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Visiting Scholar

The designation of Visiting Scholar or Visiting Student Researcher (hereafter referred to as “Visiting Scholar”) is a privilege accorded to an individual visiting from, and affiliated with, an outside university, institution, or business who is temporarily in residence at Iowa State. The definition of visiting scholar includes any unpaid visiting faculty (i.e., Fulbright Scholars and faculty from other academic institutions during a period of sabbatical at their home institution).

The reason for the visit is generally to conduct research in a university facility, collaborate with university faculty on specific projects, or observe university research, extension/outreach, instruction, or administration. The specific purpose must be stated in the Visiting Scholar Request form, managed by the Individual Host and Administrative Host, and approved by the respective college dean/vice president and the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost as required. The maximum duration of each visit is one year. At the conclusion of the visit, the visiting scholar is expected to return to their home institution or country to utilize the experience and skills acquired while at Iowa State.

Visiting Scholars are not employees or students of Iowa State University and are therefore not entitled to compensation or to benefits available to regular faculty, staff, or students. Visiting Scholars must abide by general University policies during their stay.

Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost Visiting Scholar Information

Host Responsibilities:

  • Individual Host: An Individual Host is any current (active) University employee who hosts a visiting scholar pursuant to the Visiting Scholars Policy.
    • In most cases, the Individual Host will be the Iowa State faculty member who – along with the Administrative Host – invites a visiting scholar to Iowa State.
  • Administrative Host: The Administrative Host is the designated University representative within a college, department or school, center or institute, or unit where the visiting scholar will be present. The Administrative Host is an administrator who can extend an invitation to – and provide guidance and supervision for – the visiting scholar.
    • The Administrative Host is most often the department chair/director though it may be the dean/associate dean.
    • The Administrative Host must also consult with the Office of the Dean of the College (if not dean or associate dean), the Vice President for Research, or equivalent administrator for approval and coordination of responsibilities to host.

Hosting Procedures:

Step-By-Step Visiting Scholar Flowchart

It is recommended that the Individual Host first:

  1. Review the policy and guidelines to ensure that the proposed visiting scholar meets the minimum eligibility criteria.
  2. Consult with the department chair/director and the Office of the Dean/VP, respectively before submitting a request to host a visiting scholar. The respective academic leader, or their designee, may be the Administrative Host as described in policy.
  3. Contact the respective Administrative Support Staff in your college dean’s office. They will guide you through the process to request to host a visiting scholar.

Additional Resources:

Questions? Contact Shelley Taylor at