Visiting Scholars and Artists Program

About the program

Established in 1960, the Visiting Scholars and Artists Program makes important contributions to the intellectual life of Western Michigan University. This program provides funds for academic units to bring distinguished scholars and artists to campus. These visitors meet with faculty and students in their fields and address the community at large. Since the program began, it has supported over 600 visits by scholars and artists representing more than 67 academic disciplines.

Application Procedure

Application Procedure

Grant awards are announced during the academic year preceding the visit. Awards for scholars and artists who will visit between September 2023 and April 2024 will be announced in June and November. Grants generally do not exceed $1,500. Larger grants are only awarded to those applications that attract students and faculty members from more than one unit.

Departments that have not recently been awarded a grant are encouraged to apply. The deadline for Visiting Scholars and Artist Program nominations is April 1 and September 30. If the deadline is during the weekend, please submit that Monday by 5 p.m.

Application materials

Please carefully review all instructions.

  1. Application Form. Fill in all blanks. The signature of the department/unit chair/program director is required.
  2. Cover Letter
    • Briefly highlight specific accomplishments of the proposed visitor that make him or her a distinguished scholar/artist in the field.
    • Briefly describe the proposed activities and assess the appeal and impact they would have. Priority will be given to visitors that are of interest to more than one department/unit.
  3. Biographical Sketch. Please strive to make this paragraph informative for the potential audience. The committee will not rewrite the sketch to meet the 125-word limitation. Failure to include this sketch will cause the application to be returned without action. Avoid typos and grammatical errors.
    • Use the application form provided online to submit a brief biographical and academic sketch of no more than 125 words (typed). It should also include information about the type of events and the dates and locations as available.
    • If your application is funded, you will need to submit an UPDATED electronic version (Word or PDF) of the biographical sketch to; please use "VSAP [current year]" in the subject line.
  4. Schedule. Submit a schedule that outlines the proposed activities and include locations, times, and anticipated audiences.
  5. Budget. Submit an itemized budget with justification. The primary purpose of a VSAP award is to cover travel expenses and (part of) an honorarium. The budget may include reasonable spending for refreshments/catering. Indicate how much support is requested from VSAP. Specify the sources of other funds that support this visit. The visitors’ honorarium should be reasonable and not exceed $500 per day or $2200 total (from all sources). Provide a justification if your guest will receive a larger honorarium.
  6. Contact with VSAP Scholar/Artist. Attach a copy of the letter or email in which the guest agrees to visit WMU.
  7. Curriculum Vitae (CV). Attach curriculum vitae (in English) for the proposed scholar/artist. This should be different from the "biographical sketch" mentioned above and should contain detailed information about the academic background and creative work of the visitor.
  8. Checklist. Fill out the checklist provided with the application, and submit it along with your application materials in order given in the checklist.