Visiting Scholars Program

Program Overview

The University of Washington School of Nursing, building on its research strengths, is committed to collaborating with colleagues across the globe to translate evidence-based practice and affect health disparities and quality of care in systematic ways. The Visiting Scholar Program welcomes faculty colleagues whose work on evidenced-based research – not pedagogy and/or curriculum development – relates to the expertise of a faculty sponsor at the UW and can be fostered through a three to twelve-month Visiting Scholar appointment at the UW School of Nursing. Visiting scholars bring new cultural and professional perspectives that enrich our mutual understanding. Through these collaborations, we look forward to working with colleagues around the world to make significant impacts on global health.

How to Apply

Inquiries should be e-mailed to Jocelyn Maher, International Programs Coordinator (, and need to include complete application materials. These include:

  1. International Programs Initial Inquiry Request form
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Statement of Purpose (outline your goals for your visit)
  4. Documentation of English proficiency: The TOEFL-IBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with a minimum score of 92; International English Language Testing System (IELTS) minimum score of 7.0.

Applicants do not need to inquire directly with faculty prior to applying. We ask for at least six (6) months to one (1) year advance notice of your visit request.

Although there may be faculty members with compatible interests, other commitments may make it impossible for a faculty member to serve as a sponsor at the requested timeframe. We regret that the School of Nursing cannot accept all applicants to the Visiting Scholar program and must refuse some applications because of space limitations or unavailability of an appropriate faculty sponsor. Requests for summer-only appointments are seldom accepted because most faculty are not available during the summer.

Eligibility & Financial Support

Applicants must hold a faculty appointment. Excellent English language skills are a critical factor for a Visiting Scholar’s ability to participate in the intellectual and social life of the School community. Proposed activities must be research focused, not course work or pedagogical in nature.

Once invited, applicants must be able to demonstrate institutional and/or external funding sufficient to cover expenses. Please review the information on the International Scholars Office site for minimum requirements of financial support necessary to meet the cost of living in Seattle. The UW SoN does not provide any funding support. All expenses must be sustained by the Visiting Scholar such as transportation, insurance fees, as well as personal and travel expenses.

Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program is an excellent resource for non-US Citizens to come to the United States to conduct research. Please check out the Fulbright web site for further information on how to apply for funding.

Visiting Scholar Fee

The Visiting Scholar Fee defrays the administrative and other costs of the Visiting Scholar Program to the School of Nursing. The Visiting Scholar Fee is subject to change. The Visiting Scholar fee is $1,000 per month, with the minimum visit being one month in length.

Additionally, Visiting Scholars are charged for each DS2019 provided. The fee is $213 per DS2019 document and is non-refundable once the application is processed.

Please pay with check or money order from the post office, payable to the "University of Washington School of Nursing". The nearest post office is located at 4244 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105. No cash is accepted.


Appointment as a Visiting Scholar provides limited University privileges and access to facilities.

  • Office Space: Department Chairs will make every effort to provide office space for Visiting Scholars (usually a shared space) but cannot guarantee that space will be available for the entire visit. It may be necessary to change office space from time to time.
  • Computer Use: The academic computer center and library computers are available for occasional use. Departments usually can provide computers for Visiting Scholars, but the School cannot guarantee availability. Visiting Scholars may wish to bring her/his own laptop. An e-mail account is provided for the duration of the appointment and for one month after the appointment end date in order to accommodate any final communications.
  • Husky Card: Visiting Scholars are issued a University identification card.
  • Exercise Facilities: The Intra-Mural Activities building (IMA) may be used by showing the Husky Card at the IMA front desk and paying a quarterly fee for use of the facility.
  • Transportation Access: The University is readily accessible by public transportation.  You may purchase a U-PASS during your stay, which will give you access to a number of transportation options and services.  Information on obtaining a Washington State Driver’s License can be found on the International Student Services website.
  • Social Networking: The Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS) provides opportunities for friendship, home hospitality and increased international understanding. For a modest fee, members meet people from around the world or around the corner, access organized activities and outings, and establish links of friendship and communication.

