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Research visitor policy in the Department of Geology

Opportunities for visiting researchers

We regularly host visiting researchers who come here on sabbatical or study leave for periods longer than 2 weeks. We particularly welcome visitors with interests and expertise that complement our existing research and teaching programmes. Longer-term visitors should have some obvious link(s) with our research programmes. We also hope that visitors will contribute in some way to teaching - through, for example, one or more guest lectures or seminars, or participation in class field work.

Visits longer than 2 weeks, and any visit proposing to use departmental facilities beyond desk space, would normally be approved by the Head of Department. Because of the impact on departmental facilities, staff time, and costs, we do not encourage visits longer than a year.

To discuss opportunities, prospective visitors should:

  1. email the academic staff member with the closest research interests
  2. contact our administrator via and the Head of Department

In your initial email, please outline how your time here might complement and benefit our activities, and explain why you wish to spend time at Otago.


The usual conditions under which we accept visiting researchers are:

  • There are no bench fees for visits up to a year.
  • A desk is provided, with shared access to phone and a shared computer.
  • Official visitors normally get access to printed materials in the University of Otago Library, but access to online journals may be restricted.
  • Visitors are expected to offer one or more research seminars, and to participate where appropriate in graduate-level seminars related to their research interests.
  • Beyond providing seminars, and interacting with graduate students, visitors are not expected to teach in any major way. If a visitor does wish to offer some guest lectures to an established course, we normally welcome it, but regretfully cannot offer any payment.
  • We provide modest use of mail, fax and copying facilities for research purposes at no charge. For substantial and/or prolonged use, and personal use, visitors may be asked to pay.
  • Visitors can expect some access to research laboratories and equipment such as geochemical equipment, with the understanding that departmental staff and student needs have priority. Any significant or ongoing use, especially of geochemistry facilities, should be arranged well in advance. Significant or ongoing use would normally be charged.

We will do our best to make your stay pleasant and productive. Unless we have an agreed collaboration with you, however, there are certain things that we cannot normally help you with:

  • We cannot provide any research funds.
  • We cannot provide guidance in establishing your proposed local research programme, and cannot accompany or guide you into the field, or be responsible for health and safety aspects of your field work. Similarly, we cannot take responsibility for these matters for your students.
  • We cannot provide or arrange personal accommodation, or transport whether for field work or personal.

Beyond those matters, a visitor involved in collaborative research with an agreed and firm goal of joint publication with one of our staff will have be regarded as "one of us" for access to resources. In such cases, we will reduce or waive research costs where possible. Similarly, if a research visitor brings research funds, this will make it easier and quicker to access research facilities.

University procedure for visitors and immigration information

The university procedure for visitors is available on the Human Resources website. This page also outlines the immigration requirements. There are different procedures for visiting staff and students.