Visiting Research Scholar Program

The Office of Graduate & International Programs offers the Visiting Research Scholar Program to support various needs of international legal scholars engaged in major research projects for which Temple Law's outstanding faculty and resources can be of assistance. Each Researcher is matched with one or more faculty members who have similar interests to enhance mutual research agendas. Researchers enjoy full access to the Temple Law's library and research facilities to pursue their specialized research agendas. In addition to the resources offered by the the law school, the visitors in residence have access to the extensive intellectual and cultural activities offered both at Temple University and in Philadelphia .

The Graduate & International Programs committee selects researchers from an international pool of applicants based on the significance and timeliness of their research interests. While there is no fixed agenda for these researchers in residence, they are encouraged and welcome to observe classes, particularly those in their area of interest, and to participate in the law school's workshops, lecture series, and colloquia. Researchers are invited to give presentations to the law school community and they participate in teaching law school classes. The Office Graduate & International Programs also sponsor invitational lunches and periodic brown-bag lunch meetings which provide the visitors in residence an opportunity to both socialize and exchange ideas with the Temple community including Temple Law's international students. Researchers are expected to contribute significantly to the intellectual environment of the law school. At times, they engage in collaborative research work with members of the Temple Law faculty which may result in joint or parallel work product(s).

Library Privileges

The Office of Graduate & International Programs provide work space for the visitor in the library. Although some computer facilities may be available in the library, visitors are encouraged to bring their own laptops for their own research. Researchers are given full access to the law library to pursue their specialized research projects. This includes certain research services such as WESTLAW and LEXIS. A Temple ID is issued during the time in residence which allows access to the law building and the law library.


Visiting Researchers pay no tuition; they do not qualify for employee benefits and they are required to make their own travel and housing arrangements.

A limited number of modest stipends are available. However, most of the Researchers are supported by funds from other sources such as Fulbright Scholarships or sabbatical leave salary from the home university. Due to the competition for financial support, not all applicants for stipends receive them, and applicants are strongly encouraged to seek alternative funding sources.


Spring Semester: January 9*
Fall Semester: August 3**

*January 9 is a mandatory one-day orientation prior to the start of the spring semester (January 12)

**August 3 is the start of a mandatory 3-week orientation for foreign LLM students and visiting scholars prior to the start of the academic year (August 25)


Step one: To apply for acceptance into the program, please submit (at least 4 months prior to your intended start date):

  • A current curriculum vitae or resume which includes a publication record and any significant awards and honors received.
  • An outline of your research proposal (not to exceed 1000 words).
  • $150 Application Fee
  • English Language Proficiency Requirement. The Department of State requires scholars to have "sufficient proficiency in the english language, as determined by an objective measurement of English language proficiency, successfully to participate in his or her program and to function on a day to day basis". Exam must have been taken within the last two years. Proficiency can be demonstrated in one of two ways:

1. One of the following recognized English language tests:

  • A minimum TOEFL score of 88 (internet-based exam), or its equivalent
  • A minimum IELTS score of 6.5
  • A minimum PTE Academic score of 53

2. A certification of English language proficiency by an English language school or academic institution where English is the primary language

  • Proposed dates of visit (as exact as possible). Please note that a J-1 Scholar can arrive in the United States up to 30 days prior to his/her J Program start date It is advised to arrive earlier than the anticipated start date. This will avoid a delay with the processing of the appointment. One reference letter from either the dean, a supervising professor, or colleague familiar with your work. This letter should be on official letterhead and signed.

