Visiting Fellows Program

Applications for the 2021 Humanities Research Centre Visiting Fellowship Program – on the theme of 'Hope' – are now open.

‘The whole of history is about hopes being sustained, lost, renewed,’ wrote John Berger in reflecting on the life and work of the poet Nazim Hikmet. ‘And with new hopes come new theories.’ In 2021 the Humanities Research Centre is inviting scholars from across the world to explore the historical and contemporary significance of hopes sustained, lost, and renewed across theories, cultures, and scholarly disciplines.

While hope has been understood as virtuous, like faith and love, hope has also been seen as deceptive, the ambiguous contents of Pandora’s Box. Whether political, theological, or technological, one person’s hope may well be another person’s fear, especially in our increasingly diverse and febrile contemporary societies.

Through individual research projects, as well as public lectures and conferences, we invite scholars from across the humanities to ask: how has hope been expressed through literature, film, music, and the visual arts? How has the principle of hope informed philosophy, theology, and social and cultural theory? How have public institutions such as museums or universities sought to exhibit or embody hope? How have technologies of the past and present sought to materialise hope? Where should we place or seek our hope today?

The Humanities Research Centre looks forward to welcoming scholars from across the world and across the disciplines as Visiting Fellows as we explore a topic that springs eternal.


PLEASE NOTE: Because of budget constraints in the wake of COVID-19 and because the coronavirus has necessitated the postponement of most of this year’s (2020) fellowships until 2021, offers of fellowships in 2021 will have to be severely limited. Travel restrictions in and out of Australia will also need to be closely observed. 


Fellowship Categories

• Visiting Fellowships (with grant) The standard period of tenure for an HRC Visiting Fellowship is from a minimum of six to a maximum of twelve weeks. The grant covers travel and accommodation. The maximum contribution for travel to and from the ANU is $3,000 AUD. Accommodation is in a one bedroom, self-contained apartment on the university campus. (This financial assistance for travel and accommodation expenses is not a salary replacement. No stipend or living allowance is attached to this fellowship.) While participating in seminars and other activities at other Australian universities is encouraged, Visiting Fellows are not expected to be away for more than 7 days on any one occasion during their fellowships.

• Visiting Fellowships (without grant). Academic staff from other Australian universities, as well as from national or international cultural institutions, may apply to use the facilities at the HRC and contribute to its intellectual life during their periods of research leave (e.g. sabbatical). These awards do not provide financial assistance and are dependent on the availability of office space in the Centre.

Visiting Fellowships, HRC-ANU Gender Institute (with grant) The HRC offers a dedicated HRC ANU Gender institute (GI) Fellowship as part of its annual round. The ANU Gender Institute was established in 2011 as a cross-campus virtual Institute to provide a focus for existing activity on issues of gender and sexuality and a catalyst to develop and deepen them. The Gender Institute has two distinct but related tasks. One is to support and deepen research, education, and outreach on gender and sexuality across the University, in particular promoting collaboration and linkages in this area across the seven Colleges. The second is to support the employment and retention of women and LGBTI people at all levels, in all disciplines, across the University. To do this it works closely with ANU Diversity and Inclusion Unit on programs to support the attraction and retention of women staff. This fellowship enables the GI to showcase and involve a visitor whose work intersects with the focus of the Institute and the nominated theme of the HRC and comes with responsibility for delivering the annual HRC/Gender Institute Distinguished Lecture on a topic to be negotiated with the HRC and the GI. Interested applicants should look at the research areas of focus identified by the GI and in their application suggest which node/s of the GI they would best intersect with (it may be more than one). See: The standard period of tenure for a GI Visiting Fellowship is 6-12 weeks. The grant covers travel and accommodation. The maximum contribution for travel to and from the ANU is $3,000 AUD. Accommodation is in a one bedroom, self-contained apartment on the university campus. (This financial assistance for travel and accommodation expenses is not a salary replacement. No stipend or living allowance is attached to this fellowship.)



Applicants for fellowships must have an institutional affiliation to a University or equivalent research or cultural organisation, and generally have at least a higher research degree (or equivalent professional experience), research experience, and publications. These fellowships are not offered to independent scholars, nor to students working to complete a higher degree. International applicants are strongly encouraged. Visa documents, if required, are the responsibility of the applicant. The ANU will offer a formal letter of invitation to successful applicants which may be used for visa purposes.

Visiting Fellows are expected to participate in the programs of the Centre and the College, meet regularly with other fellows, and make public presentations of their research at one of the Centre’s weekly seminar series, and are encouraged to contribute to a graduate seminar/master class and avail themselves of other opportunities for scholarly exchange. Visitors must be in residence for at least 75% of their appointment.


Assessment Process

The criteria for assessing nominations include academic distinction demonstrated by the standard measures of academic level and place of appointment, record of publication, honours and awards; the relevance of the proposed research to the annual theme; referee contact details; potential or identified links with researchers and programs and activities in other parts of the Australian National University, especially in the College of Arts and Social Sciences. The HRC strives, in its selection process, to have a mixture of early career scholars along with more established researchers, and to achieve a gender balance. While preference will be given to those whose scholarly work is directly relevant to the 2021 annual theme, fellowships occasionally may also be awarded to scholars working elsewhere in the broad field of Humanities.

The Centre does not discriminate for or against any applicant on the basis of race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, age, medical record, marital status, impairment, disability, nationality, or sexual preference.

Selection of Visiting Fellows for the 2021 program will be announced by 31 July 2020.



Application procedure

1. Application Form:

Applicants should submit a completed application form.

2. CV

Your CV should include a list of publications and/or professional activities.

2. Project Proposal

Applicants should provide a one to two page description and the title of their planned research project.

3.  Referees’ contact details:

Applicants need to identify and provide the contact details of two to three referees. The referees of shortlisted applicants will be contacted directly by the HRC.


» 2021Visiting FellowshipProgram Application Form

» 2021Visiting FellowshipProgram Applicant Guidelines

The deadline for applications and comments is 30 June 2020. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application outcomes wil be announced by 31 July 2020.


Please email your application to:

Professor Will Christie

Head, Humanities Research Centre


Enquiries to:


T: +61 2 6125 0151




Updated:  3 June 2020/Responsible Officer:  Head, Centre/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications