Early Career Mobility Scheme

Update on the 2021 -2022 round of the Early Career Mobility Scheme coming soon. 

As a result of the uncertainty around travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ECMS did not go ahead in 2020-2021. It is hoped however, that the scheme will reopen again this year (2021-2022).

Please continue to check this page for further details on the next funding call for this scheme, and do not hesitate to contact colleagues at  externalrelations-partnershipfunding@glasgow.ac.uk should you have any questions.

For details on the University’s current position on travel in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


What is the funding for?

The scheme aims to develop early career researchers and to strengthen our institutional partnerships by enhancing research collaborations with key partners. It is open to University of Glasgow:

  • PhD students,
  • Post-doctoral researchers; and,
  • Early career staff (within 5 years of their first permanent appointment). 

 Funding is available to visit the following institutions: 

  • Columbia University (New York)*,
  • McGill University, 
  • Smithsonian Institution,
  • University of Hong Kong.

* The University of Glasgow is unable to support applications to visit Columbia Law School or Columbia Teachers College.

Details on previous recipients’ visits can be found on the International SharePoint site (accessible to all University of Glasgow staff with a valid GUID).

If you are an Early Career staff member, you can also look to apply for funding via the International Partnerships Development Fund (IPDF).


Before you apply make sure your application reflects all costs (including visa, insurance and administrative costs) surrounding your proposed visit.

Travel and Health insurance

Recipients should fill in the free University of Glasgow Travel Insurance form online
>> Information on the University's travel insurance

Research Furth

All postgraduate students should visit the Research Furth webpages


All candidates (especially non-EU candidates) need to verify whether a visa is required for your study period and make all the appropriate arrangements. If a visa is required, please ensure that you apply well in advance of your departure, as the visa application procedure (which involves attending for interview in London) can often take 2/3 months to process. Students and post-docs who apply late often find it very difficult to obtain a visa in time to coincide with their planned visit. Please note that UK students entering Hong Kong are permitted a maximum 6-month stay.

McGill - Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
Please be aware that new entry requirements are now in effect: visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada are expected to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid Canadian visa. Candidates can find more details on the Canadian government website.

Columbia and the Smithsonian Institution (ESTA)
Home/EU citizens can apply for an ESTA (visa waiver). However please note that terms and conditions apply, and you should pay close attention to these before applying. Apply for an ESTA online (Please note that ESTA applications take up to two days to be approved.) For home/EU students, your ESTA status will be 'W-B' ('Waiver of Business'). 

Non-EU recipients applying for a USA visa may have to carry out medical surveillance tests and supply additional information, due to recent visa requirement updates.  We would encourage these recipients to investigate this as soon as possible to ensure they have sufficient time to apply for the visa, prior to their visit.



The objectives of this scheme are to:

  • promote and strengthen new and existing research connections between the University of Glasgow and its partner institutions,
  • offer PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and early career staff the opportunity to visit partners and work informally with partner instititution colleagues,
    • to introduce them to academic culture and professional contacts overseas and
    • provide a first-hand experience of the partnership culture which is increasingly at the heart of academic collaboration.

Award value

Value of the award and use of funds in conjunction with external sources:

The award is intended to contribute to expenses relating to

  • travel,
  • accommodation,
  • daily living costs.

Applicants must develop a clear proposal setting out details of the proposed visit, including the amount required and how the money would be used.

The total amount requested should be less than £5,000, as no single award will exceed this amount. 

Applicants are actively encouraged to use funds in conjunction with other sources of funding.

Eligibility, duration and academic status


Students and researchers who may apply for the award include:

  1. All those registered for PhD at the University of Glasgow who have full doctoral student status, and who will not submit their thesis before completing their visit. Glasgow PhD students must remain registered at Glasgow for the duration of their visit. Overall supervision will remain the responsibility of the student’s Glasgow supervisor/s.
  2. All those with a valid University of Glasgow contract to work as a postdoctoral researcher. Post-doctoral researchers/early career staff must remain in employment at the University of Glasgow for the duration of their visit.
  3. Early career staff - within 5 years of their first permanent appointment at the deadline for applications, who hold an academic post at the University of Glasgow.


So as to ensure that the scheme can support a broad range of activities, there is no limit on the duration of the visit. However, students and researchers are advised that the visit should be substantial enough to allow for the development or expansion of academic relationships.

Academic status

Glasgow students and postdoctoral researchers will be registered as visiting research students/postdoctoral researchers in the relevant academic unit at the partner institution.

Application procedure

Applicants should first research the opportunities available to them at the partner institutions, including, for example, potential scholars with whom they would like to work, or specific resources they would like to access. They should discuss the opportunity with their University of Glasgow supervisor and with the partner institution.

If the proposed project requires ethical approval please ensure that you check with your host about the processes involved and their timescale, and plan appropriately.

Support for the application should be secured both in Glasgow and with the partner institution. All applicants must seek authorisation from their Head of School/Institute and obtain a signature for the ECMS application form.

University of Glasgow applicants who meet the eligibility criteria should submit their application:

  1. ECMS application form‌: this includes signatures of support, a privacy notice, statement of application and statement of support, and your proposed budget.
  2. Partner institution statement of support: A short statement of support (via email or letter on headed paper) from your proposed supervisor or academic at the partner institution.

Your application should be emailed to externalrelations-partnershipfunding@glasgow.ac.uk

Please note, funds will be allocated to your department budget within the financial year 2019/20. It is the recipient’s responsibility to spend this before the end of the financial year, 31 July 2020.



Please note, each recipient is required to complete an ECMS progress report within two months of returning from their visit.

All progress reports should be sent to externalrelations-partnershipfunding@glasgow.ac.uk

Recipients who fail to submit a progress report will not be eligible to submit future applications and your Head of School/Institute will be notified.

Recipients are encouraged to arrange an event to maximise impact and showcase their achievements upon their return. This should highlight the positive impact the ECMS can have on your own research and the opportunities for your wider team/department, as well as the across the University. Suggested information events include a coffee morning or a networking lunch.

Following all 2019/2020 mobilities, recipients will be invited to participate in a showcasing session where they can present either a poster or a 3-Minute-Thesis style presentation on their experience. This will likely take place in Summer 2020.

Please do not hesitate to contact externalrelations-partnershipfunding@glasgow.ac.uk should you wish to discuss this on more detail.