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International Visiting Scholars

Advanced education research in the disciplines: Educational Policy Studies’ International Visiting Scholar program

Our Visiting Scholar program is specifically designed to bring together international faculty members, researchers, post-docs, and advanced doctoral students in conversation with Educational Policy Studies (EPS) faculty members and doctoral students to learn with and from each other on a broad spectrum of educational issues pertaining to anthropology, comparative/international education, economics, gender, history, policy, and sociology. This program is ideally suited for visiting professors as well as doctoral students who have finished their coursework and are pursuing advanced education research in the disciplines. It is also suited for future university and school leaders, and other education professionals, who are seeking to internationalize their research perspectives.What makes this Visiting Scholar program unique?

  • The bi-weekly seminar, Advanced Education Research in the Disciplines, associated with the Visiting Scholar appointment in EPS sets this program apart from the experience you would have at other institutions. The seminar provides the following:
  • Scholarly conversations with the Department of Educational Policy Studies’ esteemed faculty members;
  • A cohort experience with a group of other Visiting Scholars to expand your professional networks and opportunities for collaborations;
  • A focus on both qualitative and quantitative methods in social science research as well as historical research and research ethics;
  • Theoretical viewpoints that cross disciplinary boundaries in unique ways that help shape new and innovative thinking and research plans;
  • The opportunity to attend EPS courses (with permission of the instructor);
  • Optional participation in the International and Comparative Education Research Group (ICERG) hosted by EPS graduate students;
  • Support from an advanced graduate student in the department who will help curate Visiting Scholar’s participation in other campus events.

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What other resources are available to me as an EPS Visiting Scholar?

In addition to these distinct program features, Visiting Scholars in the Department of Educational Policy Studies will also be able to:

  • Receive a University of Wisconsin-Madison ID which provides access to UW-Madison libraries and archives and research-related software (to be used while at UW-Madison);
  • Participate in programming offered by the Global Engagement Office which includes an orientation at the start of the semester, professional workshops, a poster fair, and research symposium;
  • Attend School of Education and UW-Madison campus lectures and events, including those hosted by the Wisconsin Center for Education Research;
  • Participate in professional development workshops hosted by UW-Madison units such as the Writing Center and the Design Lab.

Please note that Visiting Scholars carry out their research in different university spaces such as libraries or common areas of university buildings or at home. Individual desks or offices are not available.

Am I able to carry out human subject research?

EPS Visiting Scholars may not conduct any sort of human-subjects research (e.g. formal surveys, personal interviews, site observations). The Institutional Review Board process  is not available for international visiting scholars in EPS. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Program expectations

While studying in the Department of Educational Policy Studies, Visiting Scholars will be asked to contribute to the intellectual life of the department by, for example, making a course presentation, presenting a public lecture or informal talk to faculty/students, interacting with student organizations, and/or attending department gatherings and seminars.

At the end of the appointment, each Visiting Scholar must submit a short summary report to the EPS Department Chair detailing the results of their research.

What is the length of the program?

The EPS Visiting Scholar appointment is for one year. The fall semester program runs from August to August (e.g. 15 August 2021 – 14 August 2022), and the spring semester program runs from January to January (e.g. 15 January 2021 – 14 January 2022). There is some flexibility in program dates if necessary. Please reach out to the Global Engagement Office, which assists with the EPS Visiting Scholar application process, to inquire about alternative program dates (; Subject line: Program dates for EPS Visiting Scholar appointment).

Program cost

The cost of the EPS Visiting Scholar Program is $3,700 (USD) plus a $300 (USD) School of Education Administrative fee for a total of $4,000 (USD). Please note, the Department of Educational Policy Studies is not able to provide financial support during the Visiting Scholar appointment.

How to apply

STEP 1: Apply to be a Visiting Scholar

Applications must be submitted by the first of the month, and potential visiting scholars will be notified by the end of the month regarding a decision. Please note that the Department of Educational Policy Studies faculty review all applications at monthly departmental meetings, which are held during the academic year, September through May.