Things to Know

  • Research Activity Focus: Visiting Scholars are expected to undertake full time pursuit of research activities such as drafting manuscripts, doing data analysis, writing grant proposals and revising publications, deliberating on methodological approaches, and the like. Because the length of stay for Visiting Scholars is relatively short, department chairs must approve any intent to apply for IRB approval and collect primary data; approval is rare.
  • Presentations: Visiting Scholars are sometimes invited to make a presentation to faculty and/or students about their research or about nursing practice in their home countries.
  • Limited Classes: The Visiting Scholar Program is focused on research activities. The J-1 visa is intended to support research and does not allow extensive course enrollment. A Visiting Scholar may enroll in one course, if closely relevant to the research effort, and with approval of the Faculty Sponsor, without jeopardizing the visa status. Application for Graduate Non-Matriculated Student Status, registration, and tuition are required.
  • Class Observation: Permission is granted at the discretion and courtesy of the instructor, with the approval of the Faculty Sponsor. Observers are asked not to participate in classroom discussion unless invited by the instructor. No registration is necessary. If you wish to receive a grade you may pay tuition to enroll in the class (see above).
  • No Clinical Site Observations: Due to liability for the School of Nursing, the School of Nursing cannot and does not arrange programs of observation at clinical agencies. Visiting Scholars are not compliant with the numerous requirements, such as HIPAA training, criminal background checks, immunization clearance, and additional site-specific requirements. This policy includes the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC). While the School and the Medical Center are both members of the University of Washington, they are independent institutions. A brochure that provides rich detail for a self-guided tour is available in the Health Sciences Building Lobby (C301).
  • Housing: Visiting Scholars are responsible for their own housing arrangements. The International Programs Coordinator provides information about contacting the University's Visiting Faculty Housing Service and other resources for finding housing. The School cannot assume financial responsibility for guaranteeing a reservation for housing of any kind. University-sponsored housing is very limited and usually restricted to students.

Faculty Sponsor Role

The Faculty Sponsor of a Visiting Scholar serves as the main contact point for the Visiting Scholar during their time at the UW School of Nursing. The Faculty Sponsor and the Visiting Scholar are peers as members of the faculty, with the Faculty Sponsor providing mentorship and guidance to the resources and networks available to the Visiting Scholar as part of the UW School of Nursing community. The Faculty Sponsor assists the Visiting Scholar as an intellectual collaborator, usually meeting regularly while the Visiting Scholar works to shape her/his own research ideas and progress toward goals. The Visiting Scholar's "Statement of Purpose" provides the framework for the activities undertaken while on campus; any adjustments to those goals must have the agreement of the Faculty Sponsor.

The Visiting Scholar program and the J-1 exchange visitor visa was created with the primary purpose of enabling cultural exchange between the United States and other nations, thereby “building mutual understanding between Americans and people of other countries.” Cross-cultural exchange activities are an essential part of the University’s J-1 exchange visitor program and of the UW’s continued ability to sponsor exchange visitors across campus. In addition to your research and educational activities, please take to experience the culture of the United States and the Pacific Northwest.  Your faculty sponsor and your department will include you in departmental and UW activities and events as well as some off campus social events. Please do not hesitate to ask your faculty sponsor or your UW SoN colleagues for suggestions to experience American culture.

After the Invitation

Once a Visiting Scholar has been invited, the International Programs Coordinator will initiate the process to provide the necessary DS2019 form for the Visiting Scholar to take to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate to secure the J-1 visa. An overview of the visa process can be found on the International Scholars Office web site.

Visiting Scholars must arrive before the official start date on the DS2019 and may arrive up to 30 days prior to that start date, in order to find housing and get settled. If circumstances delay arrival, promptly contact the International Programs Coordinator to arrange for an amended DS2019 with a corrected start date. Visiting Scholars must depart after the end date of the DS2019 and may depart up to 30 days after that end date, to settle affairs and sight see as desired.

The International Programs Coordinator and the department Faculty Sponsor will work together to arrange the visit, with the department providing advice on all academic matters and the International Programs Coordinator will provide administrative support on issues such as visas and University regulations. An orientation day will be planned for the start date.

Mandatory Insurance and Check-in

All Visiting Scholars must visit Gerberding Hall to check-in with the International Scholars Office (2nd floor) so that their arrival on campus can be reported to the Department of Homeland Security as required by federal law. Also, all exchange visitors must show evidence of insurance, as required by federal law. Please read the instructions about the check-in requirement and the proof of insurance document to bring along.