Guest researchers


What is a Guest Researcher?

A Guest Researcher is normally a postgraduate student from another institution who is invited by a member of Royal Holloway academic staff to complete research projects which will be beneficial to both Royal Holloway and the Guest Researchers.  The length of the visit can vary, depending on the needs of the research project.


Fee liability

Guest Researchers coming to Royal Holloway for 3 months or less will not be charged a fee as long as they have a Royal Holloway academic to supervise them for this period.

For Guest Researchers coming to Royal Holloway for more than 3 months, a monthly fee is payable (i.e. if a Guest Researcher is visting Royal Holloway for 6 months, they will be billed 6 x the monthly fee).  Please note that in some cases, however, the academic department may decide to pay the fee on their behalf.

  • The 2022/23 monthly fee is £400

If the department is interested in forming a longer-term partnership with the home institution of the Guest Researcher, it might be possible to arrange the visit under a bilateral exchange agreement involving a mutual fee waiver (e.g. Erasmus+ or international exchange). This would apply where there is a longer-term commitment to admit visiting PGR students from the same institution and support outgoing Royal Holloway PGR students in taking a reciprocal placement opportunity. To enquire further, please contact the Academic Partnerships Officer in AQPO at  


Step by step admissions process

  • The academic staff member in a department is approached by a potential Guest Researcher.
  • If the academic staff member wants to take on the potential Guest Researcher, they email the Head of Department with the reason for the invitation, the length of the proposed visit and to ask for their support.  Ideally, the reasons should be linked to grant capture plan or partnership building.  Any resource and workload issues should be discussed and resolved before agreement can be given.
  • If the Head of Department gives their support*, the academic staff member forwards the Head of Department’s email agreement to the Head of School to ask for their approval.
  • The request for Guest Researcher to be set up plus proof of the approval of both the Head of Department and Head of School should then be sent to Admissions:    
  • Admissions will email the potential Guest Researcher with a link to the application form and will process the application when it is submitted.  Applications for Guest Researchers should be completed a minimum of 3 months before the proposed start date. This is especially crucial for Guest Researchers who require Student Route visa and ATAS clearance. 
  • If the department wishes to cover the Guest Researcher’s fee:
    • an email should be sent to the Doctoral School by the Head of Department clarifying how many months’ fees the department is covering and what sub-project code the fees should be billed against
    • the Tuition Fee officer updates Banner accordingly and informs Student Fees
  • Once the student record has been created by Admissions, the Guest Researcher will be sent a Welcome email by Student Administration providing their log in details and instructions how to complete Online Sign Up.
  • On arrival at Royal Holloway, the Guest Researcher must complete enrolment by attending an ID check in the Student Services Centre, ensure Online Sign Up has been completed and pay the tuition fee if the department is not covering this.

 *  If the request is not supported, it is the responsibility of the academic staff member to explain  to the potential Guest Researcher that Royal Holloway is not able to take them on.

Guest Researcher information for students on the external Royal Holloway site


What facilities does a Guest Researcher have access to?

As a Guest Researcher, the researcher will:

  • be eligible for a Royal Holloway College card
  • have full access to College facilities
  • get a Royal Holloway email address


Academic Visitor

If the researcher normally holds an appointment at other university or equivalent institution, they are considered as an Academic Visitor rather than a Guest Researcher.  As such, they  need to be admitted through the HR process and not come through Admissions.  




Contact us

Admissions queries

Partnership queries

Fee liabilty queries