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Visiting Scholars

Information for Prospective Scholars

Information 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, by both junior and senior scholars, 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 post doc scholar.

There is no specific deadline for visiting scholar applications.

Please note the following information regarding the benefits provided to scholars, expectations for their participation in the CIHE and Boston College communities, the application process, and various practical matters:


The benefits of affiliation with the Center include access to the many academic resources of the university, including the extensive online and physical library holdings of Boston College. Scholars are frequently given permission to sit in on courses of interest within the department of Educational Leadership and Higher Education, the Lynch School of Education, and the broader Boston College community. Scholars are also typically invited to attend staff meetings of the Center, and to engage professionally and socially with the Center staff. They are also welcome to participate in many different types of events and activities across the university of a cultural, academic, and social nature.


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. As such, during a sojourn of less than one semester, scholars are asked to deliver at least one guest lecture (and/or provide a similar contribution to the community); scholars who remain for more than one semester will be asked to deliver one guest lecture (and/or similar contribution to the community) per semester.

Visiting scholars are also asked to submit one contribution to International Higher Education, the newsletter of the Center, during their stay. The ultimate publication of contributions is, of course, subject to editorial review.

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. Information on local housing can be accessed here: /offices/reslife/offcampus.html

Boston College can provide support with visa documents related, 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:

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

Application Process and Selection Criteria

Requests for status as a visiting scholar may be submitted at any time and should include the following components:

  • A letter of interest, giving
    • the rationale for wanting to spend time at the Center
    • a detailed explanation of the planned research to be undertaken
    • a description of the ways in which the scholar believes he/she can contribute to the intellectual life of the CIHE/BC community, and
    • the desired dates of the sojourn
  • A current cv
  • For junior scholars, a letter of reference from an advisor or more senior colleague

If approved by the Center, applicants’ materials are then passed to the Dean of the Lynch School of Education, 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.

Further Information

Please direct all inquiries regarding visiting scholar matters to Dr. Laura Rumbley, Associate Director of CIHE, at