Visiting Scholars Program

The Institute for International Studies in Education (IISE) offers a Visiting Scholars Program to a limited number of highly qualified faculty and advanced doctoral students. The purpose of the IISE Visiting Scholars Program is to bring scholars in the field of education, or affiliated fields, to the University of Pittsburgh in order to further their own research. The Program offers opportunities for scholars to collaborate with IISE affiliated faculty members on shared scholarly and research-related interests. It also helps to create an international network for scholars at any stage of their career assisting them in their professional development. Finally, the Program demonstrates the active role IISE plays in generating innovative research through participating scholars from diverse disciplinary, institutional, and geographic backgrounds.

The Visiting Scholars Program provides access to the University’s research facilities, including library, laboratories, software, and space within the Institute. In addition to providing an ideal setting for independent research, visiting scholars participate in IISE’s Symposium Series that serves as a forum for scholars to present their research. Publication opportunities are also available to participating scholars through IISE’s Working Paper Series. A certificate of recognition is awarded upon satisfactory completion of the visit. Over several decades of hosting visiting scholars, the Program has grown in stature and visibility.

Selection Criteria

All applicants applying to the IISE Visiting Scholars Program must meet the following criteria:

  1. Provide evidence of academic standing, in terms of degrees, employment status, and research that meets IISE standards.
  2. Propose a research agenda related to comparative, international, and development education (CIDE), and that is in alignment with our mission.

Applicants must be from or sponsored by a fully-accredited higher education institution, government agency, or international education organization.

Please note that IISE retains the sole discretion to make final decisions regarding all applications. With limited capacity, the selection process is competitive and not all qualified applicants can be accepted.

Application Instructions

IISE Visiting Scholars positions may be available for up to, but not exceeding, one year.

Applicants need to submit the following documents via email in PDF format to and

  1. Current Curriculum Vitae
  2. Research Agenda in the form of a Proposal
    • Applicants need to provide proposals for the research work to be conducted during the visiting scholar’s tenure at IISE.
  3. Letter of Recommendation from either a professor in good standing at a recognized higher education institution or a professional in the education field related to the applicant’s proposed research agenda.
  4. Letter of Funding
    • A formal Letter of Funding is required from the applicant’s sponsoring institution. If self-sponsored, a Letter of Funding from a reputable financial institution that ensures sufficient funding for the applicant’s proposed duration at IISE. Alternatively, IISE will accept a Letter of Funding from the institution from which the applicant is currently employed. The Letter of Funding must be provided in English.
  5. Evidence of English Language Proficiency
    • A certification of English language proficiency of recognized English test such as TOEFL (minimum score of 80 with all sub scores in at least the intermediate or fair range) or IELTS (minimum score of 6.5) or English 3 (minimum score of 2.5) or Duolingo (minimum score of 90) within 2 years; or
    • Signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school. Acceptable documentation includes a transcript or diploma certifying completion of a degree at an institution where the sole language of instruction is English or official certification of completion of an English language program within the previous two years where proficiency attained is clearly indicated.
    • Applicants from a country whose official language is English will be exempted from this requirement.
  6. Valid Passport
    • Applicants must provide a copy of a current passport, which must include the full name of the applicant, photo, passport number, date of birth, date of issue, and date of expiration. If applicants plan to have dependents traveling with them during their tenure as an IISE Visiting Scholar, passport information should be provided for each dependent.
    • Passports must be valid for at least six months beyond the proposed departure date following the conclusion of the program.

Application Review Process

Once all required documents are received, the IISE Visiting Scholars Program admission committee will review the application and advise the applicant accordingly. Applicants will be notified of the admission committee’s final decision electronically via email once final decisions have been made.

Visiting Scholar Fee

Applicants who have been admitted need to pay a visiting scholar fee to cover the costs of academic orientation, administrative expenses, and access to research facilities associated with hosting visiting scholars. The charge of visiting scholar fee is as follow:

  • Visiting faculty: $4,000 for a school year, or $2,500 for a semester;
  • Visiting graduate students: $1,500 for a school year, or $1,000 for a semester.


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