Research Appointments

CSWR Visiting Scholars Program

Through its visiting scholars program, the CSWR welcomes scholars from outside the University to take up a temporary affiliation with the Center.

To be a visiting scholar requires an academic doctorate. The prospect of achieving the degree, even in the near future, does not count as fulfillment of this requirement. A visiting scholar is considered an independent researcher and may not register for and take classes for credit. For information on how to audit classes (not for credit) at Harvard Divinity School, please consult the instructions on auditing.

The appointment entitles the visiting scholar to a Harvard University ID card (which allows access to the Harvard University Libraries) and an HDS email account for the duration of the appointment. Visiting scholars are cordially invited to attend all Center and HDS community and public events.

A visiting scholar appointment does not carry any financial support. This is an unpaid appointment. No assistance is available for housing, insurance, moving expenses, visa fees, research funding, office space, copying, clerical support, etc. The Center is unable to offer courtesy library cards, or appointments, for any additional members of a scholar's family.

All one-term appointments run from September 1 to December 31 or from January 1 to May 31 (with a minimum stay of at least three months). All full-year appointments begin September 1 and end May 31 of any given academic year. Only in unusual circumstances can a visiting scholar's appointment be extended beyond the academic year. Any appointment longer than 12 months will also need to be reviewed by a faculty committee and will require the permission of the director.

An application must contain the following:

  • Current curriculum vitae;
  • Description of research project;
  • A signed statement or email message from a permanent member of the HDS faculty indicating his or her willingness to serve as a host while the candidate is at HDS; and
  • For those seeking J-1 Visitor Visas, a Certification of English Language Proficiency to be completed by the sponsoring member of the HDS faculty (see Note for Faculty Sponsors: Certification of English Language Proficiency below).
  • A completed Visiting Scholar Data Form for Unsalaried Appointments.

The deadline for visiting scholar applications is April 1 of each year for appointments commencing during the next academic year. Scholars will be informed within a month about their acceptance and will receive an appointment letter.

Note for Faculty Sponsors: Certification of English Language Proficiency

Harvard Divinity School faculty members who are considering sponsoring a visiting scholar who will require a J-1 Visitor Visa should note that they will be required to confirm that the prospective visiting scholar’s English language skills are sufficient to function on a day-to-day basis in the environment that is required to complete their program, based on the following criteria:

  • Recognized English Language Test (i.e. TOEFL, IELTS);
  • Document from an academic institution or English language school;
  • In-person interview (conversation);
  • Videoconferencing/Skype;
  • Telephone Interview (if in-person or videoconferencing is not possible);
  • Transfer/Repeat Visitor (English language proficiency established in previous J-1 stay); and
  • Other criteria, to be described by the sponsoring faculty member.

Please submit completed applications to Corey O'Brien.