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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

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The University requires all Masters and PhD students (with the exception of MSt students) that wish to conduct research away from Cambridge for more than two weeks (at one time) to apply for ‘Leave to Work Away’ (LTWA). 
No research should be undertaken unless approval has been granted initially by the POLIS Ethics, Risk and Fieldwork committee (ERF), and then once this has been approved, you should apply for formal University approval through CamSIS.
The Department requires students to submit the initial LTWA application to the ERF Committee, via their Programme Administrator, using this form.
All applications for Ethics, Risk and LTWA must be submitted along with the ERF coversheet, so that we can quickly identify what approvals you need. This form will need to be signed by your supervisor. Click here to download the ERF Coversheet Template.
If students wish to conduct research outside Cambridge for less than two weeks, they don’t need to apply for LTWA but must still complete a risk assessment. This applies to research trips in and outside of term time. Please refer to the risk assessment section above for further guidance.
No research should be undertaken unless approval has been granted by the Ethics, Risk and Fieldwork committee.


Please see the relevant deadlines to submit your risk assessments to your programme administrators by.  Failure to adhere to these deadlines may result in your application not being considered by the Committee in time for you conduct your research.


MPhil Programmes 

  • 3rd November 2023
  • 22nd January 2024


  • 2nd November 2023
  • 15th February 2024
  • 23rd May 2024

Once the ERF has approved the application, students will need to make a formal application through CamSIS as required by the University.  The information provided on your CamSIS application must be identical to the information provided on the application that was approved by the ERF. 

For more University information on the Leave to Work process, please visit the link below:

Work away | Cambridge students