Visiting Scholars Requirements

In keeping with the university’s strategic priorities, St. John’s welcomes visiting scholars from around the world to undertake research, typically for a period of up to one year. The entire St. John’s community—faculty and students alike—benefits from the exceptional diversity and wealth of experiences and perspectives brought by international scholars.

Eligibility Requirements

Prospective visiting scholars should be faculty members and/or doctoral candidates from institutions outside the U.S., and should typically hold terminal degrees (e.g., Ph.D., Ed.D.) unless they are in-progress graduate students (usually, at the ABD stage). They must also have:

  • Sufficient English language proficiency to carry out the project specified for their stay at St. John’s.
  • A dedicated SJU faculty sponsor or mentor (for applicants with terminal degrees and those without, respectively), who will be responsible for facilitating their time at St. John’s.
  • Department chair and dean approval (or approval by his/her designate).
  • Adequate health insurance coverage for themselves and their dependents that covers them for sickness or accidents during the exchange, as mandated by the U.S. Department of State. (Note: the International Student and Scholar Services Office, also known as the ISSSO, will provide a list of recommended insurance companies to the scholar.)

Please note: Individual St. John’s college deans may set unique criteria for visiting scholars in their division, though these should not contravene the university’s overall policies.

Resources Available to Visiting Scholars:

  • Access to the University library, gym, and computer labs
  • A St. John’s ID and email account
  • Opportunities for collaborative research with SJU faculty
  • Access to presentations, lectures, and cultural events hosted by the University
  • Participation in events and training organized by the Center for Teaching and Learning

Generally Unavailable:

  • Computers
  • Funding
  • Office space (except as available in a given department)
  • Housing, though referrals can be made to reputable real estate companies

Application Process

Once St. John’s sponsors/mentors have “matched” with and committed to eligible visiting scholars, they must coordinate with the scholars to secure appropriate approvals. Prospective visiting scholars will need to submit the following:

  • A brief outline of the research that to be conducted at St. John’s.
  • A curriculum vitae.
  • A sponsor’s/mentor’s letter of approval. Note that any dedicated St. John’s faculty member may serve as a sponsor to faculty visiting scholars or as a mentor to in-progress doctoral candidates, and will be responsible for facilitating their time at St. John’s.
  • Proof of English Proficiency: a TOEFL score of at least 61 or an IELTS score of at least 6 (from last 5 years), signed documentation from an academic institution, or an interview via videoconferencing (must be submitted to the ISSSO to meet immigration requirements).
  • A DS-2019* Application Form signed by the sponsoring faculty member, dean and chair. The sponsoring department will need to e-mail the ISSSO at [email protected] with the scholar’s full name, date of birth, gender, and e-mail address. The ISSSO will then e-mail the scholar with instructions on how to submit a DS-2019 application online.
    • *A DS-2019 is a U.S. immigration form, supplied by St. John’s, that will allow the scholar to apply for a J-1 visa; once the DS-2019 is issued, the scholar must pay a $180 fee to the U.S. government.
    • The DS-2019 application will require financial documentation and a copy of the scholar’s passport, as well as copies of any dependents’ passports.