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English Department Visiting Scholar Guidelines

Approved by English Department Executive Committee, July 2021; adapted from guidelines authored by Texas A&M’s Department of Communication.

The Department of English provides opportunities for U.S. and international faculty members, researchers, and doctoral students to apply to be a Visiting Scholar. These faculty exchanges are expected to enhance and to increase the department’s scholarly and creative profile; they may also play a role in developing long term research and educational ties between Texas A&M and other top research universities.

Please note that the information and requirements listed below only apply to the Visiting Scholar title. Visiting Scholars do not receive a stipend during their appointment, and their appointment does not imply tenure or continuation at the university.  In addition, even in the absence of a stipend or other funding from Texas A&M, the department incurs direct and indirect costs when hosting visitors, including faculty and staff time, mailing costs, and the use of office space, equipment, and supplies.  For this reason, the department will normally support no more than two visiting scholars per year; to facilitate planning, the Department prefers to receive proposals by October 1 of the year prior to the proposed visit.  Proposals that arrive after that date may be deferred.

Prospective visitors and faculty hosts should review Texas A&M’s Standard Administrative Procedure (SAP) 15.99.99.M0.01 Visiting Scholars Not Involved in an Employer/Employee Relationship with Texas A&M University,  available here: and referred to later in this document.


How to Become a Visiting Scholar/Researcher in the TAMU Department of English

  • Required Qualifications for Visiting Scholars

The Visiting Scholar/Researcher must hold an academic degree appropriate to conduct independent research and must be engaged in independent scholarship or creative work that aligns with faculty interests in the Department of English, or be a currently enrolled MA or PhD student at another institution who plans to conduct thesis or dissertation research at Texas A&M.

Preference will be given to applicants whose research areas and educational background complements departmental strengths.

  • Application process

Prospective visiting scholars must submit a proposal for an independent scholarly or creative project to a tenure-track faculty host in the Department of English.  A list of current faculty members, along with information on their research areas, is available here:

The prospective visiting scholar’s proposal must include the following:

  • A specific, well-defined scholarly or creative project and projected outcomes (peer-reviewed publications, MA thesis, PhD dissertation, creative project)
  • A brief explanation of the scholar’s qualifications for completing the proposed research or creative work.
  • A curriculum vitae
  • Proposed arrival date and duration of the visit.
  • Proposed funding source(s).

The prospective faculty host will forward the scholar’s proposal to the Executive Committee, along with the following:

  • A recommendation letter in support of the scholar’s appointment
  • A statement explaining how hosting the scholar will advance the faculty member’s own scholarship and outlining their qualifications to host the scholar (prior research or creative work in the area, etc.)
  • A description of the host’s proposed duties while the scholar is in residence.  These duties will not take the place of the faculty member’s normal responsibilities for research, teaching and service unless a special arrangement is made with the Head.
  • A description of the faculty host’s proposed role(s) in the visiting scholar’s scholarly or creative outcome (co-author, co-PI for grant proposals, external member of MA or PhD committee, etc.). Simply serving as a mentor may not be sufficient to demonstrate benefit to Texas A&M.
  • Per Texas A&M SAP 15.99.99.M0.01, the faculty host must “be willing to accept responsibility for the Visitor and may not be on sabbatical, development, or extended leave” during the scholar’s visit.  The host’s responsibilities to the scholar include arranging the scholar’s research presentation(s) and assisting as needed to provide access to university facilities and resources essential to the scholar’s research. Faculty who host an international visiting scholar “must complete the basic export and embargo online training course” prior to the Visiting Scholar’s arrival.  Faculty should pay particular attention to the additional “faculty host” duties as outlined in sections 3.3-3.6 of the SAP.

Per Texas A&M SAP 15.99.99.M0.01, it is the responsibility of the department to “ensure that the invitation of a visitor is justified on the basis of benefit and contribution to Texas A&M University.” The Executive Committee will therefore evaluate the scholar’s and host’s proposals based on factors such as academic quality, alignment with, and potential contribution to the strategic goals, research, and teaching missions of the Department, College, and University.  Proposals that are approved by the Executive Committee will be forwarded to the Head for final review and approval.

If the visit is approved, the Head will notify the faculty host and provide a formal letter of invitation to the Visiting Scholar.  At that point, the Visiting Scholar/Researcher will need to work with their faculty host, the Department of English’s designated staff liaison (Lisa Carouth), and (for international visitors) the TAMU Immigration Services for Faculty and Scholar’s (ISFS) office to obtain a J-1 visa. See the ISFS checklist here:

Privileges such as ID cards and keys will not be provided until the Visiting Scholar/Researcher has obtained all required approvals and (for international visitors) has checked in with the Immigration Services for Faculty and Scholars office.


Expectations of Visiting Scholar/Researchers

  • Per Texas A&M SAP 15.99.99.M0.01, Visiting Scholars are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with Texas A&M University’s policies and rules, including (but not limited to) the ethical conduct of research.
  • The Visiting Scholar/Researcher must offer a scholarly or creative presentation to faculty and students in the English Department during their exchange period. This presentation provides an opportunity for the Visiting Scholar/Researcher to share their work with faculty and students in the department as well as across the College of Liberal Arts and the wider University. Details on this presentation will be included in the invitation letter.
  • The Visiting Scholar will be available to deliver guest lectures or presentations in undergraduate or graduate courses, if relevant to the scholar’s expertise, not more than twice per semester unless prior arrangements have been discussed with the Head.
  • A Visiting Scholar may be allowed to sit in on graduate classes if permission is obtained in advance from the instructor of record for each class. A Visiting Scholar/Researcher who is a doctoral student at another university will not be allowed to obtain academic credit while sitting in on a course.
  • Visiting Scholars who contribute to research collaborations with Texas A&M faculty and graduate students must be acknowledged in any subsequent research presentations or publications. Similarly, the Visiting Scholar/Researcher must acknowledge the contribution of Texas A&M faculty and graduate students in any published research that emerges from the exchange visit.