Visiting Researchers

By , February 16, 2010

Guidelines for Visiting Researchers at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations of the University of Chicago


It is possible to spend some time at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) of the University of Chicago as a visiting scholar. Researchers who believe that the resources of the University of Chicago are best suited for their proposed research and a good scholarly interaction would occur between them and the sponsoring faculty may apply. Once accepted, the visiting scholars are also expected to contribute to the intellectual environment of NELC by delivering lectures on their research topic, attending and contributing to other lectures, interacting with the students, etc. Please be aware that NELC is unfortunately not in the position to supply the researchers with scholarship or office space.

How to Apply

The researchers should have a specific research topic. A proposal of 2-3 pages explaining the methodology, the sources, the goals, and the timeline of the research topic, as well as justifying why the University of Chicago is best suited for their topic should be formulated.

The applicants should then contact a faculty member as sponsor that they believe would best be guiding them through their research or exchanging views on the proposed topic and seek her or his sponsorship. It is the applicant’s, the sponsoring faculty member’s as well as the University of Chicago community’s best interest that the proposed research topics are within the specialization and interest areas of the faculty members.

Even an individual faculty member agrees to sponsor the researcher, the appointment must be approved by the department or committee. The proposals, along with the supporting material should be submitted to the relevant faculty member.

Application Materials:

  • Cover letter (include one paragraph summary of your research proposal)
  • Research proposal (2-3 pages)
  • CV
  • One letter of recommendation

Nota bene: An insurance will be necessary if an invitation were to be issued. At the time of application an indication that insurance would be desired is enough. An appointment is not official until the visiting scholar has signed the “Visiting Scholar Form.”

What to Expect

Unfortunately, funding is not available at NELC for visiting researchers. Most researchers choose to work in the Regenstein Library, which is located a few minutes from NELC and CMES, and convenient to work with carrels, other work places and wireless internet access.

Scholars who need a visa to enter the US must act well in advance, since obtaining a visa may take up to six months or longer. Visa applicants are expected to prove that they have adequate funds to support themselves during their stay in the US and that they hold a health insurance.

What is Expected of the Researchers

The University of Chicago has a vivid intellectual environment. Several lecture series, workshops, and conferences are organized during the teaching period at the CMES, NELC, or in other centers and departments of the University. Visiting researchers are encouraged to participate in some of these events. They are also expected to deliver one or two lectures (depending on the length of their tenure), one being on their research topic.


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