Updated 10/2023

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 document 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 Purdue's Office of International Students and Scholars (ISS) website or Purdue International Scholar Assistance (PISA).

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 affiliated with Purdue University.

If you are seeking an invitation as a Visiting Scholar at Purdue, please note that invitations are made  by specific faculty members and their departments. 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:

  1. Plan 6-12 months in advance of a visit, especially if visa sponsorship will be required.
  2. Establish communication with a potential host in the College of Agriculture.
  3. Confirm that your host’s research interests are compatible with your interests.
  4. Confirm that your host is willing to host a visitor.
  5. Consider the timing of your visit in light of Purdue’s academic calendar.
  6. Inquire as to whether your home institution promotes or supports Visiting Scholars.

To obtain a visa to enter the U.S. you must provide in advance documentary proof of credible financial resources to support your stay. Please refer to the ISS website for the latest information on required amounts. 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
  • Self-support
  • Host faculty support, if agreed upon in advance

In limited circumstances, a Visiting Scholar can be 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  Purdue International Scholar Assistance (PISA).