Overseas Institutional Visits Scheme

If you are a full-time ESRC funded Doctoral Researcher you are eligible to apply for financial support for overseas institutional visits (OIVs) during the period of your award.  The allocation of funds is at the White Rose DTP’s (WRDTP) discretion and the Academic Quality Committee (AQC) will oversee the process. This additional funding is intended to provide applicants with the opportunity to establish research networks, to disseminate early research findings, to participate in seminars and other academic activities that are directly relevant to their research, or to undertake specialist research training that is not available within the UK.

Eligibility and Criteria

  • As a result of Covid-19, many of our partner institutions have implemented new procedures for overseas travel, fieldwork and data gathering e.g. updated risk assessments, travel insurance arrangements etc. Students making an application to any of the WRDTP’s additional funding schemes will be asked to evidence their adherence to any relevant policies from their institution, by uploading the relevant documentation to the application form. If you are unsure how to evidence this, please email enquiries@wrdtp.ac.uk prior to submitting your application.
  • For any requests involving overseas travel, students should ensure that at the point of submitting their application, any mandatory periods of self-isolation/quarantine are taken into account when confirming the length/dates of a trip. 
  • Applications can only be considered from ‘research’ award holders in the +3 component of their studentship. Students in the initial ‘training’ year of a 1+3 award are not eligible to apply. Students in the writing up non funded part of their PhD are not eligible to apply.
  • As OIVs are intended to be an integral part of the student’s research training, any visit in the first year of the PhD must not commence within the first three months of the studentship period. Additionally, visits taking place in the final year of the studentship must be completed at least three months before the end date of the award and prior to the extension period being implemented.
  • Applicants should consult the Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidance relating to their 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 https://www.gov.uk/browse/abroad/travel-abroad
  • Only one application can be made during the studentship period. Applications can be for up to three separate OIVs to the same host university or esteemed research institution during the course of the studentship as long as the total period of the visits does not exceed three months.
  • Applicants should request to visit universities, but in exceptional circumstances applications to esteemed research organisations will be considered. Applicants will need to demonstrate the justification for visiting the research organisation within their application.
  • OIV’s are not designed to cover fieldwork expenses. Separate funding is available for overseas fieldwork visits. It is recognised that under certain circumstances an element of fieldwork might be undertaken in what is principally an OIV. These circumstances should be clearly justified in the application.
  • Successful applicants in receipt of a full studentship award will receive a paid extension equal to the period of time spent overseas. Fees only students will receive an extension to their fees and thesis submission date only.
  • Confirmation of approval and the level of support will be sent to you by the WRDTP Office prior to your first visit. You must not commence any visit until you have received formal written approval from the WRDTP Office.
  • All successful applicants are required to submit an end of award report within two weeks of the end of the OIV. Students undertaking more than one visit should submit a report on completion of each separate visit. It is expected that your supervisor and the main academic contact at the overseas university or esteemed research institution will provide comments on the benefits of the visits. Failure to submit a satisfactory end of award report will result in ESRC withholding repayment of OIV expenses to your home university in the annual claims process. Failure to submit an end of award report will also jeopardise future funding applications to the ESRC.
  • As a recipient of funding you agree to report back to the WRDTP on your OIV experience either on the VIRE, a DTP Matters Newsletter article or by speaking at training sessions/conferences.
  • Retrospective claims will not be considered.

How to apply

Students can preview a list of the application form questions by downloading the following file: WRDTP OIV Application Form Preview

All applications for OIV funding must be made in advance by the award-holder using the WRDTP OIV Application form

The Form requires the following File Uploads. Please use following nomenclature when Uploading to the Google Form.

