SUPA Distinguished Visitors

SUPA continually looks for ways to enhance the training of our graduate students and we have been able to support bringing highly regarded international visitors to Scotland. We did this through our Distinguished Visitor Program, to enhance the training of physics graduate students within SUPA and to enhance SUPA research. The scheme funded visits to Scotland by renowned scientists from elsewhere in the world.

Map of where SUPA-funded Distinguished Visitors have come from, between 2017 and 2019

Our VLE, MySUPA, has videos of talks given by previous visitors


Applications are invited from physics researchers at all SUPA partner institutions.  The aim of this fund is to enhance research and advance postgraduate training across SUPA partners, and particularly to enhance the reputation of Scottish physics research at international level. High impact cross-disciplinary engagement is encouraged. From 2019/20 onwards, Distinguished Visitor funding will be awarded on a rolling basis. The maximum amount of funding available per application is £3,000. Funds will not normally be granted for visits that could reasonably be expected to be covered by departmental budgets, such as seminars or viva examinations.


Applications can be made for visits taking place at any time during the current SFC ‘Continued Development’ funding phase of SUPA, i.e. up until 31st January 2023.

SUPA Central will acknowledge receipt of the application. All applications and a Scoring Sheet will be sent to GSC members (including the GSC member from the home institution of the applicant) with responses expected within 3 weeks. SUPA Graduate School Coordinators and the SUPA CEO / Graduate School Coordinators will collate responses and decide on funding based on the GSC recommendations and available funding. Additional advice may be sought from SUPA Theme Leaders. The aim will be to achieve a decision and response to the applicant within a month.

To apply complete the application form (PDF format / Word format) (updated Nov 2019). Please follow the application guidelines below.

Guidelines for Distinguished Visitor ("DV") Funding (also available in pdf)

Distinguished Visitors should be highly regarded and influential internationally.

  • The scheme seeks to both bring new ideas and concepts to SUPA research and to promote SUPA physics in the international environment.
  • The calibre of the proposed Distinguished Visitor will be paramount in making funding decisions. However, this does not necessarily mean highly experienced researchers: applications for visits from young researchers (e.g. holders of leading international fellowships) with the potential to make a strong impact are also encouraged.
  • The case made in support should be one to three A4 pages in length.  Please tell us about the prospective speaker’s experience by including a short biography (2 A4 pages max) listing no more than five recent prestigious publications.
  • The committee will look favourably upon applications that could lead to future high impact collaborative research programmes.
  • Funds will not normally be granted for visits that could reasonably be expected to be covered by departmental budgets such as seminars or viva examinations.
  • Strong commitment from host department(s) is required, demonstrated both by financial and in kind support (eg admin support).
  • The length of a proposed visit should be at least one week and no longer than three months.
  • The maximum amount of funding available per application is £3,000.
  • Per diems can be for up to a maximum of £35. No salary element is allowable.
  • The presence of the visitor at multiple SUPA institutions is expected.
  • The provision by the visitor of seminars, workshops or lectures for graduate students would normally be expected and should be described in the application. These lectures should be co-ordinated with, and complementary to, the SUPA Graduate School lecture programme for the relevant theme.
  • Applications should explicitly state the:
    • benefit to SUPA Graduate School students
    • potential for future collaborative research outcomes
    • potential enhancement of SUPA's international reputation
  • A one page report on the visit must be submitted within one month of the end of the visit. This report should assess the impact of the visit (as per the expected outcomes on the application form) and include a brief breakdown of the financial claim which will be made to SUPA (up to the amount of the total award). 
  • Claims will only be reimbursed following receipt of the report.

Any applications that do not fulfil all the above requirements will not be considered.

Please submit all completed forms to Distinguished Visitor funding is awarded on a rolling basis: we will assess applications as they are received.