IRWGS Visiting Scholar Policy

*Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, IRWGS is temporarily pausing support for visiting status for the 2020-21 academic year. We recommend that prospective scholars wait to apply for visiting scholar status beginning in the fall of the 2021-22 academic year*

The Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality (IRWGS) periodically welcomes scholars for a term of up to one year who wish to engage in independent, non-collaborative research in the area of Gender and Sexuality Studies. Most people who obtain the visiting scholar designation are international scholars, though requests from domestic scholars are also accepted.

The Visiting Scholar designation is a courtesy designation that does not signify a formal association with the University. As such, individuals given these titles may not claim a Columbia University affiliation for the purpose of applying for grants or contracts and should not represent themselves in their publications, correspondence, and/or curriculum vitae as having a Columbia University affiliation.

The Visiting Scholar designation through IRWGS is designed to link the visiting scholar with the Columbia community to further their research by providing connections to faculty members and encouraging participation in the community of the Institute. Applicants are expected to demonstrate a strong intellectual link to the work IRWGS is engaged with, as well as a clearly defined program of research and/or study while in residence—the designation is not designed to be extended as a professional courtesy.

Visiting Scholars are provided with access and borrowing privileges to Columbia’s library, as well as the potential opportunity to present their research in a seminar or lecture sponsored by IRWGS. They also have the option to audit courses at the Institute with the permission of the instructor.

Visiting Scholars are not provided funding by Columbia, nor are they provided office space. Applicants are responsible for arranging and demonstrating their own financial support and benefits (including health care coverage) while in residence, including travel to and from New York, living expenses, suitable housing, and other expenses that may arise.

To Apply:

Prior to receiving an invitation letter from the Institute, the University requires that all potential visiting scholars/scientists and their home institutions undergo “restricted party” screening before the request for the visiting designation is submitted to Columbia's Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.

The following information must be submitted to irwgs@columbia.edu (Subject Line: “Visiting Scholar Application”) to be included with the initial screening request:

  • the proposal outlining the specific research the visitor plans to do within the context of their overall research project while using the University’s libraries or other research facilities and its relevance to the Institute’s larger mission;
  • the proposed visitor’s curriculum vitae;
  • the name of the faculty member who will serve as the visitor’s sponsor.
    • The faculty sponsor should also fill out the following form: IRWGS Visiting Scholar Faculty Sponsor Form. The form confirms the support of the faculty sponsor of your application, as well as their availability to the visiting scholar for collegial (rather than collaborative) support during the term of the visit.

This information will be submitted by the Institute to the Vice Provost's Office for review. Once the approval from the Vice Provost’s Office has been received, a committee led by the IRWGS Associate Director will review approved applications for sponsorship.

Once an application is approved by the committee, Visiting Scholar status is dependent on the ability of the scholar to meet the requirements set out by the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) for either J-1 sponsorship (the only visa type accepted for the visiting scholar designation) or non-J-1 sponsorship (for domestic scholars who are US citizens or Permanent Residents). IRWGS will work with those scholars who have application support in order to submit the required documentation for approval of the Visiting Scholar status with ISSO.