If you are a PhD student or academic and if you would like to visit us and spend some time at Lancaster, just get in touch.  We are happy to host visitors for different periods of time.. from a few weeks to six months or more.

If you are a PhD student, you will have to pay fees but in exchange you get full supervision, use of all facilities and the right to take part in courses etc.  If you are a visiting academic you have to pay a ‘bench fee’ of £50 per week, which entitles you to the use of all facilities, a space in a room, IT support etc.

If you want to visit just get in touch and we’ll tell you more.

Previous visitors

Tapio Reinekoski – Autumn 2022 and Spring 2023

Tapio Reinekoski is a doctoral researcher in sociology at Tampere University, Finland. His PhD project studies knowing in climate change governance and policy in cities in Finland. The project has looked into the knowledge ( and governance practices ( of climate work in city organisations and has mostly entailed designing and analysing policymaking exercises run with politicians and experts in different cities. His future work beyond the PhD will also cover insurance and cybersecurity. Bringing all these together is an interest in the ways the contingencies and uncertainties of futures are made do with, prepared for, and governed somehow, and in how different strands of social theory and methodologies can make sense of these efforts. 

About the visits to Lancaster 

So far, I’ve spent two month-and-a-half periods in Lancaster and the Centre for Practice Theory in autumn 2022 and spring 2023. I made new contacts also with the Climate Citizens group at the Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC). During my stays, I got refreshingly critical yet encouraging feedback from Elizabeth Shove and Stanley Blue to my own articles, both drafts and published, presented in the work-in-progress seminar of LEC scholars, joined the practice theory Reading Rooms, and met with other sociologists to read, talk and cook. Most of the time, however, I managed to treat both my visits as the writing retreats I hoped they would be and finished my solo paper on using the concept of prefigurative politics to encompass and analyse institutional governance and scenario exercising (still in review at the time of writing this), and a group paper on the different modes of preparedness for socio-environmental crises in Finnish public governance organisations (ditto). Being invited to talk about these papers and my other work while in Lancaster really spurred on my thinking and writing. 

Beyond academics, I was also impressed by the high standard of floorball maintained by Elizabeth, Stanley, and other Lancaster sociologists. A Finn who spent a large part of his adolescence chasing around the holed white ball was quickly humbled. 

My hunch on timing my trips to early autumn and spring turned out to be spot on. The lush greens and the bloom of all other colours around and beyond the city provided the serene surroundings for concentrating, relaxing, and, if only briefly, picking up running again. Lancaster also brought out the beginner birdwatcher in me and especially made me a fan of starlings. 


Serge Horbach – April 2019

It has been a great pleasure to stay in Lancaster with Elizabeth and her colleagues. Both intellectually and socially I had a great time: being part of reading groups, attending lectures and birthday parties, having film nights together and, most importantly of course, playing floorball, made me feel a genuine part of the team during the weeks I visited them. Having all these formal and more informal interactions has been a very good way of getting to know new people, their ideas and their work.

This has sparked some new insights for my own work on editorial and peer review practices, which I have increasingly came to look at as wild practices that are (or should be) tamed. The role of power exercised through practices and the influence of infrastructures in providing continuity or stability to practices, thereby potentially hindering change, have also appealed to me.
Add to all of this the great environments surrounding Lancaster, which I enjoyed during my long hikes in the weekends, and it should come as no surprise that I look back upon a very pleasant stay.

Stefan Laube – April 2019

Stefan Laube  is a postdoctoral researcher at the Open Topic Post Doc-Program of the Technische Universität Dresden. Among other things, his research interest is on how social practices relate to bodies, technologies and materialities. His recent research is on distributed and mediated practices of writing in politics. Previous work included techno-social practices of market observation in financial trading and the effects of telephone/screen technology for the performance of emotional labor in the call center. Since most of his research involves ethnographic fieldwork, he is also interested in further reflecting and developing ethnographic methodology.

This is what Stefan said about his visit

Visiting Lancaster has been an inspiring experience. I would like to thank Rachel Verrall for introducing me to the campus, and the the people at DEMAND for welcoming me warmly and inviting me to engage with their work. A special thanks goes to Elizabeth Shove and Carolynne Lord for helping me to organize my visit and making it a wonderful experience.

While being in Lancaster, I mainly worked on two things: First, I finished a journal article on the sociomateriality of adapting contents in political campaign work, which will appear in Media, Culture & Society soon. Secondly, I worked on a research proposal concerned with the contribution of various kinds of expertise in the making of migration politics. Most of my working hours consisted in trying to conceptualize in/visibility as an integral part of making political contents. Taking part in the “Connecting Practices”-event organized by the DEMAND centre as well as in a reading group on ethnography of infrastructure helped me a great deal with that.

What I enjoyed most in Lancaster was the beautiful nature: Walking and cycling at the canal and across the countryside, visiting the close coast at Morecambe, watching sheep, ducks, swans and birds. I also fell in love with the local pubs and their impressive varieties of ales and stouts. By taking part in the weekly matches at the campus, I also got to know an new kind of sport: floorball.