Academic Visitors

CSASP Academic Visitors

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CSASP has a programme for visiting academics, journalists and policy practitioners to spend time in Oxford affiliated to the centre to pursue an independent study project.

All scholars attached to the Centre are expected to contribute to seminars, workshops and conferences and will be able to access many of the research and learning resources of Oxford University.

The principal motivation of the programme is to give visitors the time and space to work and research independently without too many demands on their time for administration or teaching.

CSASP is not able to provide assistance with any local logistics such as accommodation, schools, and travel bookings. We ask that you do not request these services from our administrative staff, but instead, refer to the guidance which you will receive.

CSASP is unable to offer any financial support for Academic Visitors.

You can view our current Academic Visitors' profiles here.


How to Apply

Application Procedure

If you would like to apply to be a visitor, please email the following to our Administrator using

  • Your CV
  • A proposal of the research you intend to carry out in Oxford
  • Contact details of two academic referees
  • The dates you intend to be in Oxford (NB it is best to apply well in advance) 

In order for visitors to be considered, a member of academic staff at CSASP must agree to act as an academic mentor.  It is therefore essential that prospective visitors establish contact with a member of academic staff.  Our staff profiles may be found on our website.

Once we have received the four items above, your application will be considered by the CSASP committee. We will endeavour to let you know the outcome of your application within one month, however please bear in mind that we receive many enquiries, and not all academic visitor applications are accepted. For this reason it is best to apply well in advance.

If your application is approved, you will be asked to confirm the following:

  • The exact dates of your visit.
  • If you hold an EU passport. If not, you will need to check if you require a visa.
  • Your home institution and postal address for correspondence.
  • You accept to pay the affiliation fee.

Thereafter, we will issue you with a formal letter of invitation signed by your academic host/sponsor and a letter to support your visa application, if appropriate.

Affiliation Fee and Charges for Office Space

CSASP charges academic visitors a basic establishment fee of £1200 per calendar year or pro rata.

In addition we estimate that a Visiting Fellow would need approximately £1200 per month for modest living expenses.


Accommodation in Oxford isn’t like it is in many South Asian institutions which have their own hostels for visitors. Finding accommodation for a short stay in Oxford (less than 6 months) can be difficult and the rental markets mean it is rarely cheap. It is essential that you start looking for accommodation as soon as you know that you will be coming to Oxford. Although a relatively small city, there are several different localities within Oxford, each with their own unique character. CSASP/OSGA is located in North Oxford, between St Giles, Jericho and Summertown. The areas closest to the School at 12 Bevington Rd are the most expensive! Do not discount those areas that are slightly further (e.g. Marston, Headington, Iffley Road, Cowley Road, Abingdon Road, Botley Road)  –prices there can be significantly lower.

Great places to start looking for accommodation are

1. Commonwealth House

2. the North Oxford Overseas Centre

3. information in the Daily Info

4. If you have a prior connection with a member of an Oxford college, college accommodation may sometimes be available.

Oxford is blessed with excellent public transport, and there are many  buses connecting the city to the outlying areas. In addition, Oxford is an excellent city for cycling, and provided that you are happy to cycle on the left-hand side of the road, you can travel quickly from one part of the city to another.


UK immigration law is changing constantly. As soon as your visit is confirmed, we advise you to check with the UK visa application centre in your country. Please read through the information available on the website of the UK Border Agency(UKBA).

You must check all the immigration requirements and restrictions well in advance, and make sure that you know under what status you will enter the UK. The type of visa you need will depend on the duration of your stay in the UK and your nationality.

Plan ahead, and make sure that you have copies of all the relevant paperwork with you on arrival in the UK, including the formal letter of invitation issued by CSASP.

Applications should be sent by email to the Programme Administrator on

Objectives of the Programme

Areas of Research

The Contemporary South Asia Studies Programme (CSASP) welcomes suitably qualified academics and other practitioners such as journalists and civil servants from South Asia and elsewhere who wish to contribute to the research and activities of our centre. The research focus of CSASP falls into various broad academic disciplines

  • Anthropology and Culture
  • Development Studies
  • Economics
  • Human Development and Poverty
  • Politics
  • Environment
  • International Relations and Security
  • Political Economy

The centre has a particular interest in unifying themes across these disciplines, these include the ‘dark side of India shining’, the informal economy, and comparative research across South Asia.

Your research should fall within one of the broad areas defined above.

Please note that CSASP does not accept visitors whose research is in linguistics, literature, law or history, as those disciplines are not taught within our centre.  

Please note, the programme is intended to give academic visitors the time, space and access to research materials to work on an independent study project.  Visitors will have the opportunity at their own initiative to be able to meet people and participate in a wider research/ learning environment but this will not generally be facilitated by CSASP. 

Visitor stays should be planned to coincide with a minimum of one Oxford term, in order to take advantage of opportunities to interact with research staff and students and to attend events in CSASP.  The three University terms are as follows:

  • Michaelmas (Autumn/Fall): October-December
  • Hilary (Spring): January-March
  • Trinity (Summer): April-June

You can check the exact dates by searching for dates of term on the main University website. Between June and September there is very little activity within CSASP and wider University due to exams. The minimum stay for academic visitors is one month, and the maximum is one year.

