a guide for those seeking a visiting scholar invitation
Purdue University’s College of Agriculture has global reach and is highly regarded worldwide for its research, education, and engagement programs. As a result, each year a very large number of overseas scholars and scientists seek an invitation to visit our college to engage in collaborative research and other activities. Historically, the College of Agriculture has hosted thousands of visitors from all over the world. In 2019, the Office of International Programs in Agriculture tracked nearly 1200 invitation letters issued on behalf of the college. This reflects the high quality of our programs, the reputations of faculty members, and the welcoming culture of the College of Agriculture. Visitors are expected to add demonstrably to the college mission, while at the same time enriching the culture and diversity of academic departments. Many initial visits to campus have blossomed into long-term research and educational collaborations, expanding the dimensions of our global engagement far beyond what was originally envisioned.
This information outlines some best practices for those wishing to become a guest of the university. For additional information as well as specific advice and assistance on visa issues and current university policies related to visiting scholars, contact the Office of International Students and Scholars (ISS) or visit their website.
Visiting Scholars are defined as scientists, postdoctoral researchers, graduate students and others affiliated with institutions other than Purdue University who wish to spend an extended period of time conducting research on campus, at the invitation of a Purdue host. Visiting Scholars are those who are not otherwise classified as employees, undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, staff or postdoctoral researchers by Purdue University.
Purdue is a global institution and a welcoming place for visitors seeking knowledge and culture. Researchers, students and academic and industry leaders visit campus to explore collaborative opportunities in research, teaching and outreach. Historically the College of Agriculture has hosted thousands of visitors from all over the world. In 2019 the Office of International Programs tracked nearly 1200 invitation letters issued on behalf of the Dean. This reflects the high quality of our programs, the notoriety of our faculty, and the welcoming culture of the College of Agriculture. Visiting researchers add demonstrably to the progress of collaborative science, while at the same time enriching the culture and diversity of academic departments. Many initial visits to campus have blossomed into long-term research and educational collaborations, expanding the dimensions of our global engagement far beyond what was originally envisioned.
If you are seeking an invitation as a Visiting Scholar at Purdue, please note that invitations are issued by specific faculty members and their departments, and all requests for an invitation should begin with the identification of a host researcher/professor/department at Purdue. To do this a potential visitor should:
- Plan 6-12 months in advance of a visit, especially if a visa will be required.
- Establish communication with a potential host in the College of Agriculture.
- Confirm that your host’s research interests are compatible with your interests.
- Confirm that your host is willing to host you.
- Consider the timing of your visit in light of Purdue’s academic calendar.
Inquire as to whether your home institution promotes or supports Visiting Scholars.
To obtain a visitor visa to the U.S. you must document credible financial resources to support your stay in advance (please refer to the ISS website for the latest information). Funding can be in the form of:
- Scholarships or sponsorships from national or private sources.
- Borlaug and Cochran fellowships from USDA.
- Fulbright fellowships or awards.
- Support from collaborative projects.
- Sponsorship by your institution or government.
- Host faculty support, if agreed upon in advance.
In some limited circumstances a Visiting Scholar can compensated while at Purdue and some portion of living expenses can be covered by the host or the host department. The employment and tax rules governing these arrangements are complex and may involve visa considerations/restrictions. Please refer to the ISS website or reach out to IPIA or the host’s business office for information and guidance.
The College of Agriculture continues to operate under university guidelines regarding Covid-19 risks. Approval for specific visitors will depend on the campus research enterprise in question, activities taking place in that lab or physical space, and overall conditions on campus. Our goal is to facilitate invitations to Visiting Scholars and support research operations, while safeguarding the health of those in the campus community. Campus response to Covid-19 risks will continue to evolve. Those who intend to visit Purdue as a Visiting Scholar should understand that their plans could be subject to change. Once invited, a Visiting Scholar may be delayed or prevented from entering the U.S., and cancellation of an invitation or postponement of research activities may occur at any time prior to or after arrival.