CRA garden party 2018 (2)

Academic Visitors

Wolfson welcomes applications for College affiliation from visiting academics who plan to spend a period of collaborative research or sabbatical in Cambridge.

CRA garden party 2018 (2)

Visiting Fellows (VFs) & Visiting College Research Associates (VCRAs)

The non-stipendiary status of Visiting Fellow or Visiting College Research Associate is granted for periods of up to one year, renewable on application to a maximum of two years. Your visit should be for no less than a term or eight weeks and should not be held concurrently with an active affiliation at another college.

Visiting Fellows are either distinguished visitors who come to Wolfson to pursue a scholarly project or outstanding younger academics who are affiliated with a Cambridge department/faculty or one of its Partnered Institutions for the period of their visit. Frequently they are proposed by Fellows of the College.

Visiting College Research Associates are academics who do not fulfill the above requirements for Visiting Fellow status. VCRAs must be of reasonable academic or professional standing and in Cambridge for a serious scholarly purpose. They also need to have an academic affiliation with a Cambridge department/faculty or one of its Partnered Institutions for the period of their visit.

Both VFs and VCRAs s are welcome to use all the facilities of the College and participate in College life. You may attend dinner in Hall and other meals, introduce up to three guests and attend any College activity open to all members. You are entitled to attend College parties and Guest Nights and you may also use the library, social spaces and gym. 

The College is unable to provide visa support for Academic Visitors, but the University provides comprehensive guidance on Visitor Visas here.  For the latest information on entry to the UK, please visit the UK Border Agency website.


Both Visiting Fellows and Visiting College Research Associates will be charged a membership fee of £100 per month, unless otherwise agreed with the College.


Wolfson has some accommodation specifically set aside for Academic Visitors, with rents, for the 2022-2023 academic year, ranging from £297.85 to £440.30 per week. These prices are subject to VAT (value-added tax) at 20% for the first 28 days of any visit. Rooms available include single or double en-suite bedrooms with shared kitchen facilities and one-bedroom flats for visitors and their partners.  Accommodation is limited and availability is not guaranteed.

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. Academic Visitors wishing to have an affiliation with a particular department must apply to the Head of Department concerned requesting affiliation at the same time (or prior to acceptance) as a VF/VCRA. 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 & Visiting Scholars Group

The Newcomers and Visiting Scholars Group provide 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 those new to the University; these are held every Tuesday morning from 10.45 to 12noon in the University Centre; everyone is welcome.


New applications should be made six months in advance of your visit. We accept Academic Visitors in the summer, but please note that our kitchen is closed for about one week during August.

Please apply with:

  • a covering letter
  • the Visiting Membership application form,
  • a concise two-page CV
  • a copy of your letter from the Department which confirms departmental affiliation has been received, is being sought or is awaiting confirmation
  • a reference.

Hard copy applications should be addressed to the Registrar, Wolfson College, Cambridge CB3 9BB or may be sent via email.

The Fellowship & Membership Committee, which meets once a term, will consider all applications, which must be received at least 2 weeks in advance of each meeting date.

Future meeting dates:

M2023 - 6 November 2023

L2024 - 11 March 2024

E2024 - 3 June 2024