Visiting Scholarships provide opportunities for scientists who wish to use the Field Museum's collections. Funds are earmarked for travel and for subsistence while visitors are conducting their research. 

Online Application

If you have a problem with the online application system that is not addressed by the help page, please email us.

  • Applications open: October 3, 2018, 12:01am CST
  • Application deadline: November 21, 2018, 11:59pm CST
  • Letters of reference deadline: November 27, 2018
  • Applicant awards announced: Late December 2019
  • Awardee accept/decline deadline: January 15, 2019
  • Earliest start date: February 20, 2019

Applications for Visiting Scholarships are considered once a year. The applicant deadline is November 21. All applicant materials must be submitted by this deadline. Decisions will be made in mid-December. Proposals reviewed by the December panel can be funded no sooner than the third week of the following February. Foreign scholars should allow appropriate time for visa considerations, and factor American taxes, visa expenses, and the cost of travel to and from the Museum into their proposed budget.

Sponsorship Requirements

Applications must be endorsed by a Field Museum sponsor. Applications without endorsements received by the deadline will not be considered. You are required to contact your desired sponsor beforehand to communicate your background, goals and objectives. It is the applicant's responsibility to provide their proposal to their sponsor with sufficient time to write and submit an endorsement letter.

View Sponsor List

Instructions for Sponsors 

Letters of endorsement must be uploaded by December 1 at 11:59pm CST.  If you are sponsoring multiple applications, please rank your applicants clearly in your letters of endorsement and indicate which applicant you consider to be the strongest candidate.

Application Requirements

Applications require statements regarding:

  • Purpose and significance of the proposed research
  • Relevance of Field Museum’s collections to the project
  • Collaboration(s) with Field Museum curators, if any
  • Procedures and methods used in the project

These statements should be written in a way that highlights the importance and potential impact of the planned project and is understandable to a broader audience beyond specialists in the relevant field. While the quality of the science of the proposal and its feasibility and relevance to the Museum's collections and research are the single most important criteria to evaluate a proposal, the narrative should also spark excitement about the project.

A current full Curriculum Vitae (in English), including a list of references (other than a Field Museum curator or sponsor), must be uploaded with the application (pdf formats only). You may also submit an additional file of supplemental material (figures, tables, or letters) that you might want considered with your application.

In the on-line application, you must designate the e-mail address of at least one of your references, who will receive an e-mail from The Field Museum requesting to upload a recommendation letter on your behalf.

Young professionals and graduate students can be funded for periods of a few days to several weeks from the Thomas J. Dee, the Karl P. Schmidt, the Bass fund, and the Visiting Scholar funds. Awards are typically between $1,500 and $2,500 (overseas scholars) per scholar, owing to the limited availability of these funds. Requests up to $3,900 may be submitted by overseas scholars with more expensive airfares and longer visits; larger amounts cannot be considered. Applicants to the African Scholars program, however, may request up to $7,000 total for expenses related to their travel, lodging, and living expenses in Chicago, as well as their visa costs. Please note in the online application whether you are applying to the African Scholars program. Typically, a proposed budget would estimate costs for airfare plus approximately $1,000 per month for accommodation and meals. Before preparing a budget, we recommend consulting with your contact at the Museum. Foreign applicants should be aware that their award is subject to American taxes, and in addition, should carefully consider the cost of acquiring a visa.

Proof of English Language Proficiency

As of January 2015, the Museum must verify that all J-1 exchange visitors 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.” The regulations provide several approved methods to document English proficiency:

  • A recognized English language test (following standards used by several universities, this would be a TOEFL score of 525 or 71 iBT, or an IELTS score of 6.0).
  • Signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school (completion of an English as a Second Language program or a degree from a university where instruction is all in English).
  • Through a documented interview conducted by the sponsor either in person or by videoconferencing, or by telephone if videoconferencing is not a viable option.