Overseas Visiting Scholars Program
The University of Kansas School of Law regularly hosts visiting scholars from around the world. These scholars are warmly welcomed and integrated into the life of the law school. Scholars receive an office and computer access, as well as full use of the Wheat Law Library and other facilities.
The program aims to provide an opportunity for professors, practitioners and graduate students from other countries to enrich their own experience and the KU Law community. The result is a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship between the scholar and KU Law faculty and students.
Visiting Scholar Selection, Appointment and Expectations
Use the menu below to learn more about the criteria and process for becoming an overseas visiting scholar at KU Law.
In order to be eligible for an invitation to come to KU Law as a visiting scholar, a person should meet these criteria:
- A prospective visiting scholar may be a foreign-based law teacher, legal practitioner or student enrolled in a graduate (i.e., doctoral or master's degree, but not first-degree) law program. The Visiting Scholar likely will be a foreign citizen, but in some cases may be an American citizen (e.g., working or teaching abroad).
- A prospective visiting scholar must have a defined research project on which he or she plans to work while in residence.
- A prospective visiting scholar must be sufficiently proficient in English so that the scholar can engage in their research project and function on a day-to-day basis. In accordance with federal regulation, the University must verify English language proficiency through one of the following options: 1) a recognized English language test, 2) signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school, or 3) a video conference interview with KU's Applied English Center. Additional information regarding these verification options, including recognized tests and test scores, is available through International Support Services. Visiting Scholars are also allowed one free Applied English Center course, which may be requested through their iHawk account.
- Consistent with the goal of the Visiting Scholar Program, a prospective visiting scholar should have strong credentials suggesting that the scholar is, or is likely to become, a significant professional figure in their field in their home country.
A prospective visiting scholar must have communicated in advance with at least one member of the KU School of Law faculty with whom the scholar would like to work while in residence. The visiting scholar and that faculty member must agree the faculty member will serve as the "Liaison" for the scholar while the scholar is in residence.
A prospective visiting scholar must apply by sending a cover letter indicating their interest, and a resume. These documents must be sent to the Associate Dean for Administration, and to the faculty member who has agreed to serve as a liaison.
The decision to appoint a person as a visiting scholar is made by the Dean, in consultation with the prospective Liaison and possibly other interested faculty. The appointment is made by a letter of invitation from the Dean, or with the permission of the Dean, from the Liaison. The appointment shall be as a "Visiting Scholar." However, in rare and appropriate circumstances, the Dean may wish to adjust this title commensurate with the distinction of the visitor to, for example, "Distinguished Visiting Scholar."
While in residence, a visiting scholar is encouraged to:
- Present the research project on which the scholar is working at a public forum which KU Law faculty members may attend (e.g., a Legal Research Workshop or other suitable event); and
- Lead an informal discussion (e.g., a lunchtime forum) about the home country of the visiting scholar, which both students and faculty may attend.
Term and Administrative Circumstances of Appointment
Use the menu below to find more information about the term of appointment, available facilities, accommodations, fees and funding for overseas visiting scholars.
The duration of residence for a visiting scholar is flexible, depending on the needs and interests of the scholar, the liaison, and the law school. In most cases, it is expected the duration will not be less than one month, nor will it exceed one academic year plus the preceding or succeeding summer.
Visiting scholars receive shared office space and a computer has internet access and is linked to a printer. Regular support staff assistance cannot be provided to a visiting scholar. However, limited help may be possible, occasionally, depending on the work volume of the support staff.
A prospective visiting scholar must arrange their own travel and residence accommodations. While individuals at KU Law may be of assistance in either or both of these matters, such assistance is not to be expected. On-campus housing for visiting scholars is limited. More information about on-campus housing is available through International Support Services.
Lawrence offers a variety of off-campus housing options. For general tips about leasing in Lawrence, review the Housing Legal Resources information provided by KU Legal Services for Students.
Once an invitation has been extended and accepted by a prospective visiting scholar, the School of Law will initiate the J-1 application process through KU's International Support Services iHawk website. The prospective visiting scholar will then receive further instructions regarding the submission of various e-forms.
The prospective visiting scholar is responsible for completing all forms and providing all documentation necessary for KU to review, analyze and issue a Form DS2019.
Upon receipt of the DS2019 and payment of the SEVIS fee, the prospective visiting scholar will apply for a J-1 visa at the U.S. embassy/consulate and schedule a visa interview.
A modest fee is charged to visiting scholars. This fee covers the considerable expenses (both direct costs and overhead) that the KU School of Law incurs to provide excellent support services to each visiting scholar.
These services include office facilities, computer access (hardware and software), access to all KU libraries, and other related on-campus benefits – plus the opportunity to attend any class at the law school. Due to the need for attorney-client confidentiality, visiting scholars may not be able to observe all sessions of certain clinical or field placement courses.
The fee is U.S. $5,000 per year (two semesters, including the summer), or U.S. $2,500 per semester (fall or spring semester). The fee is pro-rated for visiting scholars staying for a period other than a year or semester.
In unusual circumstances, typically involving a prospective visiting scholar who comes from a developing or least developed country and who can demonstrate that he or she faces specific conditions of financial hardship, a lower fee may be negotiated. Fee reduction requests should be made at the time of application. The agreed-upon fee will be clearly stated in the formal letter of invitation. Payment upon arrival or as outlined in the letter will be expected.
In addition, the KU International Affairs (KUIA) office charges separate fees for non-immigrant visa services. These fees cover the average professional time involved in initial J-1 processing and support ($207) or the processing and support for a J-1 program extension ($103). The law school has no authority to negotiate or waive these separate fees, which are imposed and collected directly by KUIA.
Prospective visiting scholars must arrange their own funding. Presently, and for the foreseeable future, no funds exist to cover expenses incurred by the visiting scholar, nor to pay a stipend. However, the law school, like the rest of the university, welcomes Fulbright Scholars and waives tuition and fees for Fulbright Scholars.
Previous Visiting Scholars
More About Previous Visiting Scholars
In previous years, KU Law has welcomed visiting scholars from countries including China, Germany, India, Pakistan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.