International Study

Opportunities for International Study – Study Leave

Research is very much an international business – international journals and conferences are key for effective knowledge transfer and for career progression, and peer review is almost always international. International sources of funding for research (and not just European) are now so important, and global mobility is a reality in many research careers. It is important that research students gain experience and confidence in communicating and defending their work nationally and internationally. Meeting people and building international networks will help future careers as well, and your supervisors and departments will have contacts on which you can build in planning some time abroad. This is all part of the excitement of research.

We have put together some resources below which will help you to develop your international perspective and activities whether you are a UK student or an international student. This includes support for attendance at conferences, some courses and activities at UCL, and the Study Leave Scheme. This scheme allows you to spend time at a laboratory, archive or site abroad. While funding is always an issue, there are sources available within UCL and outside, which could help you develop an aspect of your research at another location.

Thoughtfully planned, these opportunities can offer you a stimulating new outlook on your research and the world of research in another culture. Ensuring your personal safety, and considering any ethical implications that might arise in relation to conducting research away from UCL and in different contexts, are essential parts of your planning process. You must contact your supervisors and Departmental Graduate Tutors to make sure you follow institutional procedures for off–site working/fieldwork/Study Leave for research students. In particular, a risk assessment must be undertaken and recorded prior to Study Leave and the required research ethics approvals (UCL and local if applicable) must be in place. You will find a link below to the important information on applying for Study Leave, and to the Safety Services and Research Ethics sites that detail the processes for risk assessment and ethics approval respectively.

UCL's Global Engagement Office – through regional Senior Partnership Managers, Vice Deans International and Regional Pro Vice Provosts – can offer some advice to you and your supervisors on region/country–specific concerns regarding international study visits. The Safety Service site also contains links to further important information such as the county–specific travel advice from the UK Government's Foreign and Commonwealth Office and information on travel health and insurance.


Dr Katherine Joy, Earth Sciences
Dr Katherine Joy, Earth Sciences, Research Images Competition 2007/08