Visiting Scholar Program

Each year, the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES) welcomes scholars from universities and institutions throughout the world, who are drawn to UCLA for its dynamic research environment.

These visitors include academics and scholars, representing a wide range of disciplines, who’s research focuses on the study of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). They provide a valuable resource for the Center’s faculty and graduate students, as well as the Los Angeles community as a whole, and enhance UCLA’s coverage of the MENA. CNES provides limited administrative assistance to visiting scholars and helps them with access to UCLA’s library and research facilities.

Due to space and administrative limitations, there is an annual quota on the number of visiting scholars who may be invited. The Center may not be able to accommodate all qualified candidates who apply. CNES is unable to provide private office space to visiting scholars.

1. A Ph.D., or equivalent evidence of professional achievement, by the time the appointment would begin.

2. All applicants must be affiliated with an established institution (i.e., academic institutions, government, and non-governmental institutions).

3. Applicants must directly contact and obtain consent from a CNES affiliated UCLA faculty member to serve as the university sponsor for the applicant during his or her stay at UCLA and under whose direction the Visitor Scholar’s primary activity will be carried out.

4. Applicants who are non-U.S. citizens nor U.S. residents must provide documentation certifying sufficient proficiency in the English language. For more information see section below for International Applicants>Additional Documentation. The Department of State requires J-1 Exchange Visitors to have “sufficient proficiency in the English language, as determined by an objective measurement of English language proficiency, to successfully participate in his or her program and to function on a day-to-day basis." [22 CFR 62.11(a)(2)] An applicant whose first language is English and is a citizen of a country in which English is the primary spoken language of daily life (e.g., Australia, Barbados, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, United Kingdom) is exempt from this requirement.

5. Visiting scholars are expected to be in residence at UCLA for the duration of the program and participate in the CNES lecture series.

Academic Year Program (3 quarters)
Online application is forthcoming.
Program dates: October 1st - June 30th

Summer Program
Online application is forthcoming.
Program dates: June 15th - September 15th 

Complete applications must be received by the deadline. Please make sure that the application is complete and correct before submission. Applications will be notified after review.

There is a one-month travel grace period allowed for the visa check-in. For example, if October 1st is your appointment start date, you can check in at any time in September or November.

The schedule of fees is forthcoming.

Application Fee: CNES charges an application fee to defray the administrative costs of processing and evaluating the visiting scholar application. This application fee is non-refundable, even if the scholar is ultimately unable to visit UCLA, or if the Center is unable to accept or accommodate the applicant. Please note that submitting an application is not a guarantee of acceptance.

Program fees: Accepted scholars must pay a quarterly program fee. The summer period accounts for one quarter.

Visa fees: Visitors who require a visa must pay for visa processing and mailing fees, with an additional cost per each dependent.

Application Process/Procedure
1. Submit application and pay application fee. The application fee is non-refundable. As part of the Visiting Scholar Application, applicants will be required to submit information and supplementary materials as listed below in Adobe PDF:
• A curriculum vitae or professional resume.
• A proposal (no more than one page) outlining the research that will be undertaken while in residence at UCLA.
• A letter of consent from a CNES affiliated faculty member, with expertise in the area of the applicant’s intended research, willing to serve as the university sponsor. Applicants must directly contact and obtain consent from the UCLA faculty member under whose direction the Visitor Scholar’s primary activity would be carried out during the applicant’s program at UCLA. The consent may be in the form of email correspondence which can be uploaded as part of the application.
• All non-U.S. citizen or resident applicants must provide documentation certifying sufficient proficiency in the English language. See section below for International Applicants>Additional Documentation

2. A CNES Faculty committee will review applications and determine which applicants are recommended to the Senior Associate Vice Provost and Director of the International Institute. We are unable to provide additional documentation to scholars before a review and approval is complete.

3. Upon review and approval the applicant will be notified. Acceptance letters will list deadlines for program fees and detail information about starting the Visiting Scholar appointment and obtaining a Bruincard, which serves as a library card. For international applicants, the notification will inform the applicant if they have received preliminary acceptance into the program. Final acceptance requires visa approval and scholars will need to provide additional documentation and fees for visa processing, see further information below regarding international applicants below.

4. Program fees must be paid by the deadline.

International Applicants
Once non-U.S. citizen or non-resident applicant scholars have received preliminary acceptance, in order to begin a visiting scholar appointment at UCLA, international scholars must obtain J-1 visa status for the duration of their program. Accompanying dependents (spouse and unmarried children 21 years of age or younger), who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, would need to obtain J-2 visa status. Please see Visa fees above.

Once visa fees have been paid and the additional documentation below has been provided, CNES will submit a DS-2019 request to the UCLA Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars (DCISS) on behalf of the scholar. When the DS-2019 application is processed CNES will mail the scholar their DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility via FedEx. A DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility must be obtained in order to apply for a J-1 Visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Additional Documentation
The preliminary acceptance letter will provide a link to submit additional required information needed in order for the CNES staff to request a Certificate of Eligibility (DS-2019) for J-1 status on behalf of international applicants:
• A scanned copy of the applicant’s passport clearly showing the first two pages.
• Documentation certifying sufficient proficiency in the English language with one of the following:
- Certification by a language test recognized by UCLA Admissions.
- Certification by home academic institution where English is used.
- Certification by English language school where English training was completed within the past 2 years.
- Copy of signed diploma or signed transcript from U.S. universities or universities in countries where English is the native language.
• At the time of processing the DS-2019 form, the scholar must present evidence of financial support for the duration of the Visiting Scholar program period. Minimum required financial support is found HERE.

J-1 Visa Check-In
Visiting Scholars on a J-1 visa are required to attend the DCISS check-in and the orientation upon arrival, preferably before your appointment begin date.

Insurance Requirements
Visiting Scholars on a J-1 visa must provide proof of health insurance enrollment for the duration of their program at UCLA.

The Center is not able to provide housing assistance to visiting scholars. DCISS has a resources page that covers many topics that visitors may find useful. 

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Published: Friday, September 13, 2019