Visiting Scholars/Scientists


Certain persons who are not entitled to appointments as officers of instruction or research but who wish to use the facilities of the University to pursue their own research may be named visiting scholar or visiting scientist. This status is conferred by the Associate Provost and Director of the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO), on behalf of the Provost, and on the recommendation of the department chair. 

The title of visiting scholar/scientist is generally reserved for persons in one of the following categories:

  • scholars from American universities and colleges outside the New York metropolitan area who are on leave from their home institutions and who are not teaching at the University or participating in a research project sponsored by it;
  • graduate students from other American universities and colleges;
  • members of research laboratories or institutions; staff and students of foreign academies and universities;
  • officials and former officials of government or non-government organizations, such as the United Nations, and their affiliates;
  • practicing professional and creative artists; and
  • such other persons as will contribute to the intellectual activity of the University, as approved by the Associate Provost on the request of the school, department, institute, or center.


Visiting Scholar FAQs

Q: Who are visiting scholars and how can I obtain this designation?
A: Visiting Scholars are individuals invited by faculty sponsors and the department chair to use Columbia resources for independent, non-collaborative research. Potential Visiting Scholars should identify and get in touch with a faculty member about the possibility of sponsoring their research. Once a faculty member agrees to sponsor a scholar and confirms with the department chair that s/he will not be on leave during the proposed period of research, the potential Visiting Scholar will work with the Department of History to initiate the application process with the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO). 
The university’s description of a Visiting Scholar may be reviewed in The Faculty Handbook

Q: How can I get the necessary visa?
A: The Department of History works with faculty sponsors, the department chair, and ISSO to secure J-1 visas for eligible scholars. If you have already secured a visa via an avenue such as a Fulbright scholarship, the department will still need to obtain certain documents from you in order to register you as a visitor with ISSO. Information on how this process generally works within departments can be found here. Guidelines on maintaining your J-1 visa status can be found here.

Q: What borrowing privileges will I have as a visiting scholar?
A: Visiting Scholars are automatically given borrowing privileges once they arrive to campus and pick up their ID cards. More details are provided online.

For more information on resources available to Visiting Scholars, please visit this website.

Current Visiting Scholars, Sponsors, and Fields of Study

Houssine Alloul (Belgium) – M. Mazower
Euro-Ottoman Interactions

Alana Camoça (Brazil) – C. Gluck
Asian Studies

Lynne Foote (United Kingdom) – C. Blake
Black American Cultural History

Ruizhi Guo (China) – M. Ngai

Anastasia Koukouna (Switzerland) – M. Mazower
20th Century Greek History

Alexa Stiller (Switzerland) – M. Mazower
Modern History

Nianda Yao (China) – A. Stephanson
Cold War History