EALS Visiting Scholar program
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EALS Visiting Scholar Program

Each academic year the East Asian Legal Studies program hosts a number of Visiting Scholars who come to EALS from throughout the world and 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 our Registrar's Office. The intellectual richness of the Visiting Scholar experience is deepened through required participation in the "roundtable" discussions at which each Scholar shares works-in-progress and seeks feedback from the other Scholars.

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. Appointments will be concomitant with the Harvard academic year (late August to late May), and will start, at the latest, September 1 (or January 15 for the spring semester). With reasonable exceptions for brief trips, Visiting Scholars are expected to remain in the Cambridge area during the term of their appointment.

Visiting Scholars are sponsored or self-funded.

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 -- the minimum financial resources an individual must have available during the time here is $2,500 per month. An additional $417 per month must be available for each accompanying family member. The EALS application asks for an accurate listing of the source(s) of funding which must be verified before acceptance.

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. Useful information may be found at the HIO housing site and the Harvard housing site.

The application deadline is April 15 for the following academic year (starting August 1 or September 1 and ending May 31 or June 30).

To apply, download an application, complete all sections, and email it with the required documents to johnson@law.harvard.edu. Your $50 application fee (check or money order payable to "Harvard University") can be mailed to East Asian Legal Studies, Harvard Law School, 1585 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA.

Our decisions on accepted applicants are usually made by late April or May. We will not be able to let you know before April.

We reserve the right to alter the program and individual appointments if health guidelines recommend it.

VisitingScholarApplication2021 (pdf)


Please note: scholars interested in affiliation with another research program at the Law School (such as at the HLS Graduate Program, the Islamic Legal Studies Program, the HLS 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.