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Visiting Scholars

Aerial view from outside columns down arcade in Main Quad


“Visiting Scholar” is an official University designation, which extends the privileges of the University to scholars established in their fields who wish to be in residence at Stanford for a limited period of time (usually from 3 months up to a year).  This is a courtesy appointment for scholars with a Ph.D. or equivalent degree, and it carries no Stanford salary support; those who are still working toward a Ph.D. must apply for Visiting Researcher (student) status.  Visiting Scholars are expected to obtain their own support from their own universities, grants, or other sources.  If this external support is designated as postdoctoral support, please contact our Student Services Manager (Jeanne Su) about how to proceed since the application process differs slightly from that described below.

Read Stanford’s official policy regarding Visiting Scholar Status

Application Procedure and Deadlines

All Visiting Scholars must be nominated by a sponsor on the department’s regular faculty and must then be approved by the department faculty as a whole.  It is recommended that prospective visitors contact a potential sponsor from the regular faculty before submitting a formal application.  Please be aware that faculty members in the department can sponsor no more than two visitors at once.

Prospective Visiting Scholars should then write a letter of application to the Department Chair describing their research interests and plans for research and study during their visit to Stanford.  The letter should indicate the proposed length of stay and the name of the faculty member in the department who would serve as sponsor.  The letter should also indicate other faculty members and research groups they expect to interact with, and any classes they hope​ to attend.  The letter should also discuss the ways in which the visitor’s research and educational objectives will be of benefit to the department.  Please include a CV with the letter of application.

The application materials must reach the department by January 15th prior to September 1st of the academic year to be spent at Stanford.  Because the department receives more applications than it can accommodate, it is very important that applications arrive by the appropriate deadline; late applications are unlikely to be accepted.  Notification of appointment will be made in the spring.  Those who are applying for grants which require that the institution which they propose to visit be listed must obtain the department’s approval before submitting the application.  In this case, the department should receive the materials detailed above at least two months before the application due date, in order to give the department enough time to decide whether it will support the application.  The department has limited resources for visitors and is unable to accept all who submit an application.  (Please note that individuals applying for a J-1 visa will be required to submit proof of English proficiency.)

Please send applications to the Chair, currently Dan Jurafsky.

Application-related Fees

Stanford charges a fee (currently $125) for preparation of the initial and transfer DS-2019 documents for J-1 Visiting Scholars and family members, and a fee of approximately $25 is charged for mailing of the documents via international courier.  These fees are payable to the Department of Linguistics upon the visitor’s arrival.

Privileges and Associated Fees

Stanford ID Card

Visiting Scholars will have the benefit of the title “Visiting Scholar” and those in residence for at least 90 days will be issued a photo ID upon payment of a fee (currently $25) and will be accorded library privileges at the University Libraries and access to campus recreational facilities, excluding the golf course.  Spouses of Visiting Scholars do not have library or other privileges, though individual arrangements can on occasion be made for access to sports facilities.

Learn more about Campus Card Services

Health Benefits

Health benefits are not provided.  Visiting Scholars on J-1 visas are required to carry health insurance for themselves and their J-2 dependents for the full duration of their J program.

Learn more about Health Insurance and Medical Resources

Facilities and Equipment

The department regrets that it has no office space for visitors.  It is also unable to provide computers for visitors.  The department recommends that visitors who need regular access to a computer for writing or research bring one with them or buy one here.  Visitors must pay for copying, postage, long distance telephone calls and faxes, and their own secretarial services.  Visitors are welcome to attend classes (with the instructor's permission) and colloquia during their stay.

University Email Account

Visiting Scholars are eligible to apply for a full-service University e-mail account upon arrival at Stanford.  There is a modest cost to the visitor (currently $16/month).

Housing Information

The department staff is unable to assist visitors with finding housing.  Visitors are able to view the University Housing office’s on-line listings once their names and e-mail addresses are forwarded to the University Housing Office personnel by the department.  

Learn more about Stanford area housing information