Hosting a Fulbright Scholar at ND

A Fulbright award is very prestigious. Scholars coming to Notre Dame are likely to be excited, and maybe a little apprehensive about joining a vibrant new international academic community. It is important that Notre Dame does everything it can to make scholars feel welcome, both when they arrive and throughout their time at Notre Dame. Providing them with a work or office space if possible is desirable. Inviting them to departmental events, scholarly talks and campus activities and generally introducing them colleagues and to the culture of the campus is all part of providing a welcoming community.

Helping with the smooth execution of administrative details before and after the scholar’s acceptance by Fulbright and up to their arrival on campus paves the way to a good welcome.

Host Department


The costs to host a Fulbright scholar are essentially minimal to a department. Fulbright scholars receive a stipend for living expenses as part of their Fulbright award. Fulbright also covers travel to the U.S., visa processing fees and health insurance. Notre Dame is not responsible for providing financial assistance or housing.

Invitation Letter

Faculty may be contacted by a prospective Fulbright scholar who would like to be hosted at Notre Dame, or a Notre Dame faculty may have a collaboration with an international scholar whom they would like to invite. Such plans should be discussed with the department Chair as to whether the prospective scholar’s research interests or proposed activities are within the department’s capacity and whether there is interest in hosting a Fulbright scholar. If so, it is helpful (and sometimes required) to write a letter of invitation on department letterhead minimally addressing the following:

  • The fact that the Department is interested in hosting the scholar
  • How the department is a good fit for the scholar’s research interests/and or proposed activities
  • Name of the faculty associate (faculty mentor) and their contact information
  • Proposed start date

Further information on writing letters of invitation for Fulbright Scholars can be found here. The letter becomes part of the prospective scholar’s application to Fulbright.

Flta Candid 2

Before the Scholar Arrives

Institutional Response Form

Once Fulbright makes a possible placement for a visiting scholar, Fulbright contacts the University to confirm the placement via the Institutional Response Form (IRF). The IRF must be completed in order for the DS-2019 immigration document to be issued to the Fulbright Scholar. Leah Zimmer (lzimmer@nd.edu), the University of Notre Dame's Fulbright Administrative Official, is responsible for the final signing off on the Fulbright Institutional Reply Form (IRF) which confirms the scholar’s affiliation with the University. It can vary as to who is in first receipt of this form as sometimes it can go directly to the faculty associate and/or directly to Ms. Zimmer. Both need to sign with the final signature being that of Ms. Zimmer, who then returns the form to Fulbright. Ms Zimmer will in turn inform the relevant department administrator when the completed IRF form has been submitted to Fulbright

Visa Documentation

Fulbright sponsors the scholars and therefore issues their U.S. visa documentation. International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA) is not involved in a request for a visa as Notre Dame is not the immigration sponsor.

Establishing Visiting Scholar Status at Notre Dame

As soon as possible after the submission of the IRF form to Fulbright, the department administrator should establish contact with the Fulbright Scholar with a view to entering getting them established as a Visiting Scholar in the Notre Dame system. In order to do so, they will request that the Scholar provide information and documentation through Interfolio. Any questions that may arise should be directed to Joe Lyphout (jlyphou1@nd.edu).

Notre Dame E-Mail and Login

Once the Fulbright Scholar is fully entered into the Notre Dame system, they will receive an email with instructions about setting up their email account and log-in information.

Scholar Pre-Arrival Preparations

While there are no formal requirements with regard to pre-arrival communication, the overall goal is to be as helpful and welcoming as possible as the scholar prepares for the transition. While the scholar is responsible for finding their own housing, the department should be prepared to help should there be a need. The hosting department may be asked to provide guidance or advice on other issues such as: transportation, schooling for dependents, banking, driver’s license etc.

The department administrator should contact Leah Zimmer to inform her of the scholar’s arrival date on campus.

Once the Scholar Arrives

It is important that the faculty associate or another departmental representative be available to assist the scholar immediately upon arrival. At that time direction and guidance will be needed in getting an ND ID and access to the library etc.. Particulars on such should have already been communicated once the scholar is entered in the ND system through Interfolio.

International Scholar Orientation

While Notre Dame is not the immigration sponsor, once the scholar has arrived on campus, contact can be made with Leah Zimmer (lzimmer@nd.edu) in order to facilitate additional orientation to ND and the USA.

Resolution of Problems or Concerns

Concerns related to ND can be discussed and resolved through the departmental administrator or faculty host. If problems cannot be resolved at that level and additional input is needed, please contact Geraldine Meehan in NDI (gmeehan@nd.edu). Authorizations related to travel or matters related to the scholar’s J-I status, need to be resolved through the scholar’s Fulbright Advisor (noted on their DS-2019).

When the Scholar Leaves Campus

When the Fulbright Scholar leaves ND, they are terminated from the ND system through Personnel Actions, by the department administrator with access to that system.