Visiting researchers

As part of their research and professional development activities, higher education and professional staff may wish to spend sabbaticals or short study visits at UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL). We welcome those with specialist interests and expertise in lifelong learning in all its dimensions, and in particular those whose work includes international and intercultural perspectives. There is no remuneration for visiting researcher, but we anticipate that both the researcher and the Institute will benefit from the exchange.

Who can apply to be a visiting researcher?

Junior visiting researchers are typically post-docs or assistant professors with up to 5 years’ work experience after Ph.D. completion. UIL would generally expect such guests to make one or two presentations (depending on the duration of the visit) about their research during their stay, and to make an active contribution to on-going activities in one of the programme areas (as agreed in advance).

Senior visiting researchers are typically full or associate professors with extensive professional experience. As recognised experts in their specialist field, they are a valuable source of knowledge and innovation for UIL. The terms of a visiting researcher position are negotiated beforehand. We hope that such guests are willing to offer occasional seminars for UIL staff and to give advice and support to on-going projects and initiatives.

Professionals who work outside of higher education establishments—in areas such as policy, research and public administration— can be designated as junior or senior visiting researchers on an individual basis of equivalency of experience and standing. In addition to our visiting researchers, UIL hosts CONFINTEA Scholars and CONFINTEA Fellows.

Timing and resources

There is no minimum period of stay, but timing and duration need to be negotiated so that working space can be made available. Please bear in mind that English and French are UIL’s working languages. All UIL staff are fluent in at least two languages, one of which will be English or French.

UIL has a cooperation agreement with the University of Hamburg, so that university library access can readily be arranged and collegial relations with university academics working on relevant topics established. It is also possible to reserve an apartment (including family-size accommodation) at the university’s guest house if you plan your stay well ahead.

How to apply for a UIL Visiting Research Position

Please send a letter of inquiry (in English or French and preferably in PDF format) to uil-visitingresearchers@unesco.org, accompanied by a full CV in English or French – we invite you to use the Europass CV template, available at http://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/en/documents/curriculum-vitae/templates-instructions. You can add your publications and community activities at the end of the Europass template. Alternatively, you may have a personal homepage that contains your CV and publications – if so, then please simply include the URL in your letter of inquiry.

Please include the following information in your letter:

  • why you want to come to UIL and what you hope to achieve for your own research or professional development
  • what you think you could contribute to UIL during your stay
  • when you would like to come to UIL and how long you would like to spend here
  • any special needs or equipment that would be essential to your work whilst at UIL

Feedback Process

We will endeavour to process your inquiry and – if we can accommodate you – negotiate the terms and timing of your stay within 6 weeks of receiving your inquiry. UIL trusts you will understand that we have limited working space and so we cannot welcome all those interested in coming as a visiting researcher, and not necessarily always during preferred periods. At the same time, we genuinely welcome all inquiries and hope to be able to respond positively wherever this is possible and appropriate.