Application and recommendation process

Listed below are the application procedures and requirements for prospective visiting scholars to the Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University. Scholars may be invited to campus by faculty members in the Buffett affiliated units (as listed under Programs & Groups), or they may be independently sponsored by a Northwestern faculty member.

Visiting scholars are expected to remain in residence for the duration of the appointment and actively contribute to the intellectual life of the University.

Recommendation process

Please note that the preparation time for processing scholars is at least six months for international visitors and at least two months for domestic visitors. Consider this timing when submitting your application. For H1-B visitors, please email or call Frances Lowe for further instructions.

Buffett-sponsored scholars

In conjunction with the sponsoring Buffett group director or faculty member, complete the Visiting Scholar Application in FluidReview.

As part of the application process, the visiting scholar will be asked to:

  1. complete the application form
  2. upload the sponsor’s endorsement letter*
  3. include a brief description of current research
  4. upload a current CV

*The sponsoring Buffett group director or faculty member will be asked to write an endorsement letter explaining why it would be valuable to have the visitor on campus. Visiting scholars should secure this endorsement before beginning the application.

Independent scholars

In conjunction with the sponsoring Buffett group director or faculty member, complete the Visiting Scholar Application in FluidReview.

As part of the application process, the independently sponsored visiting scholar will be asked to:

  1. complete the application form
  2. upload the sponsor’s endorsement letter*
  3. include a brief description of current research
  4. upload a current CV

*The sponsoring Northwestern faculty member will be asked to write an endorsement letter explaining why it would be valuable to have the visitor on campus, and how the visitor will contribute to the intellectual life and research activities at Northwestern University.

Support

Visiting scholars do not typically receive financial remuneration for the period of appointment.

Visiting scholars will receive a NetID, University email account, access to library facilities, and elective health insurance coverage. In rare cases, modest office space and furnishings may be also available. Housing is the sole responsibility of the visiting scholar.

Approval process

If the appointment is approved, the visitor will receive a letter of invitation from the Buffett Institute Director. 

The visitor will then work with Frances Lowe to complete the next steps in the application process. This includes work with:

  • The Risk Management Office, which approves insurance.
  • The Office of Research, which approves the visit. 
  • The International Office, which prepares the DS-2019 for J-1 visas and approves the B-1/WB for those who fall under that category.

Requirements and regulations

Revised J-1 Visa regulations

Prior to issuance of a DS-2019, English proficiency must now be verified by one of the following choices:

  • Recognized English Language Proficiency Test (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.). If selected, scores must also be provided.
  • Exchange Visitor completed a degree from an institution where the course of instruction was in English.
  • Exchange Visitor completed an English as a Second Language Program/Course. If selected, a copy of the certificate attesting to English proficiency must be attached.
  • Documented interview (in person, by Skype/video conference, or telephone). If selected, you must specify which applies and the date of the interview.

NU minimum health insurance requirement

Visiting scholars who wish to utilize health insurance other than that afforded by the University may request to waive enrollment in the Visiting Scholar Health Insurance Plan. To qualify for a waiver, outside insurance must meet or exceed the level of coverage required by Northwestern University. In our experience, there are no exceptions to this policy. If the visitor is not able to document this coverage, they may consider purchasing insurance through the Office of Risk Management.