I am a faculty member at another institution. How do I apply to be a visiting scholar at Harvard?

Visiting scholar positions are unpaid, non-teaching research appointments that enable scholars who have completed a Ph.D. and hold tenure-track appointments at other institutions to conduct research at Harvard University.

WGS welcomes a limited number of qualified visitors whose academic interests intersect directly with the teaching and research activities of our faculty. Because faculty and students thrive on intellectual engagement with guest researchers, visitors are encouraged to participate actively in the life of WGS and the University, attending lectures, conferences, film showings, and classes with the permission of the instructor. Visitors may be invited to present an informal talk or seminar during their stay.

Although visiting scholar appointments carry no financial support of any kind, they enable a visiting researcher to obtain a Harvard ID card, which gives access to university libraries, museums, and an email address. The University does not provide visa assistance for scholars coming from outside the U.S. Visitors are entirely responsible for obtaining funding, making their own travel and living arrangements, and obtaining health insurance. WGS is unable to provide office space or supplies.

The appointment is made for a minimum of three months and a maximum of one year. All appointments follow the academic year (start date can be no earlier than July 1, and end date no later than June 30).

All visiting scholars must obtain faculty sponsorship and conduct research in a field directly related to current faculty interests. Please visit our Faculty page to determine if any active faculty interests closely match your own. (Note: Lecturers or faculty on leave are not eligible to sponsor visitors.) Contact the faculty member directly to inquire about sponsorship. Please provide the faculty member with:

  • A complete CV
  • A cover letter stating the dates you wish to be at Harvard
  • A detailed research proposal

If the faculty member agrees to support your application, please email all materials as attached Microsoft Word or PDF documents to wgs@fas.harvard.edu with the subject line “Visiting scholar application.” Application deadline is January 15 for the following academic year (January 15, 2020 for the 2020-21 academic year). Incomplete applications and those received without the pre-approval of a faculty sponsor will not be considered.

Visiting scholar applications will be reviewed by February 28. If your proposal is chosen, you will be notified in early March with further instructions. Please note you are welcome to apply to other Harvard departments at the same time if you have identified faculty in other programs who also match your research needs.