The Oxford Internet Institute is a multidisciplinary research and teaching department of the University of Oxford.  Our faculty is  have expertise  spanning a wide range of interrelated social, economic, political, legal, industrial, technical and ethical issues of the Internet.

Our Recognised Student Programme allows doctoral students who are registered with another University to visit Oxford and to participate in and contribute to Oxford Internet Institute’s research-related activities for a minimum of one and a maximum of three terms.

Academic Advisor

As part of the Recognised Student Programme, each student will have an Academic Advisor who will play a key role introducing them to relevant opportunities within the Oxford Internet Institute and the University of Oxford.

Although the Advisor will not provide formal supervision on your thesis, they will meet at least twice termly with the visiting Student, to discuss their research and provide advice on relevant events and other research activities. The academic advisor will also introduce the visitor to relevant members of staff and other contacts.

Participation & Collaboration

Student Visitors have the opportunity to get involved in a wide range of activities and will participate in and contribute to the collaborative research culture of the Oxford Internet Institute in consultation with their Advisor. They may wish to engage with researchers in their field, attend events such as open seminars, workshops and informal gatherings, or assist a research group or lab.

In many cases, there will be opportunities for research collaboration, although this is decided separately between you and your Advisor or other members of the Oxford Internet Institute’s faculty.

Recognised Students will be expected to attend the Oxford Internet Institute’s DPhil Seminars which meet weekly (8 times) during term time.  You will be given the opportunity to present your work for feedback and get to meet the Oxford Internet Institute’s doctoral students

Recognised Students are also able to audit classes and seminars offered as part of the OII MSc courses, with the permission of the course convenor concerned and the Director of Graduate Studies. Note that different course convenors will have different requirements for auditing students, ranging from an expectation to keep up with the class readings to an expectation of the completion of all formative (non-marked) work in the class. Recognised students auditing classes will not receive any formal course credit, and are not expected to submit summative (marked) work. Note that most classes are offered during Michaelmas and Hilary Terms, with only a limited number of options available in Trinity Term or over the summer period.


In addition to the support of an Academic Advisor, visitors will be provided with a University card, University email,   printing services, and a workspace with IT facilities in the department. They will also be able to access Oxford’s world-class library resources during their stay.

Student Visitors are also able to attend seminars and events hosted by the department. Access to course-specific classes will be at the discretion of the course convenor and approval by the Director of Graduate Studies. Note that Recognised Students would normally take no more than 1-3 classes or modules at any one time.


The Recognised Student charges can be found on the University’s Recognised student fees page.

This covers the cost of the access to the University facilities and the cost of the guidance provided by your Academic Advisor. Tuition fees do not include college fees (as you will not be affiliated with any college), accommodation, or other course and maintenance fees. Fees must be paid within fourteen days of the start of Full term and failure to do so will result in the cancellation of your admission. You may pay for more than one term at a time if you wish.

Apply for the Recognised Student Programme

In order to start the application process, first read the university’s Recognised Student Guidance Notes, and identify an Academic Advisor from amongst the faculty at Oxford Internet Institute eligible to supervise doctoral work. Applicants will normally contact their proposed Advisor in the first instance to gauge their interest in supporting your application. We suggest sending them a short paragraph describing your research interests to start the conversation.

Once you have identified an Academic Advisor at Oxford Internet Institute, then you should Email the Administrator with the following documents:

  • A Recognised Student Application Form, including the term(s) you would like to be at Oxford Internet Institute and the name of a potential Academic Advisor with whom you would like to study.
    • Please note: Section L indicates that you must include a letter from the Head of Department at Oxford and a letter from a member of academic staff prepared to act as an advisor. DO NOT request these letters directly prior to submitting your documents to the OII. If the OII admissions committee decides to support your application, the department will provide these letters to you to allow you to submit the complete set of materials to University of Oxford’s Graduate Admissions.
  • A 1000-1500 word statement explaining:
    • how you envisage your stay in Oxford contributing to your doctoral study and what resources you aim to consult (approximately 500 words)
    • a statement of your research proposal (approximately 1000 words)
  • A current C.V.
  • A writing sample of up to 2500 words
  • Original transcripts from the degrees you have previously obtained
  • Evidence of English language competency. Students are required to demonstrate proficiency at the higher level, as detailed at on the language requirements.

You should also arrange for the following to be sent directly to

  • A letter of support from your doctoral supervisor at your home university
  • Two reference letters from senior members of faculty at your home university

Applicants may also be requested to attend an interview, which can be held in person or via Skype or telephone.

If Oxford Internet Institute is able to support your application, and has an Academic Advisor available to provide appropriate supervision during your proposed visit, we will send the required letters of support to attach to your application to the University. You should then return the completed documentation to the Graduate Admissions Office.

Thereafter, you will receive a formal offer letter specifying the terms for which you have been admitted, as well as a University Card Form. This should be completed and returned to the Card Office indicated on the form before you arrive at Oxford.

Planning ahead

As soon as you receive your Offer Letter, you will need to start applying for your visa. On your request, we will arrange for a Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS) number to be provided to you.

It is recommended that for detailed information about Tier 4 Visa and Student Visitor Visa, you consult the UK Border Agency website.

Finally, in line with requirements from the UK Border Agency, you must have your passport scanned when you report to the Student Information & Advisory Service on your arrival.  If applicable, you should also ensure that you register with the police.

