SUPA Distinguished Visitors

SUPA wishes to enhance the training of our graduate students by contributing to bringing highly regarded international visitors to Scotland. We do this through our Distinguished Visitor Program, to enhance the training of physics graduate students within SUPA and to enhance SUPA research. The scheme will fund 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

Talks given by visitors are available on My.SUPA (

The maximum amount of funding available per application is usually £3000. Funds will not normally be granted for visits that could reasonably be expected to be covered by departmental seminar budgets.

To apply complete the application form (PDF format / Word format) (updated Jan 2019). Please follow the application guidelines as follows.

Guidelines for Distinguished and International Visitor Funding

Distinguished and International 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 or International 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 is particularly interested in funding collaborations that could lead to future high impact research programmes.
  • Funds will not normally be granted for visits that could reasonably be expected to be covered by departmental seminar budgets.
  • 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 normally £3000.
  • 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 expected impact (see below) of the visit.
  • 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(see below) of the visit 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, with no application deadlines. Please allow up to 2 months for your application to be processed.


What do we mean by "Impact"?

Impact is defined as an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life beyond academia. Impact includes but is not limited to, an effect on, change or benefit to:
  • the activity, attitude, awareness, behaviour, capacity, opportunity, performance, policy, practise, process or understanding
  • of an audience, beneficiary, community, constituency, organisation or individuals
  • in any geographic location whether locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.
Impact also includes the reduction or prevention of harm, risk, cost or other negative effects.