Visiting Research Titles

The titles of Visiting Research Professor, Visiting Research Fellow and Visiting Research Associate are awarded to facilitate research collaborations and to enhance academic ties and research networks.

Visiting Research Titles may be conferred on individuals who are working on University premises and/or in collaboration with University staff for a fixed period of time.

Criteria for Conferment

Standard Criteria for Conferment of Visiting Research Titles should be used to determine the appropriate level of title based on the candidate’s level of research experience.  The School will confirm the candidate’s expected research collaboration with the University.

International Visitors

If the visitor to the University is a non-EEA national, it may be necessary for them to obtain the appropriate visa before they enter the country (notwithstanding that they would not be a University employee).

Please contact either International Student Support or Ray McEvoy in HR for advice on the immigration routes available. The former should be contacted in cases of students visiting for less than six months, the latter for all other cases.

An additional consideration for students who are non-EEA nationals and who wish to apply for a Visiting Research Title for less than six months in certain subject areas is the new requirement to apply for clearance under the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS). This scheme is mainly for postgraduate students, with a few exceptions, and does not apply to subjects in the areas of Arts or Humanities. ATAS clearance must be obtained before application to immigration for visas. Guidance on the scheme which lists relevant subject areas can be found here: ATAS Guidance‌.

Visitors should be advised that they should not make arrangements to travel to the UK until they have obtained the necessary visa to enter the UK to undertake the proposed activities at Queen’s.

A staff card will not be issued to visitors until their citizenship and/or visa status has been verified.

Responsibilities for Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults

If the nominee will be engaged in any activity with children and/or vulnerable adults, the School must comply with the relevant safeguarding measures set out in the University’s Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy.

Procedures for the Nomination and Approval of a Visiting Research Title

A standard Visiting Research Title Nomination Form‌ should be submitted for the conferral and renewal of all Visiting Research Titles. 

The steps of the process are as follows:

  1. Schools submit nominations on the standard form to Academic Affairs. The form must be signed by the Head of School (or the Centre Director within the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences) and relevant accompanying documentation provided as appropriate (copy of passport/visa).  Schools should advise nominees about use of the personal data contained within the nomination form and provide the nominee with a copy of the relevant Privacy Notice.  The nomination form must be submitted at least two weeks in advance of the commencement date of the title.  Retrospective forms will be processed from the date of receipt in Academic Affairs.  Please note this could create issues with visas, employers and insurance.
  2. The Secretary of the Honorary Titles Group checks the nomination forms as they are received to ensure that the correct title is selected (based on standard criteria), and that the duration for the award is appropriate.
  3. Once approval of a new nomination is granted:
    1. Academic Affairs issues a document outlining rights and responsibilities, and a letter of acceptance.
    2. The candidate returns a signed copy of the letter accepting the Visiting Research Title on stated conditions.
    3. Academic Affairs adds the Visiting Research Title holder to the QUB Additional Persons database and, on confirmation of the visitor’s citizenship/visa status, provides an identification card to the holder upon collection.
  4. Once approval of a renewal nomination is granted:
    1. Academic Affairs updates the Visiting Research Title holder’s record on the QUB Additional Person database to reflect their new end date.
    2. Academic Affairs then issues a renewal confirmation letter and updated identification card.

The Secretary of the Honorary Titles Group reports on Visiting Research Titles on a regular basis to the Honorary Titles Group.

The University’s Privacy Notice in respect of Visiting Research Titles can be accessed here: Honorary and Visiting Research Titles Privacy Notice.


A Visiting Research Title will normally be awarded for a period of up to one year.

Employment Status

The award of a visiting title does not create an employment relationship between the title holder and the University. 


Remuneration is not normally paid to those holding Visiting Research Titles.

Under the regulations of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), visitors to the UK should not undertake paid work. They will need to satisfy UKVI that they have sufficient funds to support and accommodate themselves without working or recourse to public funds. 

Intellectual Property

Ownership rights may vary depending on external employers’ rights, existing agreements and other factors – please contact the Intellectual Property team to establish the specific intellectual property position.

Entitlements and Obligations


Visiting Research Title holders are entitled to full library access; are eligible to register for a University email address and to use Queen’s Online; and may apply for membership of the Physical Education Centre.  Visiting Research Titles holders are covered by the Employers’ Liability insurance policies when working on University premises, providing the appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.


Visiting Research Title holders are required to undertake research in collaboration with a named member of University staff.  In common with all members of University staff, Visiting Research Titles holders are required to comply with the standard Queen’s policies and procedures when on University premises and/or carrying out work in their capacity as a Visiting Researcher.