Visiting Researcher/Visiting Artist Program

The Boston University Center for the Study of Asia invites applications from highly motivated scholars, artists, and literary figures from around the world with well-conceived projects to conduct self-supported scholarly, artistic or literary activity under the guidance of or in collaboration with BU Asian Studies faculty. Visiting Researchers and Artists can pursue their work and exchange ideas with our faculty, other visiting scholars, and with BU’s significant body of Asian Studies-related graduate and undergraduate students from around the world.

Application Process and Selection Criteria

Visiting Researchers and Artists enjoy full access to Boston University libraries to pursue their projects. Space permitting, Visiting Researchers and Artists are invited to observe classes and attend faculty workshops, lectures, and other academic/artistic events. Visiting Researchers and Artists are expected to arrange for their own funding to cover housing and other expenses.

The Center for the Study of Asia invites only a limited number of researchers or artists to be in residence at any given time. In reviewing the applications, we take into account each prospective visitor’s educational and experiential background, scholarly/professional achievements, area of academic or artistic interest, specific proposal, institutional affiliations and English language skills. Availability and interest of an Asian Studies faculty member to supervise or collaborate in the proposed project or otherwise mentor the visitor are necessary. Prospective visitors are encouraged to initiate contact with appropriate faculty members prior to submitting their application to arrange a suitable relationship. The relationship between a Visiting Researcher or Artist and a faculty mentor can range from close collaboration to general oversight. It is important that the nature and scope of the relationship, as well as the specifics of the prospective visitor’s project, be worked out by the two parties before we take final action on the application.

Interested prospective Visiting Researchers and Artists should send the following materials to the Director of the Boston University Center for the Study of Asia at the address indicated below:

  • An updated résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Two recent representative publications, writing samples, or artistic samples (creative writing, exhibits, performances) in electronic format, in English and/or in appropriate foreign languages
  • A description of the proposed project, including a statement explaining why the Boston University Center for the Study of Asia is an appropriate setting for the work
  • The name and a letter of support from a BU faculty member(s) agreeing to serve as his or her mentor.
  • A letter of recommendation from an academic colleague or supervisor
  • The proposed length and dates of the visit
  • If the prospective visitor is interested in observing a particular course or courses, a statement indicating the course(s) and the reasons for the interest
  • Because a high level of English competence is necessary to derive the maximum benefit from your research stay at Boston University, the language skills of non-native speakers of English are an important criterion for the selection process. Applicants whose native language is not English should describe their experience and training in English and the degree of their proficiency with the English language. English proficiency is a significant factor in granting invitations. TOEFL and academic records may also be requested.

Although we welcome applications from prospective Visiting Researchers and Artists at any time, individuals who wish to visit in the Fall term, which begins at the end of August, are encouraged to commence the application process early enough so that their applications can be completed prior to March 1. In all cases, applications should be completed no later than six months prior to the proposed visit.

Visas and Fees

Visiting Researchers and Artists working with faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences and auditing classes within the College are not assessed fees. If a scholar or artist has a faculty mentor in another School or College at Boston University, or wishes to take courses in another School or College, fees may be assessed by the School or College wherein the mentor resides or wherein courses are taken. Please check directly with the School or College you intend to take courses in.

Visiting Researchers and Artists working with faculty at BU’s School of Law and/or informally auditing courses at the School of Law pay a fee of $ 5,000 for an academic year. In cases where the length of stay will be less than a full academic year, the fee is $2,500 per semester or any part thereof. It is BU School of Law’s policy not to waive this fee.

Most visitors are supported by funding sources from their home countries or through sabbatical leave salaries from their home institutions. No financial aid, stipends, or housing subsidies are available for Visiting Researchers. Given the general cost of living in the Boston area, prospective visitors should carefully plan their short-term housing and other living expenses. Some general information about Boston’s various neighborhoods can be found at Boston University’s Getting to Know Your Neighborhood guide and at’s Guide to Renting.

Individuals whom we invite to visit will be provided with information about visas and other important details. They will also be asked by BU’s International Students and Scholars Office to supply requested paperwork to support their visa applications, including financial documentation. Such documents must be originals, in English, which certify US dollar financial sufficiency to cover expenses during their stay in the US.

All inquiries, applications, and supporting materials should be addressed by e-mail to:

Boston University Center for the Study of Asia
154 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215