Becoming a Visiting Researcher

The principal purpose of the African Studies Center is to foster research on Africa and disseminate findings through seminars, workshops, conferences, and publications. Africanist scholars can be appointed as visiting researchers in order to gain access to the many research tools available at Boston University, to become active participants in ASC activities, and to contribute to the research output of the center.

Appointment as a visiting researcher of the African Studies Center can be a mutually rewarding venture for both the applicant and the center. Affiliation as a visiting researcher does not involve salary or fringe benefits nor does it guarantee office space. It does, however, provide access to and involvement with an active community of scholars from around the world, faculty privileges which include full library use, a bookstore discount, access to the center’s many facilities, and support for generating and administering grant and contract activity for further research. In return, the center requires active participation in our program (see Section III, below).

Appointments are for a period of one year. Requests for reappointment may be made at the end of that period.

Please submit all materials below as PDFs to Assistant Director Eric J. Schmidt.

I.  Boston University requirements for initial affiliation

  1. Eligibility: visiting researchers must have an advanced degree or recognized expertise in their field, and they must have a source of financial support, including health insurance, from outside BU.
  2. A letter addressed to the Director requesting appointment, stating reason for request, research interests, and research plans for the period of appointment.
  3. A current curriculum vitae.
  4. Please identify a member of the Boston University faculty who will serve as your host during your appointment and have them send a letter to the Assistant Director confirming their willingness to serve as your faculty host, using the sponsoring faculty letter template available here.
  5. Once the African Studies Center Visiting Researchers Committee reviews your initial materials and indicates that it wishes to proceed with your appointment, Boston University will require a Researcher Acknowledgment Statement. If appointed, international visitors will be required to check in with the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) upon arrival at Boston University.

      II.  Boston University requirements for reappointment

      1. Eligibility: Boston University allows appointments to be renewed once for a second year. An extension beyond two years must be approved by the Dean’s Office and the Vice President and Associate Provost for Research.
      2. Items 35 in Section I above are required for reappointment. These should be updated for the reappointment and cannot be recycled from the previous appointment.

      III.  African Studies Center requirements for initial affiliation or for reappointment

      During the period of appointment, visiting researchers at the African Studies Center are expected to fulfill at least one of the following requirements:

      1. Submit a working paper to the center for publication consideration or co-author a research paper with an ASC faculty member.
      2. Present a paper or talk at the ASC or maintain an active research agenda that recognizes the ASC’s contribution (for the appropriate language to acknowledge ASC affiliation, check with the Assistant Director).
      3. Participate regularly in the intellectual life of the center, including in lectures and other educational events.


      See here for a list of current Visiting Researchers.