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Visiting Scholar Program

Each academic year the East Asian Legal Studies program hosts a number of Visiting Scholars. The men and women who come to EALS from throughout the world take time off from their posts in academe, government, or law practice to pursue their own research and write on a range of subjects. We strive to invite a diverse group of visitors who represent a variety of home institutions, jurisdictions and legal fields.

Our Visiting Scholars are provided access to all of the Harvard libraries, including the incomparable collections of the Law School library. Although the EALS program does not confer degrees, generally our visitors may audit one or two Law School courses per semester on a non-credit basis (with permission from the Registrar's Office). The intellectual richness of the experience is deepened through participation in the "roundtable" discussions at which each Scholar shares work-in-progress.

Visiting Scholars are admitted on the basis of a formal application. In selecting applicants, consideration is made of each applicant's background, field of interest and achievements in scholarship and/or practice, and particular weight will be given to the research proposal and demonstration of English language proficiency. It has been our experience that Visiting Scholars who arrive at Harvard already highly proficient in English benefit greatly from their experience and contribute much more to the institution, and for this reason we ask for a TOEFL or IELTS score. Reference letters may be written in English, Chinese, or Japanese and may be sent separately. The application submitted must be the applicant's own work.

The EALS program is able to offer appointments of maximum one year. Applications for research visits of only one semester (or any period less than twelve months) will also be considered, but we prefer research appointments to be concomitant with the Harvard academic year. With reasonable exceptions for brief trips, our Visiting Scholars are expected to remain in residence during the term of their appointment.

Visiting Scholars are generally self-funded or sponsored extramurally. For this academic year, there is an EALS administrative fee of $650 per month of appointment. Also, before Harvard University can issue a J-1 visa sponsorship document, we are required by the U.S. Government to verify that each incoming Visiting Scholar has adequate funding to maintain a reasonable standard of living in the Boston area. The minimum in financial resources that an individual must have available is $30,000 per year ($2,500 per month). An additional $5,000 per year ($417 per month) must be declared for each accompanying family member. Please note that the EALS application asks for an accurate listing of the source(s) of funding and our International Office requires complete documentation.

Harvard Law School is not able to provide offices or housing for affiliates who are not candidates for a degree. Our visitors are responsible for securing their own housing, and we suggest visitors start looking online a few months before they arrive.

The application deadline is April 15 for the following academic year (August or September to May or June). To apply, complete all sections of the application (linked below) and mail the $50 application fee (check or money order only, payable to "Harvard University") along with the application to East Asian Legal Studies, Harvard Law School, 1585 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA.

Click here to download the EALS Visiting Scholar application: EALS VS Application (Word docx) / EALS VS Application (PDF)

Please note: scholars interested in affiliation with another research program at the Law School (such as at the Graduate Program, the Islamic Legal Studies Program, the Human Rights Program or the Harvard Law School Project on Disability) should contact that program directly for information about their Visiting Fellow programs. Opportunities are also available elsewhere at Harvard for conducting research on East Asian-related topics other than law at a number of research centers, including the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, and the Korea Institute.

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