Application Process and Selection Criteria
BU Law receives a large number of inquiries about visiting scholar opportunities, but invites only 10 scholars to be in residence at any given time. In reviewing the inquiries, BU Law’s Visiting Scholars Committee takes into account each prospective visitor’s educational and experiential background, scholarly achievements, area of academic interest, specific research proposal, institutional affiliations and English language skills - as well as the availability and interest of a BU Law faculty member to supervise or collaborate in the proposed research project or otherwise mentor the prospective visitor. Prospective visitors may initiate contacts with appropriate faculty members to try to arrange for a suitable relationship.
Each visiting scholar application is reviewed by BU Law’s Visiting Scholars Committee, regardless of whether the application was sent directly to a faculty member with whom a prospective visitor wishes to collaborate or to the school administration. In the latter situation, the Visiting Scholars Committee may ask members of the faculty who have research interests that are compatible with those of the prospective visitor to consider the application.
The relationship between a visiting scholar and a BU Law faculty mentor can range from close collaboration to casual oversight. It is important that the nature and scope of the relationship, as well as the specifics of the prospective visitor’s research project, be worked out by the two before the Visiting Scholars Committee takes final action on the application. A key element in the visiting scholar selection process is an oral interview - typically by telephone - of each prospective visiting scholar by the prospective faculty mentor to work out these issues and to assure that the two will be able to communicate comfortably.
Interested prospective visitors should send the following materials to the Visiting Scholars Committee at the address indicated below:
- A résumé or curriculum vitae
- A description of the proposed research, including a statement explaining why BU Law is an appropriate setting for the work
- The name of the BU Law faculty member or members whom the prospective visitor proposes to serve as his or her mentor. (A prospective visitor who has received the agreement of a BU Law faculty member to serve as mentor should provide a letter from the faculty member indicating his or her willingness to do so.)
- A letter of recommendation from an academic colleague
- The proposed length and dates of the visit
- If the prospective visitor is interested in observing a particular course, a statement indicating the course and the reasons for the interest
Prospective visitors 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 Visiting Scholar applications 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.
All inquiries, applications and supporting materials should be addressed to:
Visiting Scholars Committee
Boston University School of Law
765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215