exceptional circumstances, 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 or includes research training, you must demonstrate why the training is integral to your research, and also why this training cannot be undertaken within the UK.
The case for support should not exceed two sides of A4.
Detailing visit costs
You should clearly break-down the proposed costs of your visit. Give as detailed a break-down of costs as possible so that assessors can properly assess the case for support. 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. You should think carefully about the time and resources needed to achieve a successful visit.
There is a cap of £4000 on the total costs of an OIV application though the value of any financial contribution towards costs will be taken into consideration when assessing applications.
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 the research, and also why this training cannot be undertaken within the UK.
Students are expected to continue their PhD research and training throughout the course of the visit(s) and maintain regular contact with their supervisor. Supervisors are asked to demonstrate what arrangements are in place to meet this requirement.
Confirmation of support from the proposed host university
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 during the visit period.
Written support may be provided in the form of an email.
Characteristics of a good OIV application:
- The purpose of the visit is clearly articulated and demonstrates that it is integrated into the overall PhD programme
- There is a well thought out and achievable programme of activities that will add value to the PhD
- There is a detailed work plan that builds upon previous research and training and demonstrates how activities undertaken will relate to future research plans
- The expected outcome(s) of the visit(s) are clear
- The application shows value for money in real terms and in relation to the PhD
- The application demonstrates how the visit will contribute to a student’s current and future academic career
- There is an unreserved recommendation from the student’s supervisor that the visit is highly appropriate and well-timed within the overall programme of study
- There is a clear commitment from the supervisor to continued supervision throughout the visit
- The proposed hosting organisation provides an unreserved recommendation that the visit should take place
- There are plans for dissemination of research findings
- The application mentions any new research techniques to be learned
- The application mentions any research networks to be established
What happens next?
Following each application deadline, the Wales DTP assessment panel will look closely at each submission on a case by case basis, taking into account timing, details, work plan and outcome. We will normally communicate funding decisions within two months of the application deadline.