Why sponsor a visiting scholar?
Visiting Scholars sponsored through Northwestern Buffett gain access to our multidisciplinary, global intellectual community and find new opportunities for collaboration with their faculty hosts and others across the university.
In addition to pursuing their own professional and research agendas, previous Buffett Visiting Scholars have participated in a broad range of activities at the Institute, including:
- Meeting and consulting with Northwestern researchers, including Northwestern Buffett Global Working Groups
- Sharing stories of successful collaborations and cutting-edge research on our Breaking Boundaries Podcast
- Developing partnership opportunities with Northwestern Buffett's Global Collaboration team and faculty partners
Learn more about current and past Buffett Visiting Scholars.
Who is a Buffett Visiting Scholar?
To apply to the Buffett Visiting Scholar Program, applicants must have already established a relationship with two Northwestern faculty members who support their affiliation with Northwestern Buffett or affiliated programs and groups. We welcome applications sponsored by faculty from any school or department at the university.
Visiting scholars are typically individuals sponsored or employed elsewhere, by another university, a government agency, non-governmental organization or industry. Visiting scholars typically hold a PhD, MD or equivalent terminal degree in their discipline or have received equivalent professional recognition. They are most often at Northwestern for one year or less and paid by their sponsoring organization.
This application is not open to doctoral students. Northwestern faculty members interested in hosting a doctoral student should contact their department or the Northwestern Buffett Visitors team if they are a Northwestern Buffett affiliate.
How to apply:
1. Prospective visiting scholars complete and submit an application
- Faculty members who wish to sponsor a visiting scholar with Buffett support should direct the prospective visiting scholar to complete this application and help visitors specify objectives for their visit as well as plans for when, where and how the visit will take place. Sponsoring faculty will receive a copy of this submission.
- Faculty hosting a Fulbright Visiting Scholar should write to Northwestern Buffett’s Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives Samantha Nissen prior to beginning this process.
2. Sponsoring faculty members to submit sponsor attestation forms
- The role of the faculty sponsor is three-fold: to review the qualifications and credentials of a proposed visitor, to agree with the appointment and proposed plans, and to help facilitate visitor engagement with Northwestern University communities.
- Faculty sponsors play an upfront role in reviewing visitor materials and doing due diligence to ensure that a visitor will enhance, and not detract from, our reputation as an institute and a university.
- Additionally, in the attestation form, faculty sponsors may request Northwestern Buffett resources such as office space, housing and/or nominal funding requests such as university fees for visa processing or use of research facilities. The allocation of these resources will depend on their availability.
3. Northwestern Buffett’s Visiting Scholars Committee reviews applications
- A faculty committee composed of members of Northwestern Buffett’s Global and Faculty Advisory Councils serves an advisory role and will review the application materials, which include the prospective visiting scholar’s application and attestations from the sponsoring faculty member(s). The committee will evaluate the proposal to determine whether the visit will be consistent with school values, including academic excellence, collegiality, respect for others and commitment to diversity.
- This committee will provide recommendations to Northwestern Buffett’s Executive Director Annelise Riles, who determines the ultimate recommendation.
- Northwestern Buffett will notify both faculty sponsors and prospective visitors of recommendations within four weeks.
4. Northwestern’s Office for Research reviews applications
- When recommended by the Northwestern Buffett Visiting Scholars Committee, Northwestern Buffett will submit the appointment request to the Office for Research, which advises on and approves research appointments.
5. Northwestern Buffett and faculty sponsor(s) issue offer letters
- Upon receiving approval from the Office of Research, the Northwestern Buffett will issue a formal offer letter in collaboration with the faculty sponsor(s) and program. This offer letter outlines the terms of the appointment, including university policies and expectations for visitors. The Visiting Scholar will be required to sign and return this letter to begin the logistical onboarding for their appointment, including visa paperwork.
Threatened, Displaced or At-Risk Scholars
Northwestern Buffett collaborates with campus partners to welcome visitors who have lost their academic or professional positions or cannot remain in their home countries due to threats or actions from authoritarian regimes, persecution for their views or identities or other risks.