  1. WRDTP-OIV-Costings-Upload-Template (Section 1) – (STUDENT SURNAME_STUDENT FIRST NAME_HEI_OIV_COSTINGS)
  2. WRDTP OIV Supervisor Upload template (Section 2) – (STUDENT SURNAME_STUDENT FIRST NAME_HEI_OIV_SUPERVISOR SUPPORTING CASE)
  3. Host institution confirmation letter/email of support for the visit (Section 1) (STUDENT SURNAME_STUDENT FIRST NAME_HEI_OIV_CONFIRMATION OF SUPPORT FROM HOST)

*PLEASE NOTE: Accommodation for your OIV should not be booked through Airbnb. Airbnb are “un-regulated” therefore do not adhere to the safety standards required for our insurance, so any claims would be unsupported. Airbnb are not responsible for checking that accommodation listed on their site have smoke alarms or fire escape exits etc. The university has to put the health and safety of staff and students first when travelling even if it is the cheaper option.*

The student’s local university Postgraduate Scholarships Office is responsible for liaising with the student on matters relating to the award and any subsequent WRDTP funding scheme applications. The local nominated contacts at each university can be found on the Contacts Page in the VIRE. For other general enquiries contact enquiries@wrdtp.ac.uk

Received applications are checked by the relevant Scholarships Officer to ensure they are eligible for OIV funding, logged and then passed to the Academic Quality Committee (AQC).

All applications received will be reviewed in conjunction with the award-holder’s original studentship application, their latest doctoral project plan, their Training Needs Analysis (TNA) and recent progress reports from their supervisory team. The WRDTP Office will notify the Scholarships Officer when a decision has been made as to their application.  In cases where an application has been declined the reason for such a decision will be outlined in the notification.

Please click the tabs below to access further application guidance:

Applications can be made for up to three separate OIVs to the same host university or research institution during the course of the studentship as long as the total period of the visits does not exceed three months.

You should indicate the purpose of the visit and how it relates to your doctoral research. Please describe what has been achieved 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 the student’s 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 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, the applicant must demonstrate why the training is integral to their research, and also why this training cannot be undertaken within the UK.

Please note that the OIV scheme is not to be used for undertaking fieldwork; however, in exceptional circumstances there may be a requirement to carry out some fieldwork as part of an OIV.  In these cases, the applications must be of high quality and be integral to the work of the PhD, and the fieldwork component is not being covered from the Overseas Fieldwork application process (managed by the RO).

  • Are there any conferences or seminars that you could attend while you’re there? (Remember conference costs can be covered by your RTSG).
  • Speak to your University International Office; does your University have any links with Universities or Research Organisations in the area that could provide you with opportunities?
  • Does the British Council have a presence in the country or region that you are hoping to visit? Are there any events that you could attend or is there someone you could contact to help plan relevant activities?
  • Does the Science and Innovation Network have any presence in the country that you are hoping to visit? Do they have any events you could attend?
  • Has RCUK got any initiatives or collaborations that you could look into in the country? This is especially relevant if you are hoping to visit the US, China or India.
  • Contact your Pathway Leader and explore their links that are already developed.
  • Consult the Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidance relating to your intended destination. This can be found at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Applicants should clearly break-down the proposed costs of the visit with notes detailing the justification for each cost. Information on flights and accommodation should be provided.  The costs of the visit should be reasonable and dependent on the country, time period and activity proposed. There is a cap on the total costs of the visit of £4000, though applicants should note that the value of financial investment will be taken into consideration when assessing applications.

Please note that applicants should not include a subsistence allowance as part of their costings document, we would expect this to be covered by the maintenance stipend.

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 their research, and also why this training cannot be undertaken within the UK.

You are expected to continue your PhD research and training throughout the course of the visit/s and maintain regular contact with your supervisor. Supervisors are asked to demonstrate what arrangements are in place to meet this requirement.

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 at the host university or research institution during the visit period.

Confirmation of support from the proposed host university or research institution can be provided in the form of an email.

WRDTP ESRC Funding Scheme Timescales

A call for applications will be made 3 times per annum, via the VIRE on the WRDTP website.

Call Deadline AQC Panel
1 Fri 3 December 2021 Fri 28 January 2022 Thurs 10 February 2022
2 Fri 11 March 2022 Fri 29 April 2022 Thurs 5 May 2022
3 Fri 13 May 2022 Fri 24 June 2022 Fri 8 July 2022

If you are successful, you must submit an End of Visit report within two weeks of the end of your visit. If you undertake more than one visit within your award you should submit a report after completing each visit.

If you are awarded funding from any of the ESRC schemes we encourage you to share your experience with the WRDTP community via the VIRE Forum.  As a recipient of funding any correspondence or event materials should be appropriately branded, see our Visual Identity webpage for details.

If you have any questions please email enquiries@wrdtp.ac.uk