Information for Departments Sponsoring Scholars

As a Public, Research University, the University at Albany, SUNY regularly hosts visiting scholars. We currently have with us 115 international visiting scholars and 16 interns from over 20 different countries. International scholars and interns are represented in all nine colleges and schools where they conduct research and work in other capacities with UAlbany faculty. International scholars and interns represent a huge asset to our university.

Departmental/Faculty Responsibilities:

In collaborating with our faculty and students, visiting scholars bring novel insights on academic issues that helps to advance the research agenda and enrich the learning experiences for our students. Hosting these individuals therefore confers a great deal of responsibility on the host department and should not be taken lightly. It requires some advance planning and a commitment to the following responsibilities:
  • Ensuring that the international scholar has information on how best to get to the airport to where they will stay, and providing information on local hotels
  • Assign a faculty member to supervise the research or other approved activity of the scholar
  • The host faculty member should check in with the scholar at least once per week to see whether there are issues or concerns, or simply to discuss the progress of their work
  • Provide office/work space to be used on a regular basis
  •  In the absence of dedicated housing for visiting scholars, assist with identifying housing in the Albany area
  •  Invite scholar to departmental, committee and other appropriate forums for interaction with other faculty at the departmental level
  •  Involve scholar in departmental cultural and social related activities

Inviting an International Scholar to UAlbany: What the Faculty Member Must Do

While the initial contact with the potential visiting scholar may come from the person overseas, in the end it will be someone from the University at Albany who must invite the scholar to come. A letter of invitation is a requirement so that the scholar can obtain a visa and in some cases, so that he/she can obtain funding, or possibly release time from an employer.

1. Download and complete the DS-2019 request form  Submit it to the appropriate person on campus. If the scholar is:

  • Self-funded & paid by UAlbany: submit the request form to Tara Evans, ISSS, SL G-40, fax: 518-591-8171, tevans3@albany.edu.
  • To be paid by the Research Foundation: submit the request form to Cheryl Yagelski, MSC 326, fax: 518-437-4504, cyagelski@albany.edu .

2. Instructions for completing the DS-2019 request form:

  •  Forward the form to the visitor to complete page 3 and return to you, with proof of funding and a copy of their passport picture page. When you receive it, review page 2 and be sure all items are complete.
  •  Indicate the appropriate Exchange Visitor category on page 2; sign the form; obtain the chair’s, dean’s or vice president’s signature; and forward it to the appropriate person above (Tara or Cheryl). To process the DS-2019 request, the following documents must accompany the DS-2019 request form:
    • (1) proof of funding,
    • (2) visitor’s passport picture page, and
    • (3) Proof of the visitor’s English language proficiency. Acceptable proofs include:
      • (1) a recognized English language test (ex: TOEFL, IELTS),
      • (2) Signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school (stating completion/certification of a language program),
      • (3) A documented interview conducted by the sponsor either in-person or by video conferencing, or by telephone if videoconferencing is not a viable option.
  •  Proof of funding for self-funded scholars: The scholar must demonstrate that he/she will have sufficient funds to cover living expenses for the duration of the stay. The amount needed is $1,000 per month, with an additional $4,000 per dependent (for one year, or pro-rated for a portion of one year). The documentation may be in the form of a scholarship award letter, personal bank statement, letter from employer stating that salary will continue to be paid, etc. Specific dollar amounts must be indicated, and the documentation must be recent.

3. Pick up the DS-2019 form: When the DS-2019 form is ready, you will be notified. You may either pick it up or ask that it be sent to you through campus mail. We will also provide information about applying for a visa, the SEVIS 901 fee, welcome brochure from The Department of State, and insurance requirements.

4. Mail the DS-2019 form to the scholar, along with a letter of invitation and the additional information provided with the DS-2019 form. (Note: Do not sign or write anything on the DS-2019 form!)

5. Delayed arrival? Let the preparer of the form (Tara, or Cheryl) know if the scholar’s arrival will be delayed more than 30 days past the proposed start date. If the visitor will be delayed, the preparer will need to defer the start date in SEVIS. Also, inform the preparer if the scholar changes plans and decides not to come at all. The SEVIS record will be cancelled.