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Bridging the Pacific

Visiting Scholar Program

Application Guidelines

Selection Criteria

The University of San Francisco’s Center for Asia Pacific Studies welcomes domestic and international scholars (PhD preferred) to apply for its Visiting Scholars Program. The program is designed for Visiting Scholars who wish to be in residence at the Center for 3-6 months during which time they will pursue independent research and interact with USF's faculty, students, and staff. Faculty on sabbatical are particularly encouraged to apply.  Please note this is not a fellowship program; visiting scholars do not receive a salary/stipend and must be self-funded.  

University of San Francisco welcomes applications from active academic researchers and university faculty members in the humanities and social sciences whose proposed research meets the following criteria:

  • Research is relevant to the study of the Asia Pacific (Greater China, Japan, Korea, India, and the Philippines)
  • Preference will be given to applicants whose research is transnational, border-crossing, or comparative in nature
  • Research is in one of the following fields: history, literature, philosophy, religious studies, art history, political science, sociology, and anthropology  

Application Review

The Center for Asia Pacific Studies invites applications for stays from three to six months during the following time periods:

  • Fall Semester (August 15 – December) *Deadline February 1st
  • Spring Semester (January – May 15) *Deadline May 1st

The application process, from acceptance as a visiting scholar until arrival in the U.S., often takes at least three months and can take up to six months to complete due to visa regulations. Scholars should plan their arrival date accordingly.

Responsibilities of a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Asia Pacific Studies:

  • Visiting Scholars are responsible for conducting their own independent research while at the University of San Francisco.
  • Visiting Scholars are required to be in residence at the Center a minimum of three days per week during regular work hours.
  • Visiting Scholars are encouraged to present their research or otherwise take part in seminars or conferences organized by the Center if such opportunities arise during his/her stay.
  • Visiting Scholars are asked to acknowledge the Center for Asia Pacific Studies in any publications that result from research performed while affiliated with USF.  The Center appreciates copies of publications or papers completed during a fellow’s affiliation with the Center.
  • All Visiting Scholars are asked to submit a short (two page maximum) final report on the outcome of their research affiliation.
  • Visiting Scholars should plan to bring their own computer to use for their work.
  • Visiting Scholars are responsible for finding and making arrangements for their own housing for the duration of their stay.
  • International Visiting Scholars must meet funding and health insurance requirements for the duration of their period of affiliation.
  • We strongly recommend that visiting scholars purchase insurance through Aetna at the University of San Francisco as this insurance meets the federal requirements.
  • Visiting Scholars are asked to deliver a brown bag lecture or guest lecture a class.

Privileges of a Visiting Scholar:

  • Visiting Scholars enjoy full access to USF’s libraries and electronic resources.
  • Visiting Scholars will receive an e-mail account for use during the duration of their stay at USF.
  • Visiting Scholars are welcome to attend all announced public scholarly events and Center sponsored events on campus.
  • The Center provides each Visiting Scholar with a desk in a shared office space with access Monday – Friday 8:00 – 4:00 p.m. (except for University holidays).
  • Please note that this program is not intended for scholars to participate in classes at USF.  Auditing classes is at the discretion of individual faculty and must be arranged independently by Visiting Scholars.

A complete application consists of:

  • A cover letter/letter of introduction (in English)
  • A research proposal (2 page maximum) addressing the following:
    • Project title, research goals during period of affiliation, & brief statement on importance of affiliation
  • Proposed arrival date, end date and length of stay
  • Names and affiliations of any USF faculty with whom you have had contact about your proposed stay
  • Curriculum vitae (in English)
  • If you are not a US citizen, please answer the following questions:
    • Where are you now?  (U.S., home country, different country?)
    • If you are in the US, what nonimmigrant visa classification do you currently hold?
    • Have you been in the US in J-1 or J-2 nonimmigrant status in the past two years?
    • What is your country of citizenship?  What is your country of legal permanent residence?
    • Do you have plans to engage in other activities (lectures, consultations, research, etc.) at any other U.S. institutions/organizations either prior to, during, or after your visit to USF.  If yes, please provide as much detail as possible (e.g. institution(s), dates, anticipated compensation [if any])
  • Proof of Funding:

Please note that non-US citizen applicants who are accepted in the program must submit documentation verifying and detailing funding for the entire period of their desired affiliation. If funding documentation is not in English, the applicant should provide a translation.

Note that USF’s minimum funding requirements are as follows:

  • Minimum $1,600 per month for scholar
  • Plus an additional $750 per month for spouse & dependents
  • Funding may come from any of the following sources or a combination of them:  Scholar's home institution — Requires letter of support which details amount of funding, use of funds, and date to which funding is guaranteed.
  • A fellowship awarded by the applicant's home government or a recognized international organization — Requires letter of support which details amount of funding, use of funds, and date to which funding is guaranteed
  • Personal funds — Requires a bank statement or letter detailing the total amount in savings available
  • Copy of passport information page for international applicants and any accompanying dependents

Complete applications may be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed directly to:

Center for the Asia Pacific Studies
Visiting Scholar Program
University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street 
San Francisco, CA 94117

Fax: 415-422-5933
Phone: 415-422-2590

Application Review Process:
Complete applications are reviewed by the Center for the Asia Pacific Studies Visiting Scholar Committee. Applicants will be notified of the Committee's decision in writing within a reasonable period of time.

Once Accepted:
Successful international applicants will be asked to pay the required non-refundable Center for the Asia Pacific Studies visa processing & affiliation fee of $705 prior to the Center submitting a request for a Certificate of Eligibility for J-1 Exchange Visitor Status (Form DS-2019).  Please find a breakdown of these fees below:

Visa Processing Fees for International Scholars


J-1 Visa Administrative Fee


Affiliation Fee




  • Fees must be paid in U.S. dollars and can be in the form of an international money order, cashier's check, or personal check payable to "University of San Francisco."
  • We are not able to accept wire transfers or payment by Western Union.

Upon Receipt of Payment: 
Upon receipt of payment and secondary application materials, the Center will submit the DS-2019 request to the International Student and Scholar Services Office for processing.  Once issued, the DS-2019 will be mailed directly to the visiting scholar who will then use this document to obtain the necessary visa.

  • Please note--after receipt of the DS-2019 and related materials, applicants are required to pay a one-time U.S. government Homeland Security processing fee of $160. Instructions on how to pay this fee will be sent to applicants with the DS-2019 and may also be found at
  • Once this fee has been paid, applicants will then contact the local Consulate or Embassy to apply for a J-1 exchange visitor visa. To find the address, phone number, and business hours of the nearest Consulate or Embassy, please visit the U.S. Department of State website: Usually an interview with the American authorities is required to secure the J-1 visa.

Preparing for Travel to USF

  • Once an invited Visiting Scholar has the visa in hand and travel plans scheduled, she/he should inform the Center of her/his arrival dates and schedule an appointment to complete the arrival verification process required by the U.S. government.