Frequently Asked Questions

Visiting Research Scholar Program 

Q: What is the usual time period for VRS appointments?
A: Appointments generally run for a 12-month period, September 1-August 31, although semester-long applications may also be considered (Fall or Spring). Unfortunately we cannot accommodate scholars for periods of less than one semester. Scholars are expected to be in residence for the duration of their fellowship except for university holidays and approved absences for vacation, research, and/or fieldwork. Visitors not requiring funding are welcome to visit ISAW for shorter periods and use its library, but it is not possible to offer such visitors private workspaces or research support.

Q: Is there a summer VRS program?
A: No, we do not currently offer summer fellowships, but scholars are welcome to use library facilities during the summer.

Q: Who can apply for the visiting assistant professor positions?
A: Visiting Assistant Professorships are reserved for early-career scholars who received their PhDs on or after May 1, 2021. Current doctoral students in their final year of dissertation work are also welcome to apply, but please note that official conferral of the PhD must take place prior to the start-date of the position (September 1, 2024).

Q: Can non-US citizens apply?

A: Yes, ISAW welcomes applications from scholars around the world.

Q: Will I need to get my own visa?
A: ISAW, in conjunction with NYU’s Office of Global Services, works with foreign scholars to provide the paperwork necessary to apply for a visa to enter the US.

Q: What are my duties as a scholar?
A: One-year scholars generally have no specific duties, but are required to present a lecture based on their current work as part of ISAW’s Visiting Research Scholar Lecture Series, participate in at least one seminar per semester (generally as a respondent or presenting their work), mentor students, and take part in other aspects of ISAW’s academic life, such as attending lectures and conferences.

Visiting assistant professors are additionally required to teach a graduate research seminar at ISAW and one undergraduate course at NYU per academic year.

Photograph of a typical scholar's carrel, showing lighting, a laptop, a large gook, storage cabinet, and chair.Q: What kind of workspace will I have?
A: Scholars are provided with a roughly 8 ft. carrel with lockable storage in a space shared with the other visiting scholars (see image to the right).

Q: Will ISAW provide me with my own work computer?
A: No, scholars must provide their own computers for work at ISAW. Scholars receiving a research stipend may use it to purchase a computer if needed.

Q: Does ISAW provide housing?
A: Depending on availability, ISAW may have a limited number of studio-size faculty housing apartments for visiting scholars. Generally these are offered first to visiting faculty and scholars coming from abroad and are not guaranteed.

VRS Application Process

Q: What is the deadline for reference letters?
A:  The NYU online application system, Interfolio, automatically sends requests to referees. Letters are due by December 1 and should be submitted through the online system; last-minute applications may not get full consideration if letters have not been received by the time reading of applications begins. Please check with your referees to make sure that they have received a request. Applicants can check on the status of letters of recommendation in Interfolio.

Q: Are there any formatting guidelines for the research proposal?
A: Proposals should be from 1000-1200 words, plus a one-page bibliography. The applications are reviewed by scholars in a wide range of fields and thus the proposal description should be written with this in mind.

Q: How many writing samples are required?
A: Only one writing sample is required, but the applicant may submit up to three. Short to medium-length samples are preferred.

Q: Can I submit my writing sample via regular mail?
A: No, application materials must be submitted via the online application.

Q: Can I submit writing samples in a language other than English?
A: Yes, but this may decrease the number of people able to review your application.

Q: I do not yet have any work published. What should I submit?
A: You may submit an excerpt of your dissertation, or any articles that are forthcoming. If the latter is the case, please indicate where and when the item will appear.

Q: I don’t have my PhD yet, can I still apply?
A: PhD candidates may apply provided that official conferral of the PhD will take place prior to the start-date of the visiting scholar position.

Q: Are ISAW student alumni eligible for VRS positions?
A: ISAW student alumni are ineligible for VRS positions for the first two years after they graduate.

Q: As a former ISAW scholar, am I eligible to reapply to the visiting scholar program?
A:  Five years must pass between the end of the previous appointment and the beginning of the prospective new appointment for any past scholars who had ISAW-funded 1-year or 2-year positions. All else being equal, preference will be given to the selection of first-time scholars.