Visiting Fellowships Program

Applications for the 2022 Humanities Research Centre Visiting Fellowship Program – on the theme of 'Mobilities' – are now open.

The Humanities Research Centre (HRC) was established in 1972 as a national and international centre for excellence in the humanities and as a catalyst for innovative humanities scholarship and research within the Australian National University. The HRC interprets the ‘humanities’ generously, recognising that new methods of theoretical enquiry have done much to break down the traditional distinction between the humanities, the creative arts, and the social sciences. It also recognises the importance of establishing a dialogue between the humanities and the natural and technological sciences. One of its central functions is to bring to Australia scholars of international standing who will provoke fresh ideas both within and beyond the academic community. 

Our theme for 2022 is Mobilities, a description of which appears below. We encourage scholars from all over the world working in every discipline to apply for Visiting Fellowships at our Centre.


HRC Theme for 2022: MOBILITIES

Amongst the many definitions of ‘mobility’ in the Oxford English Dictionary we find the following:

          ‘The ability to move or to be moved; capacity for movement or change of place’;

          ‘Ease or freedom of movement; capacity for rapid or comfortable locomotion or travel’;

          ‘The ability or tendency to change easily or quickly; changeableness, instability; fickleness’;

          ‘Tendency or susceptibility to rapid emotional change; impressionability; excitability. Now rare’;

          ‘Chiefly Sociology. The ability or potential of individuals within a society to move between different social levels (more fully vertical mobility) or between different occupations, etc. (more fully horizontal mobility); the ability or potential of a workforce to move from place to place’

Migration, asylum, tourism, transport, urban mobility, career mobility, social mobility, emotion and affect – our theme for 2022 registers the growing use of ‘mobility’ and ‘mobilities’ as key descriptive and theoretical terms in the humanities and social sciences, and offers an invitation to scholars to think about the concept in creative and interdisciplinary ways. In line with the suggestive multivalence of the word itself, proposals might consider ‘mobility’ socio-politically, physically, or mentally, as a local or global phenomenon, in different cultures and different historical periods – or they might want to investigate the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our social, physical, and psychological mobility, and the way we are likely to act and think about mobility and immobility in the future.

The Humanities Research Centre looks forward to welcoming scholars from across the world and across the disciplines as we explore a topic that will not stand still.

PLEASE NOTE: Travel restrictions in and out of Australia will need to be closely monitored. 


Guidelines for Applicants

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 provided is a one bedroom, self-contained apartment on or near the university campus. (Financial assistance for travel and accommodation expenses is not a salary replacement. No stipend or living allowance is attached to this fellowship.)

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. These awards do not provide financial assistance and are dependent on the availability of office space in the Centre.

Visiting Fellowship, 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:

Visiting Fellowship, HRC-Freilich Project (with grant). The HRC offers a dedicated HRC-Freilich Project Fellowship as part of its annual round. The The Herbert and Valmae Freilich Project for the Study of Bigotry, founded at the ANU in July 1999, supports research into the causes, the histories and the effects of ethnic, cultural, religious, and sexual bigotry and animosity. It also promotes public discussion of how such intolerance can be combatted - and co-existence promoted - through educational and social programs. This fellowship enables the Freilich Project to bring a scholar to the ANU whose research intersects with the work of the Project and the nominated theme of the HRC, and comes with responsibility for delivering an annual Freilich Project Distinguished Lecture on a topic to be negotiated with the HRC and Freilich.


The standard period of tenure for an HRC-Freilich Project 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 provided is a one bedroom, self-contained apartment on the university campus. (Financial assistance for travel and accommodation expenses isnot a salary replacement. No stipend or living allowance is attached to this fellowship.)



All HRC Visiting Fellows are expected to participate in the programs of the Centre and the College, meet regularly with other fellows, make public presentations of their research in the Centre’s weekly seminar series, offer to contribute to a graduate seminar/Master Class, and avail themselves of other opportunities for scholarly exchange. While participation in scholarly 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 the course of their fellowships and must be in residence for at least 75% of their appointment. Following their visit to the HRC, all Visiting Fellows will be required to complete an end-of-fellowship report, outlining the activities undertaken and research outputs produced during their fellowship. This is to be submitted within 4 weeks of the Fellow’s departure from HRC.



Applicants for fellowships must have an institutional affiliation to a University or equivalent research or cultural organisation, and generally have at least a postgraduate research degree (or equivalent professional experience), research experience, and publications. These fellowships are not offered to independent scholars, or to students working to complete a higher degree. International applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. 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.


Assessment Process

The criteria for assessing nominations include: academic distinction demonstrated by the standard measures relative to opportunity; record of publication, honours, and awards; the relevance of the proposed research to the annual theme; the strength of referee reports; and 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.

Selection of Visiting Fellows for the 2021 program will be announced by 30 June 2021. In its selection process, the HRC strives to achieve a mixture of early career scholars along with more established researchers, and to achieve a gender balance. While preference will be given to those applicants whose scholarly work is directly relevant to the 2022 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.

Further information in relation to the programs of the Humanities Research Centre and the Research School of Humanities and the Arts, staff and facilities, is contained on our Website at the following address:


Application procedures

1. Application form

Applicants should submit a completed application form, available on the HRC website.

2. CV

A CV of no more than 8 pages should include a list of publications and/or professional activities.

2. Project proposal

Applicants should provide a title of their planned research project along with a description of no more than two A4 pages.

3. Referees’ contact details

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

The deadline for applications is 31 May 2021. Incomplete applications will not be considered.


Please email your application to:

Professor Paul Pickering

Acting Head, Humanities Research Centre



Enquiries to:


T: +61 2 6125 4357



Updated:  15 March 2021/Responsible Officer:  Head, Centre/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications