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Visiting Scholars Program

Short-term Scholar Research Scholar / Professor

In order to provide a service and to maintain the intellectual vitality of the African Studies Center, we invite African and Africanist scholars to become Visiting Scholars in African Studies for a period of two weeks to one year. Normally, the stay at MSU is used to conduct library or archival research, complete a writing project, and present papers in faculty seminars. Occasionally, scholars also offer special short courses or substitute for MSU faculty member on sabbatical leave.

Definitions Of Exchange Categories:

Most scholars come with funding from their home institutions, a foundation, or a government (e.g., the Fulbright-Hayes program). Although the Center normally has no funds for direct salary payments, Visiting Scholars are given full access to university facilities, including subsidized housing, use of the libraries, and participation in the Center program.

Like the University Exchange programs, this program seeks to build collegial cooperation of the Center and its faculty with African faculty and their institutions.

Scholars with an interest in Africa are invited to apply to become a Visiting Scholar in African Studies for periods as short as two weeks or as long as one year.

The program is specially suited for faculty members of African universities wishing to spend a sabbatical leave at MSU; however, scholars from North America and other nations are also welcome to apply.

Benefits for the Visiting Scholar

A Visiting Scholar at MSU will be provided with the following benefits:

Visa Status

Most Visiting Scholars from outside the country are admitted to the United States on a J- 1 Exchange Visitor Visa. Arrangements have to be made by the scholar through the local U.S. embassy, consulate or other representative in his/her country. The Center, working through the Office of International Students and Scholars at MSU, will provide the necessary acceptance documents when a Visiting Scholar applies using the J-1 Scholar DS-2019 Request form (see and proves to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service that he or she possesses funds adequate for the duration of his/her stay in the U.S. A scholar coming on other than the J-1 exchange visitor visa status will be precluded from participating in any remunerated academic services.


Usually, the Center or the University have no funds for direct salary or regular payment of Visiting Scholars other than the aforementioned facilitation of access to the subsidized housing and services. Most scholars come with funding from their home university, under a foundation award, or on one of the foreign visitor programs of the U.S. government. However, a Visiting Scholar at MSU will benefit from the relatively low cost of living in Michigan. In all cases, Scholar must provide proof of funding for the period he or she will stay at MSU.


In addition to completing the J-1 Scholar DS-2019 Request form mentioned above, scholars wishing to receive an invitation as Visiting Scholar at MSU should submit a curriculum vitae to the Center Director and a letter indicating the following:

Additional Requirements include,

Normally, the Center can make a determination and respond to the scholar within 14 days of receiving the inquiry.