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, both in the US and abroad, by allowing them to access to the University to pursue their own research. 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 must be made by our Executive Committee. Faculty may not serve as dissertation advisors for predoc visiting scholars. If thesis supervision is required, then candidates must instead apply to be a visiting student. If accepted, scholars are 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.

Application Process: Applications are reviewed by the Executive Committee on an ad hoc basis. The Institute is unable to provide a letter of invitation unless and until a scholar is accepted by the Executive Committee and an Institute member agrees to serve as their institutional sponsor. 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 independent research project to be undertaken while on campus, which must also state clearly the reasons that you specifically want to come to Columbia University; and a clear scan of your passport (please see this webpage for important application guidance). Pre-doctoral applicants must also provide a letter of introduction/recommendation sent directly from their dissertation advisor. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Materials may be submitted via email to Institute Coordinator Olivia Grinberg 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 Coordinator Olivia Grinberg at