Academic Visitors

Wolfson hosts lectures that are relevant to all disciplines

Wolfson welcomes applications from established academics or professional people wishing to spend a period of sabbatical leave in Cambridge and who will return to their home institution at the end of their period of leave. Those who are studying for a doctoral degree and who are visiting Cambridge to further their degree studies are invited to apply for Visiting Student status; further details can be found on University of Cambridge Graduate Admissions website or email the Tutorial Office Manager for further information (please use the contact form for student-related enquiries).

The non-stipendiary status of Visiting Fellow or Visiting College Research Associate (VCRA) is granted for periods of up to one year, renewable on application to a maximum of two years. Please note that the UK immigration authorities will not allow Academic Visitors from non-EU countries to remain in the UK for longer than one year. For the latest information on entry to the UK please visit the UK Border Agency website and apply using a VAF1E application form.

Visiting Fellows are senior and very distinguished visitors who wish to pursue a scholarly project, and also those younger outstanding academics who would  be affiliated to a Faculty or Department for the duration of their visit. Frequently they are proposed by Fellows of the College. VCRA status is appropriate for those making an enquiry about affiliation who are unknown to the College and who do not fulfill the above requirements for Visiting Fellow status. They must be of reasonable academic or professional standing and in Cambridge for a serious scholarly purpose. 

Academic Visitors may use all the facilities of the College when they are open; may attend dinner in Hall and other meals (i.e. breakfast, lunch and supper), introduce up to three guests and attend any College activity open to all members of the College. Academic Visitors are entitled to attend College parties and Guest Nights (details and charges are specified in the Term Notices). They may also use the Combination Rooms, TV Rooms, Club Room, College Library, Tennis Court and Gym.


Visiting Fellows are charged a membership fee, currently set at £100 per month. Visiting College Research Associates are not liable for a monthly fee.


Wolfson has a limited amount of accommodation specifically set aside for Academic Visitors, with rents ranging in 2016/17 from £229 for en-suite study-bedrooms to £369 per week for one-bedroom flats for visitors and their partners. (Note: These prices are subject to vat (value added tax) at 20% for the first 28 days of any visit.)
Visitors requiring more spacious or family accommodation are advised to contact the University Accommodation Service.

Status in the University

Membership of a College does not imply membership of the University or give the right to use the facilities of the academic departments of the University. Visitors wishing to have an affiliation with a particular department or library must write to the Head of Department or Librarian concerned, requesting such affiliation. Contact information for Departments is available via the University of Cambridge website.

The College can apply for reading and/or borrowing rights at the University Library for its Academic Visitors, but all members of the University are eligible to apply online themselves.

Newcomers and Visiting Scholars Group

The Newcomers and Visiting Scholars Group provides a termly programme of social activities for all Academic Visitors and their families. Trips to Stratford-upon-Avon, the Houses of Parliament as well as local visits to the Cambridge Colleges and other places of interest are organised each term. The group arranges coffee mornings in term-time for the families of Academic Visitors and of those new to the University; these are held every Tuesday morning from 10.45am to 12 noon in the University Centre, everyone is welcome.

Dates of terms

Term dates for the current and forthcoming academic years can be found here.


Applications should normally be made six months (three months for returning visitors) in advance of your visit and the visit should be for no less than a term or eight weeks. We accept Academic Visitors in the summer, but we do have a kitchen closure of about one week during August.

Please apply with covering letter or email, Visiting Membership application form, concise two-page CV, a copy of your letter from the Department which confirms departmental affiliation is being sought or awaiting confirmation, and a reference. Hard copy applications should be addressed to the Registrar, Wolfson College, Cambridge CB3 9BB. Please email registrar at

The Secretary of the Fellowship and Membership Committee, the Senior Tutor, Dr Jane McLarty, will initially consider all applications on behalf of the College's Fellowship & Membership Committee, which meets two or three times per term. New membership applications will be considered at Fellowship & Membership Committee meetings as follows:

Michaelmas Term 2018; 5 November

Current Academic Visitors