Visiting Scholars Program

The goals of the Visiting Scholars program are to enlarge the Division’s perspectives on aspects of narrative practice and health care and to expand the boundaries of the growing field of narrative medicine. The Division will consider applications from scholars, clinicians, writers, and artists working in scholarly, research, or clinical areas of narrative, arts, humanities, and health. Individuals may be named visiting scholars/scientists for up to one year. The designation ordinarily may be renewed for no more than one additional year. (Please note that Visiting Scholar is a courtesy designation that does not signify a formal association or affiliation with Columbia University.) Visiting scholars/scientists are given free reading privileges in the libraries and can obtain access to borrowing privileges. They may audit lecture courses and may use Columbia University’s recreational facilities on payment of a fee. Visiting scholars/scientists are responsible for arranging for their own financial support and benefits. They may not be paid compensation from a University account, given a fellowship, or reimbursed for expenses without the prior special approval of the Associate Provost. (Please review full guidelines at link below.)



Here are the eligibility categories for designation as a Visiting Scholar:

  1. Scholar from an American university or college outside the NYC metro area who is not teaching at Columbia University or participating in a research project sponsored by it
  2. Scholar who works or resides in the NYC metro area and is on leave/sabbatical from their home institution
  3. Graduate student from another American university or college
  4. Member of a research laboratory or institution
  5. Staff and/or student of a foreign academy or university
  6. Official or former official of governmental, or non-governmental organization, such as the United Nations or one of their affiliates
  7. Practicing professional and creative artist

Application Process

We ask your requests include the following elements for optimum consideration:

  • A cover letter including:
    • Contact Information (including name, department, and academic title)
    • Proposed length and dates of stay
    • Brief overview of reason for visit
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Personal Statement including:
    • Proposed project to be undertaken during Visit
    • Envisioned outcomes of the visit
    • Proof of funding and housing plans.

For International requests:

  • must be able to secure a J-1 visa
  • provide proof visitor meets minimum health insurance requirements as outlined by the U.S. Federal Exchange.

Please see International Students & Scholars Office guidance and requirements.



Selection Process

The Division of Narrative Medicine Faculty Selection Committee will review all applications for a given time and make final selections. Only one Visiting Scholar can be accommodated per term. The table below outlines the timeline of application, notification, and start date.


Term Cycle: Fall 2023

  • Submit request materials by: Friday, January 6, 2023
  • Selected visitors will be notified by: Friday, March 3, 2023
  • Visit window may start as early as: Monday, September 11, 2023 (in accordance with CUIMC COVID-19 safety guidelines)

Term Cycle: Spring 2024

Submit request materials by: Friday, May 5, 2023

Selected visitors will be notified by: Friday, July 7, 2023

Visit window may start as early as: Monday, January 8, 2024 (in accordance with CUIMC COVID-19 safety guidelines) 

Contact Information

To submit a request or ask a question, please contact: Renée Russas, Administrative Manager, Division of Narrative Medicine,, 212-305-1952

Columbia University Guidelines Regarding Visiting Scholars

More information may be found in the CU Handbook here.

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