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Visiting Scholars: How to Apply

CSME staff process visiting research scholar requests for persons who come to IU through formal CSME exchange at the invitation of the Director and an affiliate faculty member of CSME.

Prospective research scholars who do not participate in a formal exchange program with CSME should first try to apply through another IU department or unit:

Only if there is no other appropriate IU unit and if the topic is within the CSME study area, should application be made through a CSME faculty sponsor.

Each IU school and department sets its own conditions for accepting visiting scholars. Some will arrange for faculty sponsors. (CSME visitors must arrange their own faculty sponsors.) Some can provide office space. (CSME cannot provide office space.)

CSME will assist CSME faculty who want to sponsor a visiting research scholar if the CSME professor will take full responsibility for gathering the information needed for the IU appointment and visa, will comply with CSME, IU, and US government policies, procedures and laws, and will serve as the point of contact for all correspondence from the scholar.


IMPORTANT:  Visiting research scholars must have proficiency in the English language sufficient for research and day-to-day living before applying to become a visiting scholar. Research scholars who need additional English instruction should take English classes before applying to become a CSME visiting scholar. The IU Intensive English Program is one study option to consider.



If no other IU department is more appropriate to the research topic than CSME and if the prospective visitor has sufficient English skill to conduct research without additional language instruction…

  1. The first step for a prospective CSME Visiting Research Scholar is to find a tenured or tenure-track CSME professor willing to serve as the faculty sponsor. For a list of CSME faculty and their contact info, see

  1. Send a letter or email to the professor to ask him or her to serve as the faculty sponsor.

  1. Include a curriculum vita.

  1. Include a brief description of the research project.

  1. Include a description of the IU resources the scholar has identified which make an IU visiting scholar appointment necessary to the project.

  1. Include a description of the expected end product from the research. This is usually, but not always, a publication. (Name the targeted journal or press.)

  1. Include the proposed start date and end date for the visit to IU. (An estimate within 30 days is okay.)


  1. The faculty sponsor will give a copy of the cv and research project description to the CSME Director and request their approval for the faculty sponsor to send a letter of invitation to the scholar.

  1. The faculty sponsor will write the letter of invitation to the scholar and will have it reviewed for accuracy by the CSME administrative assistant to the Director before mailing it to the scholar. Please be sure to send a copy to CSME on this correspondence.

    Some situations will require the faculty sponsor to send a second, revised letter of invitation, for example to specify the exact beginning and ending dates for the visit to match the DS-2019 application and prevent complications during the scholar’s visa interview at a US Embassy or Consulate.

  1. The faculty sponsor will collect the following information from the scholar and will submit it to the CSME department administrator when fully complete:

10A. Completed and signed IU Personal Profile ED form from the University Human Resources website. A faxed or scanned copy of the signed form is okay, but it must be signed.

10B. Scholar’s telephone number, fax number, e-mail address and home mailing address including postal code.

10C. Non-US citizens only-- Photocopy or scan of the passport identification page or pages (photo, name, birth date, passport expiration date).

    NOTE: Non-US citizens will be denied entry at the US border if the passport expires within six months of arrival, so renew in advance of travel. It is not necessary to renew before submitting information for preparation of the DS-2019 (J-1 visa) application form.

  1. Non-US citizens only-- If the visitor is not a US citizen the faculty sponsor will determine if a visa is required, will collect the following information from the scholar, and will submit it to the CSME department administrator only when complete.

    See the State Department's website for a list of countries eligible to travel to the US without a visa. US policy requires Canadians, Swedes and other visa waiver program travelers to present either a machine readable passport or a US visa at the US point of entry. For more information about temporary visits to the US see this website.

The faculty sponsor should try to submit information no less than four months in advance to allow time for CSME and Indiana University Office of International Services processing, embassy/consulate visa interview, etc. In some cases, the visa process could take six months or longer because of long waits for embassy/consulate interviews.