Step 1: Obtain a faculty sponsor
Scholars who wish to apply to be a Visiting Scholar with the African Studies Program must first seek out a faculty sponsor able to support their research. This person is called a faculty sponsor. Contact the faculty member directly and send the following items via email:
- A research proposal of approximately two pages that includes your proposed start and end dates at the top of the document. The proposal should briefly describe your position and recent and/or current research. The remainder of the proposal should describe what work and research you want to accomplish while at Indiana University. It should include a specific explanation of why being a Visiting Scholar in African Studies is necessary to facilitate this research (ex: use of African Studies Collection; collaboration with fellow scholars of Africa).
- Curriculum vitae.
- Domestic scholars should submit their application a minimum of two months before the proposed start date. This means that a faculty sponsor must be secured more than three months before the proposed start date.
- International scholars should submit their application a minimum of eight months before the proposed start date to allow enough time to complete the J-1 visa request process, which can take four to six months. This means that a faculty sponsor must be secured more than eight months before the proposed start date.
Once you have a faculty member who has agreed to sponsor you, proceed to Step 2.
Step 2: Apply for program approval
After you have secured a faculty sponsor, you must complete the following application for African Studies Program approval:
- A completed Visiting Scholar application form
- A commitment in writing from an African Studies faculty/faculty affiliate member stating that they will serve as your faculty sponsor.
- A proposal of no more than two pages describing the work and research to be accomplished while at Indiana University Bloomington, including a specific explanation of why working at the African Studies Program is necessary to facilitate this research.
- A current curriculum vitae.
- Proof of English-language proficiency that is sufficient to meet US J-1 Exchange Visitor visa requirements. The proof must be dated within the last twelve months and must be one of the following methods:
- A recognized English language test. See the Office of International Services for a list of accepted tests and minimum scores.
- Signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school confirming proficiency level.
- A documented interview conducted by the faculty sponsor either in-person or by videoconferencing.
Send the completed application via email to the African Studies Program’s Director. Once the application is received, it will be reviewed for eligibility and approval by the program, usually at the Executive Committee meeting after the application submission. The full application process then begins.
Visiting Scholar applications may be submitted during the academic summer sessions but will not be reviewed until the first Fall semester Executive Committee meeting. Please make sure you think about the timeline with regard to when you wish to be in residence on the IU campus.
If the application is approved by the Executive Committee, an invitation letter will be created for the applicant, and the following items must be sent via email as soon as possible:
- Indiana University personnel profile forms
- Copy of passport ID page.
- Copy of all dependent passport ID pages (if spouse and/or children will be coming with the visiting scholar).
- Proof of financial support showing funds of at least $1,200 per month during the entire stay, to show that sufficient funds are available to pay for housing, utilities, food, etc.
- For Visiting Scholars who wish to bring a spouse and/or their children, proof of additional funding will be required.
*The African Studies Program does not have funds for housing and living expenses for Visiting Scholars. You may request a shared office space within African Studies and computer access, but this is not guaranteed.
Once all required materials are received, the program will request Visa Certification (Form DS-2019) with the Indiana University Office of International Services on the scholar's behalf. When the DS-2019 has been issued, an email confirmation is sent that includes an International Scholar Pre-Arrival Guidebook. Please consult the website of the Office of International Services for additional information on J-1 scholars.
International applicants should be aware that the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) now requires the collection of a one-time SEVIS fee of US $180.00 from Visiting Scholars on J-1 visas. The fee must be paid by the applicant after the DS-2019 has been issued and before the J-1 is approved. Details are available on the Office of International Service's website.
Health insurance coverage is mandatory for all international visitors and their families. Visiting scholars are eligible to purchase Indiana University health plans and should contact International Services for information regarding enrollment in said health plans. If comparable health insurance is provided by the scholar's home institution, it will not be necessary to arrange insurance here. However, documentation in English of that insurance must be provided upon arrival at Indiana University Bloomington. This information should include the amount and extent of coverage.