I want to do a 'research stay', but I have no idea how to arrange it. I don't need to go to another laboratory or country to do my own experiments, because I have already finished most of my studies. I want to do a research stay in a different country but I have no idea how I can do it.

I am hesitating even about what I should write while applying. For example, I will apply to a professor, 'I want to do a research stay in your group for 3 months'. But, what I will do there, if they accept me? I don't want to be like a tourist. My aims are networking, gaining knowledge, experiencing how things work in other labs, etc. I thought may be I am late, but with the covid restrictions, I am thinking to do it next year. What is your advice to me, or your experience, should I talk to my advisor?

  • 1
    Do you need funding from them?
    – Buffy
    Commented Dec 16, 2021 at 17:16
  • I have a scholarship which covers most of the costs. not too much but enough.
    – carlos_ser
    Commented Dec 16, 2021 at 17:19
  • 5
    Regarding "and should I talk to my advisor?": Yeah, seems like your academic-advisor ought to be a good source of advice.
    – Nat
    Commented Dec 17, 2021 at 2:28

2 Answers 2


Your question is very broad so I will give a broad answer as well. Specifics include your country, field of study, interests, future career plans, etc.

You will find it harder to find a research stay if you just contact people randomly and ask for a 'research stay'. Ask yourself: what are they getting out of it?

My suggestion is as follows. Come up with a plan for what kind of research you want to do, find someone in another country (using their recent publications) with whom you can potentially work, and then combine the two: propose a visit with a project in mind. Make sure they feel they are getting something out of it, that is how you will get them interested in the first place.

Talk to your supervisor and career counselling team (if there is one) and figure out a list of scholarships that offer such research stays (e.g. Mitacs in Canada). Then apply to these with a strong proposal. If you already have funding, this will make things easier since money is mostly an issue for hosting supervisors.


I have three suggestions, though the first won't help you most likely.

The most common way to have such a position is to get invited to it. The most common way for that to happen is for you to already have a collaborative relationship with someone there who is interested in working with you more closely that remote communication allows. The way to make that happen requires a long term plan to develop such relationships. So, not much help in the short term.

The second way is to have something to offer to the host institution. This would, perhaps, be something like an interesting project that some faculty member there was interested in. In other words, if you are asking for something then it is good to be able to offer something back. Collaboration can certainly be that thing. This is more possible than the first in the short term.

To make that happen, though, you have to search around for people who are interested in the same thing you are. The authors of papers you use in your research are a good place to start, but (less useful) note that some universities publish lists of faculty that includes their research focus. Large universities in particular will do this, and possibly also links to individual faculty pages. If you can, somehow, find a person who might want to work with you then they might be worth contacting.

But, it might take some time to arrange a slot in the best case.

Third, some universities will advertise for short term appointments if they have a need, but no continuing budget for a regular position. These positions are likely to be paid, but also likely to have some requirements such as teaching an advanced course. That might make it less useful to you.

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