Research Scholar and Exchange Visitor

California State University, Fresno invites International Research Scholars from different countries to come to our university to conduct research. The presence of these research scholars enhances the international dimensions of the educational program at California State University, Fresno and allows our faculty the opportunity to work with colleagues from around the globe.

There are two steps in applying for an affiliation with California State University, Fresno. The first step is to submit the application materials listed below to determine if your proposed research can be accommodated at our university.  Once these documents are received, a packet of information will be sent to the appropriate academic department for review. If the department has the resources to support your proposal, additional information will be required to produce the appropriate immigration documents for you and your dependent family members. Please note, in exchange for assistance from the academic department, and access to our campus resources, you may be expected to offer similar services to the department such as an occasional lecture or work on a departmental project.

Step I: Submit Application Materials

Faculty and graduate students may apply for affiliation with California State University, Fresno as a visiting International Research Scholar by sending their materials to:

Mrs. Jasmine Cao
International Student Services and Programs
California State University, Fresno
Joyal Administration Building, 256
5150 North Maple Avenue, M/S JA56
Fresno, California 93740-8026
Tel: 559.278.2782

Please include the following documents with your Research Scholar and Exchange Visitor Application Form

  1. Completed Research Scholar Application Form with the following information: 
    • Complete name as it appears on your passport. Please clearly indicate which name is your last/family name, first/given name and middle name.
    • Current email address
    • Current mailing address
    • City and country of birth
    • Date of birth
    • Country of Permanent Residence
    • Country of Citizenship
    • Name and department of the faculty member with whom you plan to conduct your research. Please forward this application to the faculty member hosting you and have him/her obtain required signatures.

Note: It is highly recommended that you identify a faculty liaison / sponsor prior to submitting your application. Familiarity with academic department research priorities / interests is always helpful. If you have not already chosen a particular faculty member to sponsor your research, your materials will be sent to the appropriate department Chair to determine if an affiliation is possible.

  1. Cover Letter: A one-page letter introducing yourself.
  2. Research Proposal: A one-page research proposal including the topic of your research and the dates you wish to conduct research on our campus.
  3. Degree Certification: A photocopy of the diploma of the highest degree you have been awarded (Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph.D).
  4. Resume: A resume which includes your educational and professional background.
  5. Proof of English ability: Proof of English ability sufficient to carry out the proposed research. This may be in the form of a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)/ IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score or a letter of recommendation from a professor of English in your home country.
  6. Invitation Letter from Department (if an affiliation has been secured).

Step II: If the academic department chooses to extend an invitation for you to join the campus as an International Research Scholar, then the additional information below will be needed to issue your immigration documentation.

  1. Financial Support Documentation: A letter of financial guarantee on official letterhead, including the amount of financial support and the dates for which the support is offered, please indicate whether you are being funded by a government source or a private source.
    Note: Most scholars who come to our university are funded by sources such as sabbatical leave pay by the home institution or a grant from the scholar’s home country. However, if you are not receiving such financial support, you will need to submit a letter stating you are self-funded along with a bank statement demonstrating you have sufficient funds to meet all of your needs for the duration of your program in the US.
  2. Declaration of Previous Presence in the United States: Please complete the ATTACHED FORM and include it with your package.
  3. Passport: Submit a photocopy of the main page of your passport including your biographic information and photo.
  4. Dependent Information: If your spouse or dependent children (under the age of 21) will accompany you then please send the following documentation for each dependent family member:
    • Photocopy of the biographic page of each dependent’s passport
    • Complete name indicating each dependent’s last name, first name and middle name.
    • Dependent’s relationship to you (ie spouse, son / daughter)
    • Dependent’s city and country of birth
    • Dependent’s country of citizenship
    • Dependent’s country of permanent residence

Applicants should allow at least three months for processing of all documents. Once your proposal has been reviewed and accepted by the department, you will be sent a formal letter of invitation, a DS 2019 for you and your dependent family members planning on accompanying you, and general orientation information. You will use these documents to apply for a J-1 Scholar visa at the US Embassy or US Consulate closest to you.

If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Jasmine Cao in the International Student Services and Programs Office at