Sponsored Researchers


Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) Sponsored Researcher Scheme

This scheme enables researchers (including academics, researchers, scientists, research engineers or other skilled research technology specialists), to come to the UK on a temporary basis, where they are hosted at a UK higher education institution (HEI).

Mobility enabled under this scheme supports HEIs to engage with researchers abroad and promotes the UK’s position as a world leader in research, education and innovation.

Scheme Criteria

The University, as a Tier 5 Sponsor, is able to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to researchers (which includes academics, researchers, scientists, research engineers or other skilled research technology specialists) for a maximum duration of 2 years to undertake the following activities:

  • A formal research project or collaboration
  • A period of work-based training/work experience/internship/placement
  • Skill development/knowledge transfer
  • A series of lectures, which doesn’t amount to a formal teaching post
  • External examinations

The researcher does not have to be employed overseas to be eligible for sponsorship under this scheme.

In accordance with the Home Office rules, the role must be over and above the University's normal staffing requirements, and which would not be automatically refilled once the post holder leaves.

Any work or activity undertaken within the scheme must be at or above RQF level 3.

Migrants sponsored under Tier 5 may do courses of study, however, any study undertaken cannot interfere with the purpose of the engagement, as defined on their CoS, and must be ancillary.

Financial Issues

The researcher may be funded by their host, their overseas employer, or an independent UK or non-UK funding body. The researcher cannot be self-funded and must be in receipt of funding in line with, or above, the National Minimum Wage.

Immigration Issues

A Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) permit is required.

Compliance Expectations

When issuing CoS, the University is required to adhere to Home Office sponsorship responsibilities, ensuring the scheme criteria are met for any sponsored migrants and maintaining relevant sponsorship requirements in accordance with Home Office guidance. Failure to do so may result in the revocation of the sponsor license(s).


Please send a copy of your CV and the funding evidence to Human Resources for consideration, Email: staff-immigration@nottingham.ac.uk



Last edited Jul 09, 2018