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Visiting Scholars

Visiting Scholar Program at UT Austin's School of Information

Goals: The School of Information (iSchool) at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) welcomes applications for visiting scholars from across the U.S. and around the world. The Visiting Scholar program was established to further enhance and accelerate research at the iSchool, with additional potential benefits to student mentoring and education. From time to time, researchers (faculty, staff, post-doctoral fellows, and students) from other institutions (academic, government, private, or non-profit) may wish to engage in an extended, in-person collaboration with one or more of our faculty. Such researchers may apply for official Visiting Scholar status in order to gain access to UT Austin resources while temporarily residing in Austin for their visit.

Faculty Host Requirement: In order to apply to be a Visiting Scholar at UT Austin’s iSchool, it is the responsibility of a prospective visitor to identify an iSchool faculty member with whom they would collaborate during the visit. That faculty member must agree to serve as the faculty host for the visit and collaborate with the visitor throughout their stay. To find a potential host, we refer potential visitors to the iSchool’s faculty directory and research pages. Once a faculty member has agreed to serve as host, that faculty member will initiate the internal application process; the prospective visitor should contact this faculty host with any questions about the process.

Additional Requirements

  • English language skills. Visitors are expected to possess sufficient English Language proficiency to effectively conduct their program of research and to succeed in everyday interactions while in the U.S
  • Health Insurance. “In the interest of protecting our international students and visiting faculty, the Board of Regents requires that all J-1 visa-holders (as well as the accompanying spouse and dependents of J-1 visa-holders) be adequately covered by health insurance. Any visiting Research Affiliate, whether employed by the University or not, whose IAP-66 form for a J-1 visa has been processed by the International Office at UT is eligible for the same type of insurance as that which is available to students.” (Source: Visiting Scholar Benefits page).
  • Background Check. All visitors are required to pass a criminal background check.

Application Time: Applications are accepted year-round on a rolling basis. Foreign visitors needing J-1 visa sponsorship in order to enter the country for the visit are expected to apply at least six months in advance. Visitors not requiring visa sponsorship are expected to apply at least two months in advance. Application processing times vary, so visitors are encouraged to apply as early as possible before a desired visit.

Suggested Activities: In addition to collaborating with the faculty host, we encourage each Visiting Scholar to enrich the iSchool community in other ways during their stay, such as by:

  • Presenting a colloquium lecture. We strongly encourage each Visiting Scholar holding a Ph.D. to give such a talk at the start of their visit in order to introduce themselves to the community and create potential collaboration opportunities.
  • Exploring potential research collaborations with other UT iSchool faculty and students
  • Interacting regularly with iSchool faculty and graduate students
  • Participating in research colloquia and other relevant events
  • Initiating or participating in research reading groups
  • Participating in graduate seminars (with instructor approval)
  • Producing a working paper to be posted on the School’s web site
  • Inviting iSchool members to the visitor's home institution