Please send all documentation as scanned pdf. attachments and email directly to Joel Houkom at

Step 2: If accepted into the program, you will need to complete your application for visa purposes and final approvals by submitting the following documentation:

  • Certificate of current status (i.e., LL.M. student, Ph.D. student, professor, etc.). The certificate should be on official university letterhead and signed by the appropriate administrator and stamped by university seal. If you will continue to receive your salary from your university, the certificate should also indicate the monthly amount and time-frame you will receive your salary while in the U.S. as a visiting scholar. The dates of support should match the dates reflected on your appointment letter.  
  • Copies of university diplomas. If diplomas are not originally in English, please provide English translations.
  • Copies of U.S. or non-U.S. transcripts. If transcripts are not originally in English, please provide English translations.
  • Copy of passport photo page and any J-2 dependant(s) who will accompany you to the United States. On a separate sheet of paper please indicate the following for each dependent: Family Name, First Name, Middle Name, Date of Birth, City of Birth, Country of Birth, Country of Citizenship, Gender and Relationship to Applicant. CHILDREN MUST BE UNDER 21 AND UNMARRIED.
  • Photocopies of current U.S. immigration documents if you are already in the United States or photocopies of visa documents if you previously participated in a US J-I visitor program.
  • Applicant must provide documentation of coverage that meets the U.S. Department of State (DOS) for minimum insurance coverage during the time they are in the U.S. as part of the J program. The dates of coverage should be consistent with your expected arrival and departure dates and you must be able to show proof of insurance as part of this application process. For additional information, please click on the following link:
  • Proof of adequate funding. Please note that, as of January 2008, visiting J-1 scholars must demonstrate at least $1,750 per month ($21,000 for 12 months). The visiting J-1 scholar must add another $250 per month or $3,000 for 12 months for each dependent who will enter the U.S. in J-2 dependent status. Proof of adequate funding should be on official letterhead of the sponsor, bank, or institution that will be supporting you during your tenure as visiting scholar as well as signed by the appropriate administrator. In preparing funding documentation, please refer to the following guidelines:

Bank Statements In J-1 Scholar's Name

Most recent 3–4 months of bank statements on bank letterhead (per account). Please include English translation. Must demonstrate that funds would be readily available to meet the required minimum as outlined above. Funds can be frozen up until time of travel, but must be "liquid" during the time that the J-1 is in the U.S.

Bank Statements In Sponsor's Name And Letter of Support

Most recent 3–4 months of bank statements of sponsor on bank letterhead (per account). Please include English translation. Sponsor must also write a letter explaining relation to J-1 Scholar and declaring support for J-1 while s/he is participating in a J program in the U.S.

Funding from a University Abroad

Letter from institution stating amount and terms of stipend/salary on University letterhead and signed by a University Official. The letter should state the J-1 scholar's annual income and what monthly income the J-1 will be receiving from the university. Must also indicate that the J-1 will be participating in an Exchange Program at Temple University during this period.

Scholarship from a Company or Institution

Most recent 3–4 months of bank statements of Company on bank letterhead (per account). Please include English translation. Must include a statement from a company employee, not related to the scholar, indicating the amount of funds that have been set aside for scholarship and the specific details of what expenses will be paid by the scholarship. Must indicate that J-1 will be participating in an Exchange Program at Temple University.

Scholarship from a Government

ISSS must receive a clear copy of the formal award letter from the government. Letter should clearly state stipend/salary and any covered expenses, including living expenses, health insurance, etc. Must be dated within 3 months. Must indicate that J-1 will be participating in an Exchange Program at Temple University.

Please send all documentation as scanned pdf. attachments and email directly to Joel Houkom at

NOTE: I should have all properly prepared documentation in hand at least 2 months prior to your expected arrival date.

For any questions or additional details, please contact Joel Houkom at*

*For those candidates from China, please contact Wei Wang at or 010-6279-8633.

The LL.M. Program for Foreign Lawyers at Temple Law

As an alternative to the Visiting Researchers Program, some individuals desiring to earn a law degree may wish to consider Temple Law's Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree programs in Philadelphia or Beijing. Some international students choose these programs because of the unique opportunities they offer for international study. The law school curriculum is reviewed and adapted to reflect the challenges presented by a global society. Temple recognizes that the emergence of the world economy has created a need for attorneys who understand the complexities of the global marketplace and society. Please click here to request more information on our LL.M. programs.