Please note, whether you are studying under tier 4 or the short term student route, you cannot apply for a visa from within the UK and so cannot extend your period of study

The following OII faculty members are eligible to supervise DPhil students. The supervision areas are intended as a guide only: please contact us if you would like to discuss a suitable supervisor.

  • Dr Grant Blank (Digital divides, social networks, social media, trust, privacy, journalism, inequality, political participation, mobile, security)
  • Dr Jonathan Bright (Big data, democracy, governance, government, journalism, open data, political participation, public management, public policy, security, social media, social networks, surveillance)
  • Dr Kathryn Eccles (Digital humanities, crowdsourcing, cultural heritage, arts and cultural industries, education, impact, users, wellbeing, digital history, history, gender, sexism
  • Prof Rebecca Eynon (Big data, digital divides, education, inequality, ethics, skills, learning and youth)
  • Prof Luciano Floridi (Philosophy, activism, big data, censorship, cultural industries, power, ethics, governance, inequality, innovation, open data, privacy, security, social media, surveillance, trust)
  • Prof Mark Graham (Big data, crowdsourcing, cultural industries, digital divides, ICT4D, inequality, innovation, open data, public policy, social media, labour, markets, digital labour, geography, transparency, participation, Africa, economic geography, production network, ethical consumption, power)
  • Dr Scott Hale (Human behaviour, Human factors, multilingualism, user experience, data science, computational social science, mobilization, collective action, political participation, information visualization, natural language processing, data mining, knowledge discovery, social network analysis, social media, social networks)
  • Dr Bernie Hogan (Behaviour, big data, ethics, social networks, social network analysis, social media, virtual communities)
  • Prof Phil Howard (Political communication, international affairs, civic engagement, internet of things, computational propaganda, comparative methods, social media)
  • Dr Vili Lehdonvirta (digital marketplaces, e-commerce, platform business, app stores, games, virtual currencies, crowdsourcing, online freelancing, volunteer work, ‘the gig economy’, and labour movements; especially from sociological, organization studies, and science and technology studies (STS) perspectives)
  • Prof Helen Margetts (Digital government, public management, public policy, collective action, political participation, democracy, political science, data science, experiments)
  • Prof Viktor Mayer-Schönberger (Big data, governance, law)
  • Dr Brent Mittelstadt (Ethics, medical ICT, data mining, technology governance, responsible research and innovation, Habermas, information ethics, virtue ethics, hermeneutics, bioethics, computer ethics, epistemology)
  • Dr Victoria Nash (Child safety, democracy, ethics, governance, inequality, public policy
  • Professor Gina Neff (Innovation, work, organisations, culture, theory, qualitative methods, critical data studies, Science and Technology studies)
  • Dr Andy Przybylski (psychology, human motivation, video games, virtual environments)
  • Prof Ralph Schroeder (Big data, e-research, ethics, human-computer interaction, virtual environments)
  • Dr Rosaria Taddeo (Ethics, Data Ethics, Ethics and AI, Ethics of Cyber Conflicts, Cyber Defence, Privacy, Trust, Surveillance, Security, Big data, Open Data, Governance, Power, Hacktivism)
  • Dr Greg Taylor (Behaviour, markets, innovation, microeconomics, governance, public policy)
  • Dr Joss Wright (Censorship, computational social science, cryptography, ethics, governance, privacy, public policy, security, surveillance, machine learning)
  • Dr Taha Yasseri (behaviour, big data, collective action, computational social science, crowdsourcing, political participation, social media, social networks, virtual communities, social network analysis)
  •  .Professor Balaz Vedres  (social networks, online collaboration, teams, organisations)

Recognised Student visitors may join the department for a minimum of one term and a maximum of three terms. The timing of visits is an important consideration, as the atmosphere of the department changes across the academic year.

Applicants are advised to time their visit to coincide with one of Oxford’s three terms, as colleagues are more likely to be available during these times.  Oxford University terms are referred to as Michaelmas Term (MT), Hilary Term (HT) and Trinity Term (TT) and normally last eight weeks each.

Visitors who wish to participate in a full calendar of events and other similar research activities should aim to visit in Michaelmas or Hilary terms.

Conversely, if a visitor is looking for a quieter working environment, Trinity term may be preferred. It is important to note that less supervision will be available over the long summer vacation due to the travel demands that frequently take faculty outside of Oxford.

Please note that we will not be accepting applications until 5th June 2020.

Applicants should e-mail to find out what terms we may have availability in before applying.

The following deadlines should be followed:

Term of admission UK/EU/Swiss Applicants All other applicants
Michaelmas 1st Friday in August 1st Friday in June
Hilary 1st Friday in November 1st Friday in September
Trinity 1st Friday in February 1st Friday in December

All applications will be reviewed after the deadline.

It is your responsibility to check how long it will take to obtain a visa in your country and to plan the submission of your application accordingly. You should ensure that the start of your stay corresponds with the start date of any particular academic term.

It is not possible to be admitted as a Recognised Student if you have already been matriculated as a member of the University of Oxford.

If you are a non-EEA /Swiss national, then you have two options for visa entry into the UK.

Option 1: Come to the UK as a ‘Short-Term Student’

Under this option you may stay in the UK up to six months, but no more (e.g. October to March, or two academic terms). You would not be allowed to take any employment in the UK, and you would not be able to stay any longer than six months, or to transfer to another programme of study.

Option 2: Apply for a ‘Tier 4 (General) student visa’

Please see the University of Oxford page for more information about the Tier 4 (General) student visa.


This page was last modified on 22 August 2019