Principal’s Early Career Mobility Scheme

The Principal’s Early Career Mobility Scheme for session 2018/19 is now closed.

What is the funding for?

The aim of the scheme is to develop early career researchers and to strengthen our institutional partnerships by enhancing research collaborations with key partners.

The scheme 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.


With the assistance of previous recipients, the University has put together information designed to guide applicants through the administrative process, and to help successful recipients plan their journey and maximise the benefits of their visit. 

Before you apply
Making 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').



The objectives of this scheme are to:

  • further enhance the links and strengthen the interaction between research groups at 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

Potential 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  the partner institutions.

If the proposed project could require 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 at both in Glasgow and the partner institution. Please note that all funds awarded must be spent by 31 July 2019.

Applications for 2018/2019 have now closed.

All applicants must seek authorisation from their Head of School/Institute for their proposed visit by ECMS application form. Please note that the total amount requested should be no more than £5,000, as no single award will exceed this amount.

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 and your proposed budget.
  2. Applicant statement: this should be a one-page explanation of how the visit will benefit and progress your research; when you plan to visit, your main objectives and proposed activities. This should include a timetable for work during the visit, indicating the academic(s) with whom you hope to work, and/or the resources you hope to use.
  3. University of Glasgow statement of support: include a short statement (on headed paper) from your supervisor or Principal Investigator at the University of Glasgow. Early career staff should provide a statement of support from the Head of their Research Division confirming the suitability of the proposal.
  4. Partner institution statement of support: finally include, a short statement of support (on headed paper) from your proposed supervisor or academic at the partner institution. 

Your application should be emailed to Please note that all funds awarded must be spent by 31 July 2019


A University of Glasgow selection panel will decide which applications will be supported. The panel will consist of:

  • Professor James Conroy, Vice Principal Internationalisation
  • Professor David Fearn, Dean for Global Engagement for the Americas

If approved, you will receive a note of acceptance and, a formal offer of admission from the relevant administrative division at the ECMS partner.


ECMS progress report

Each recipient is required to complete a copy of the follow-up report once they return and send it to:

Please provide

  • A short commentary on the visit,
  • Achievements against the objectives listed in your original application form,
  • Details of follow-up activities (e.g. potential joint research, follow-up visits and/or any plans to attend future conferences/workshops, etc.).