Honorary & Visiting Appointments


Application to Appoint Honorary or Visiting Staff - via Stonefish Request to Appoint

General Principles

Lancaster University offer 2 types of unpaid academic appointment, Honorary and Visiting. In making these appointments the University holds expectations of benefits to the host Department and to the Institution. Such benefits may include collaborative research leading to outputs appropriate to that discipline, contribution to teaching or supervision or reputation enhancement.

All appointments are for a fixed period, with a review prior to expiry to assess the benefits of the relationship, leading to a decision either to renew the appointment or allow it to lapse.

Honorary appointments are reserved for those not employed in higher education institutions, research or equivalent establishments and includes those employed in the NHS, business, industry, the arts, institutions, public administration and the private sector. Honorary appointments should clearly bring prestige and value.

There should be a clear organisational relationship, e.g. CEH or NHS, as part of the appointment. Only exceptionally will there not be a clear organisational relationship.

Visiting appointments are used for those employed in higher education, research or equivalent organisations. The level of appointment will be no higher than that held in the home institution. Associate Professors and Assistant Professors at North American institutions will normally have an appointment as a Visiting Researcher or Teaching Fellow.

In the case of both Honorary and Visiting appointments, there must be demonstrable benefit to the University in making an appointment. For appointments at Teaching Fellow level and above, it will be agreed prior to appointment the teaching, research or other contributions expected of the appointee and a record kept by the Head of Department which will serve in the review process when/if renewal of the appointment is considered. In some cases this may reflect a past and continued significant contribution to the University or it may anticipate such a benefit if there is evidence that this is likely to happen.

Senior staff without claim to academic or professional record of international standing may, at the University's discretion, be considered for appointment as an Honorary Professorial Fellow.

The University will not normally offer an honorary appointment to an individual holding an honorary appointment at another university.

Honorary or Visiting appointments will not be awarded to staff retiring from the University, or who leave the University. Professors who retire from Lancaster can become Emeritus which maintains a relationship with the University

Honorary or Visiting appointments will normally terminate on the loss of the substantive post at the home institution.

Guidance for Academic Visitors


Both Honorary and Visiting appointments are unpaid. Contributions towards expenses may be appropriate for Visiting appointments. The charging of bench fees and the level of such fees is at the discretion of the Head of Department.

If Honorary or Visiting staff are subsequently contracted to undertake paid work, a separate fees claim form or variable hours contract should be issued.

Individual Benefits & Responsibilities

Appointees will have free use of Library facilities, an email account and access to appropriate IT facilities. Space and equipment needs are the responsibility of the host Department.

Appointees are required to observe University Rules and Regulations, including those relating to professional conduct.

NHS Staff

Honorary appointments are categorised as "Teaching-led" or "Research-led" and the levels of clinical appointments associated with honorary titles are shown in Tables 1 & 2.

Appointments at Professorial level will be reserved for senior staff with an established reputation with involvement in teaching and who will make a significant contribution to research. It is likely that honorary Professors will have research, teaching or other links that pre-date their appointment.

Non NHS Staff

The following titles are available:

Honorary or Visiting Researcher
Honorary or Visiting Teaching Fellow
Honorary or Visiting Professorial Fellow
Honorary or Visiting Professor

Appointments at Professorial Fellow and Professorial level will be reserved for senior figures with an established reputation who will make a significant contribution to the University's academic or enterprise activities. It is likely that honorary Professors will have research, teaching or other links that pre-date their appointment. See Table 3.


References are required for certain appointments. See Tables 1, 2 & 3 for information.

Where an honorary member of staff is affiliated to more than one University Department, a lead Department will be nominated and that Head of Department responsible for identifying references, as required, and for receiving and making a recommendation on an appointment prior to its expiry.

Where an individual already has an involvement with the University, the Head of the host Department will provide a reference providing information on their contribution and suitability for a first honorary or visiting appointment or promotion to a more senior level of appointment.

References for appointments at Chair level will be taken up by the Secretary to the central Committee for Chairs and Readerships.

Work Permits and Immigration Clearance

Non-EEA nationals needing to travel to Lancaster during their appointment must enter the UK via one of two routes: the 'Sponsored Researcher' work permit route or the 'Academic Visitor' route (i.e. not requiring a work permit). Further information is available from the HR Website.

Appointment Procedures

Appointments other than Professorial Fellows and Professors

The Head of Department submits a request for an appointment to the Faculty Dean. This must be done via "Request to Appoint", a curriculum vitae, reference letters where appropriate, a statement as to the contribution to be made. The Dean has authority to approve appointments.

Appointment at Professorial Fellow and Professor Levels

Heads of Department will submit a case to the Dean. This will consist of a curriculum vitae, list of publications, list of references, statement in support of the applicant. If the Faculty Committee supports the case, it will pass a recommendation to the central Committee for Chairs and Readerships for a decision.

Renewal of Appointments

Appointments are not renewed automatically but will be based on the contribution of the individual to the University.

Departmental Administrators can initate a renewal by using the Manager Request function within Core MyHR . The Head of Department will be required to support the proposed renewal.

For appointments other than Professorial Fellow and Professor, the Dean will authorise renewal. Other renewals will be considered by the Promotions Committee.

Last updated Nov 2015 (David Owen)
Review Date March 2016

Lancaster University
LancasterLA1 4YW United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1524 65201