Before January 1 (for Fall semester start dates) and September 1 (for Spring semester start dates), please send the following information and materials to :

  • Basic applicant information including your name (as it appears in your passport) and email address.
  • Name(s) of any faculty contact(s) you have in the Department of Educational Policy Studies (if applicable; not required) who you hope to work with.
  • Anticipated program dates.
  • Curriculum Vitae/Resume. Please attach this as a PDF.
  • Statement of intended research: Please attach this 2–3-page overview (PDF) of the research project you intend to carry out as a Visiting Scholar, and how you foresee the Visiting Scholar appointment in the Department of Educational Policy Studies supporting your research efforts.

STEP 2: Approval process

The Department of Educational Policy Studies faculty review all applications during their departmental meetings. Notification will be sent to visiting scholar applicants on a rolling basis/as reviewed.

Upon acceptance

Once accepted by the Department of Educational Policy Studies, you will work with the Global Engagement Office in the School of Education ( on the next steps in the process.

STEP 3: Sponsorship Request and DS-2019 Support

The Global Engagement Office will initiate your sponsorship request for a J-1 visa, and J-2 visas for your dependents as applicable, with the International Faculty and Staff Services (IFSS) Office. IFSS is the central unit at UW-Madison that issues all DS-2019s for J-1 scholars and J-2 dependents.

The Global Engagement Office (GEO) can only initiate the sponsorship request 90 days prior to your proposed start date. Meaning, for August 15 start dates, the GEO can initiate the request May 15th. For January 15 start dates, the GEO can initiate the request October 15th.

You can begin to gather the required documents for your DS-2019 application now.

The following items are required to process your sponsorship request through Terra Dotta:

  1. Passport
  1. Sufficient financial support documentation
  1. Proof of English language proficiency
    -TOEFL: iBT–65 total (with the speaking portion scoring no less than 17) or Paper–525 total
    -IELTS: 6 total with no portion scored less than 5
    -Duolingo English Test: 95 total
    -Cambridge Assessment: 169 total (either on the B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency tests only)
    -No other testing scores or certificates from other centers or English language schools will be accepted.
  2. Dependent documentation (if applicable) (with English translation if applicable)
  3. Current curriculum vitae (CV) (the Global Engagement Office will upload this)
  4. Degree certificate, diploma, or other proof of graduation (with English translation if applicable)

Please note that you must show sufficient funds to cover the EPS program and SOE administrative fees (total: $4,000 USD) as part of the sufficient financial support documentation requirement.

STEP 4: Uploading Documentation to Terra Dotta

Once the sponsorship request is made with IFSS, you will receive an email from them via Terra Dotta. Terra Dotta is the system that UW-Madison uses to collect documentation for your DS-2019 application. Make sure to check your Spam or Junk mail folders when the DS-2019 sponsorship is initiated so you do not miss anything from IFSS through Terra Dotta.

When you receive the email from Terra Dotta, you will want to follow the login instructions and upload the required documentation listed in Step 3.

You will be able to track your status in Terra Dotta once your application has begun.

STEP 5: Mailing the DS-2019

Upon submission of all the required documents for your DS-2019, the International Faculty and Staff Services Office will mail your DS-2019 to the address submitted in your initial application. You will then be able to take this, along with the accompanying documentation, to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply for your J-1 visa. Please reach out to the Global Engagement Office ( if you need to update the delivery location of your DS-2019.

STEP 6: Payment of the Program Fee

Upon the issuance of your DS-2019, you will pay the $4,000 (USD) program fee and administrative fee to the School of Education. You are expected to make this payment online with a credit card. The payment can be made through the GEO CashNet website which can be accessed here. Please select “Educational Policy Studies” when making the payment.


Many Visiting Scholars opt to live in UW-Madison University Housing. You can find out more information on University Housing by visiting this link and selecting “Graduate & Families.”

University of Wisconsin-Madison also offers resources on off-campus apartments through their Campus Area Housing website.

Most rental properties in Madison (both university and non-university housing) is unfurnished.