For Prospective Visiting Scholars

The Boston College Center for International Higher Education (CIHE) is pleased to entertain requests for visiting scholar status with the Center for sojourns of any length of time up to one semester (3-4 months).

A senior scholar is defined by the Center as a senior researcher, assistant, associate or full professor.

A junior scholar is either a doctoral student in the final stage of doctoral research or an early-stage postdoctoral scholar (although, please note that the Center does not offer formal, paid postdoctoral positions). 

As of 2022, early career researchers are eligible to apply to the Hans de Wit Fellowship for Visiting Scholars to support their time at CIHE.

About the Program


Visiting scholars associated with the Center are entitled to access the many academic resources of our university, including the extensive online and physical library holdings of Boston College. We view visiting scholars as an integral part of our community, so they are also involved in all of the Center’s regular events and other activities. As part of this, scholars are given permission to audit any course offered by the CIHE faculty (i.e. attend the class without gaining academic credit) and may also attend other courses within the department of Educational Leadership and Higher Education, the Lynch School, and the broader Boston College community, provided that the faculty member teaching the course approves.

Please note that the Center cannot provide direct or joint supervision for junior scholars as part of the visiting scholar program.


Visiting scholars are integrated members of the community of staff and graduate students at CIHE. Just as they derive benefits from their time at Boston College, they are expected to share their knowledge and expertise with the university community.

All scholars, regardless of background, are expected to share their research background in some capacity during their stay at Boston College. Scholars are asked to give a seminar as part of the CIHE visiting scholar seminar series, as well as to contribute where possible to classes related to the MA in International Higher Education.

Visiting scholars are also asked to contribute to one of the Center’s publications. Senior scholars should submit at least one article to International Higher Education during their stay. The ultimate publication of this contribution is, of course, subject to editorial review. Junior scholars may also contribute to IHE, but they may also choose to contribute in other ways (e.g. through participation in the WES-CIHE Summer Institute and its related publication).

If and when scholars publish and/or present research that they developed in a substantive way during their sojourn at Boston College, the Center would be grateful to receive some acknowledgement for having hosted the scholar during the relevant research period.

Where relevant, visiting scholars will be invited to submit papers, or contribute in other substantive ways, to any research projects or publications in which the Center is involved.

Practical Matters

The Center has the capacity to host 2-3 scholars at any one time. Scholars are provided with a designated desk and printing privileges. Most scholars bring their own laptops, although in special cases, use of a desktop computer through the Center may be arranged.

Scholars are responsible for securing their own funding to support their sojourn; they are also responsible for handling all of the logistical matters related to their stay, including all arrangements related to travel and housing.

Housing Info

Boston College can provide support with visa documents, as needed. If the visiting scholar is a non-native speaker of English and will apply for a J1 Exchange Visitor visa, the Center is required to assess the scholar’s English language proficiency, in order to determine that the scholar can successfully participate in his or her program and function effectively on a daily basis. English language proficiency can be assessed by the Center through one of the following ways:

  1. The results of a recognized English language test (TOEFL or IELTS)
  2. Signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school, or
  3. An interview

How to Apply


In order to be considered as a prospective visiting scholar, candidates must apply by April 1 (for Fall semester visits) or October 1 (for Spring semester visits). The Center does not accept visiting scholars who only wish to visit during the summer months (i.e. July and August).

Application Materials

A completed application includes the following:

  1. Completed Visiting Scholar Application Form
  2. A letter of interest, giving
    1. the rationale for wanting to spend time at the Center
    2. a detailed explanation of the planned research to be undertaken, and
    3. a description of the ways in which the scholar believes he/she can contribute to the intellectual life of the CIHE/BC community
  3. A current CV
  4. For junior scholars, a letter of reference from an advisor or more senior colleague

Materials should be submitted by email to

If approved by the Center, applicants’ materials are then passed to the Dean of the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, who in turn passes recommended applications along to the Office of the Provost. Final letters of invitation are issued to visiting scholars by the Provost. Scholars should expect that this approval process will take at least a month.

Application Form


Please note that scholars requiring a visa will be asked to pay a one-time fee of $125 to the Office of International Students and Scholars for their support with the required visa paperwork.

Further Information

Any questions about the visiting scholar program can be directed to Dr. Gerardo Blanco, Academic Director of CIHE.