The Visiting Scholar designation at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies (SIWPS) is designed to enrich academic scholarship and a diversity of ideas through hosting select faculty and researchers from other institutions, from both here and abroad, by allowing them to pursue their own research at Columbia University. The visiting scholar designation is a courtesy affiliation, and is unpaid.

The designation of Visiting Scholar grants full access to the University’s extensive libraries and online research tools, including full borrowing privileges. A scholar’s Columbia ID card gives them access to the University’s many campus offerings, including lectures, seminars, conferences and performances. The Institute does not offer office space to scholars, but the entire University has wifi access and there are many libraries, study rooms, and cafes in which to work. Visiting Scholars are responsible for arranging for their own financial support, health benefits, and off-campus housing. Once visiting scholars are accepted, they may consult the International Students and Scholars Office website for help finding off-campus housing and related matters.

Eligibility: Generally visiting scholars hold a Ph.D., and must be able to document that they are affiliated with a home institution that they will return to following their visit. University policy does not allow us to host “scholars at large.” In rare cases we will accept a predoctoral candidate, but this determination is made by our Executive Committee. If accepted, scholars will be required to document income meeting the ISSO’s minimum guidelines for themselves (US $2,800/month) as well as additional amounts for any dependents accompanying them, and provide proof of health insurance coverage for the duration of their stay. There is a $500 processing fee for J-1 visas.

Applications are reviewed quarterly by the Executive Committee. The Institute is unable to provide a letter of invitation unless and until a scholar is admitted into the program. Application materials should include: A letter/email of introduction and intent from the applicant; requested dates of visit, up to 12 months; Academic CV; an abstract (1-3 pp.) of the research project to be undertaken while on campus. If you are a pre-doctoral applicant, a letter of introduction/recommendation from your dissertation advisor should be sent directly to us. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Materials may be submitted via email to Assistant Director Ingrid Gerstmann at

While affiliated with Columbia University, visiting scholars are expected to be present on campus and reside locally, within daily travel distance of the University. While reasonable travel is allowable, such as conference attendance or sight-seeing, scholars may not live elsewhere, travel extensively, or return to their home country often during their time at Columbia. Travel away from campus must be reported to Columbia’s International Students and Scholars Office.

Questions may be directed to Assistant Director Ingrid Gerstmann