Please note that we receive many more applications than we are able to accept, and it is best to apply at least six months in advance of the date you wish to start in Oxford.

What We Expect of You
We ask all our academic visitors to agree to the following:

  • To pursue an independent research project.
  • To be aware of the research materials/ libraries/ archives of Oxford University in advance of your visit and to initiate your own efforts to secure access to those relevant for your research
  • To participate in the weekly Modern South Asian Studies seminar series.
  • To be aware of and attend any workshops or conferences as appropriate to your area of research.
  • To provide a short profile about your research activity that may be added to the CSASP website.

What You can Expect from Us
CSASP is able to provide the following:

  • A university card, which gives access to the Bodleian Libraries of the University, including online journals.
  • The sponsorship of an academic member of department, who will meet with you when you arrive and provide (very limited) guidance and feedback on your work.
  • Very occasional advice and introductions to help you attend workshops, conferences and seminars in Oxford.

CSASP is not able to provide assistance with any local logistics such as accommodation, schools, and travel bookings. We ask that you do not request these services from our administrative staff, but instead refer to the guidance which you will receive.

The Role of the Academic Host/Sponsor
As an academic visitor you are expected to work independently and be responsible for your own research activities whilst in Oxford. Your academic host/sponsor is there for the following:

  • To sign your official letter of invitation and visa letter (if appropriate)
  • To introduce you to CSASP, relevant academic colleagues, and suggest activities/events in which you may wish to participate.
  • To provide occasional and limited comments on your research work, depending on the time and availability of the host/sponsor themselves.

Academic terms in Oxford are only eight weeks long and extremely intensive! For that reason, your academic host/sponsor is unlikely to be able to meet with you on a regular basis.

Potential Funding Sources

The following initiatives may be useful funding sources for CSASP Visiting Fellows.

The Charles Wallace India Trust

The Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust

The UK India Education and Research Initiative

Past Academic Visitors
The Rangoonwala Visiting Fellowships

The Rangoonwala Visiting Fellowships

the pakistani monument

The ZVM Rangoonwala Foundation will sponsor three visiting fellowships for scholars or senior public professionals from Pakistan to spend up to two months at the University of Oxford’s Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme within the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies in the Trinity term of each academic year.

Each year, the fellowships will enable up to three senior academics or professionals ordinarily resident in Pakistan to undertake a short working visit to the Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme to broaden their research experience, share their professional knowledge, and develop networks. 


The Fellowships:

The three fellowships sponsored by the ZVM Rangoonwala Foundation are known as the Rangoonwala Visiting Fellowships, and the holders of the fellowships are known as the Rangoonwala Visiting Fellows. The duration of the Fellowships is one term (or up to two calendar months), and all three fellows are expected to be in residence during the Trinity term of 2024 (Sunday, 21st April to Saturday, 15th June 2024).

Successful applicants will:

  1. be ordinarily resident in Pakistan*
  2. if from academia, hold a PhD
  3. if from a professional background, be senior people of public profile

* NB as many of Pakistan’s provinces as possible will be represented in the selection of each year’s cohort of Fellows, provided that applications from suitably qualified applicants are received.



During their time at CSASP, Fellows will undertake a self-designed study project and will be asked to focus their research on one of the following themes:

  • Pakistan in a globalising world
  • Human development and well-being in Pakistan
  • Sustainable economic growth and environmental change in Pakistan
  • Democracy, identity, and nation building in Pakistan



Each Fellow will be required to produce the following outputs during their time at the University:

  • One written piece which could include an advanced draft of an academic journal article, book chapter, extended policy report, or similar article that advances the intellectual discourse around Pakistan.
  • One public engagement, which could include a public lecture held under Chatham House rules, or student seminar, to contribute to the public discourse around Pakistan.

It is envisaged that the Fellowship activities, outputs, and success metrics will be designed to the specific needs and expertise of each unique applicant.


The Fellowship offers:

  • The cost of economy return travel from Pakistan to Oxford
  • Visa costs up to £150
  • An overall stipend of £3812 towards accommodation and living costs in Oxford
  • CSASP bench fees in full, covering mentorship by an appropriate CSASP faculty member, standard Bodleian library membership including access to online resources, Oxford email address for the duration of the fellowship, and opportunities to attend lectures and research seminars at CSASP, OSGA, and the wider University.


How to apply:

If you would like to apply for one of the Rangoonwala Visiting Fellowships for 2023-24 please complete the application form electronically and email it, along with a current copy of your Curriculum Vitae (no more than two pages) and two academic/professional references, to the CSASP Administrator at by Monday 11 December 2023.


Selection follows CSASP’s policy and procedure for Academic Visitors. Applicants will be evaluated primarily on the strength and relevance of their proposals and their readiness to undertake and successfully complete their proposed study project.

For queries contact Thomasina Eustace, CSASP Administrator (