Other Academic PositionsBrandeis considers postdoctoral associates, research scientists, and research fellows to be academic positions. Scholars who have a courtesy appointment or serve as an occasional lecture or seminar speaker are also included in this category.
To hire a new Postdoctoral Researcher (Postdoctoral Fellow, Postdoctoral Associate), please first obtain an appointment letter from the Office of Research Administration. The ISSO will be notified when the appointment letter is issued, and we will follow up with the department and the prospective employee. If you have any questions about the appointment letter, please feel free to contact the Office of Postdoctoral Scholars by email, or by phone (781-736-2121).
The hiring manager or the department administrator will need to submit the Department Portal Form to provide additional information.
- If the employee will pursue a J-1 visa, an English Language Form (pdf) is required by Department of State. The ISSO will ask for your cost center so that the correct department is charged for the shipping label when we mail Form DS-2019 to the new employee.
- If the employee will pursue an H-1B visa, you may find the required documents and fees on our website.
- If the employee holds an F-1 visa or a J-2 visa, please inform the ISSO so that we can reach out to the employee to check-in. In this way, we can anticipate future immigration sponsorship needs.
A courtesy appointment is without compensation. A courtesy appointment does not create an employer/employee relationship and does not involve payment. The ISSO will follow up once we receive the appointment letter from the Office of Research Administration. For more information on the appointment of a Visiting Scholar (salaried or unsalaried, such as Courtesy Appointments; but not grant-funded), please visit the Office of Research Administration website.
If the individual invited needs a visa to enter the U.S., the ISSO will assist with the process. If the individual invited needs a J-1 visa to enter the U.S., the ISSO will assist with the process. The hiring manager or the department administrator will need to fill Department Portal Form and the English Language Form (pdf). The ISSO will ask for your cost center to cover the document shipping cost (approximately $20 - $80).
Occasionally, a foreign national may already hold an immigration status that allows them to accept a courtesy appointment at Brandeis. The ISSO will advise on a case-to-case basis.
Short-term visitors (anywhere from one day to three months) must enter the U.S. with a proper visa status appropriate for the purpose of their visit. If it has been arranged to pay such persons a salary, honorarium, or even to reimburse for travel and expenses, it is especially important for such visitors to obtain a visa that will allow them to receive such payments.
While immigration regulations now allow for tourist (B-1 or B-2, or WT) visa holders to receive honorarium and reimbursement of expenses for travel and lodging, please be advised that not all short-term appointments fit this option.
It is important to consult with the ISSO to determine the most appropriate visa for the type of work to be performed and payment to be made.
We commonly see individuals who have academic positions pursue a J-1 visa. The ISSO will issue a Form DS-2019 for those who will need to apply for a J-1 visa. Please see the J-1 Scholar Categories below.
J-1 Scholar Categories
This J-1 Exchange Visitor category has a minimum stay of three weeks, and a maximum continuous stay of 5 years. The five-year maximum stays for a J-1 research scholar/professor. The five-year “clock” begins with the start date on the Form DS-2019 and this status remains available until the end of five years from that date or the date the J-1 program is concluded, whichever is earlier. At Brandeis, the initial DS-2019 will be issued for the duration of the academic appointment and can be extended for the duration of the Brandeis appointment up to a maximum of five years. However, when the program at Brandeis is completed so is the J-1 status unless the scholar transfers immediately to another J-1 sponsor.
Paid employment for J-1 research scholars or professors is permitted only if it is described on the Form DS-2019 issued to the J-1 visa holder. In most cases, it is not possible for a J-1 visa holder to accept paid employment outside of Brandeis. However, there is a provision that allows for occasional lectures, if permission is requested and granted by ISSO before the event. Please contact the ISSO for details.
There are severe restrictions that make some individuals ineligible to use the Research Scholar or Professor J-1 category. See more information on the 12/24 - month bar on repeat participation and the two-year home residency requirement.
The J-1 Short-Term Scholar category can be used when the academic objective for the visit can be completed within six (6) months or less. This J category is often used for lectures, observations, consultations, or to participate in seminars, workshops, conferences, or professional meetings. The J-1 Short-Term Scholar category is designed for academics who reside outside the U.S. and will from time-to-time be invited for short visits. The J-1 Short-Term Scholar may return to the U.S. again for a new Short-Term Scholar stay providing there is a substantial break in between and each visit constitutes a new objective. Another advantage of using the Short-Term Scholar J-1 category is that the visitor may also return to the U.S. for a longer term stay using the J-1 Research Scholar/Professor category without being subject to the 12 and 24-month bars.
Specialists, for J-1 purposes, are defined as individuals who are experts in a field of specialized knowledge or skill coming to the U.S. for observing, consulting or demonstrating their special skills. A specialist may not fill a permanent or long-term position of employment while in the U.S. This category is not intended for experts covered by the research scholar, professor, short-term scholar or foreign physician in graduate medical education or training categories. The maximum period of stay is one year.
The J-1 Internship programs will allow foreign college and university students or recent graduates to come to the United States to gain exposure to U.S. culture and to receive hands-on experience in U.S. business practices in their chosen occupational field.
Other Visa Options
If an employee already holds an F-1 visa, they may be authorized to work using CPT, OPT, and STEM OPT Extension. F-1 visa holders who choose to utilize their own immigration benefits will not need additional immigration sponsorship from Brandeis. If the employee needs to complete a Form I-983 for their STEM OPT application, they should seek guidance from Human Resources to complete Section 3 and work with their hiring manager directly to complete Section 5. The employee will present their own immigration documents and work authorization for I-9 purposes. The ISSO will also collect a Scholar Check-in Form so that we can accurately record a scholar's status and predict their immigration needs in the future.
Eligible postdoctoral associates, research scientists, and fellows may also pursue an H-1B visa in certain instances, particularly when they have exhausted their other visa options. Hiring departments may work with the ISSO directly to identify the needs to help an employee with applying for an H-1B visa.
J-2 work permits are obtained from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) through an application process that takes an average of 3-5 months to process. Employment may not begin until the J-2 has received the work permit, Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
The EAD allows the J-2 dependent to work in any job, full-time or part-time. Employment cannot extend beyond the end date on the EAD. Extensions of the EAD are possible, up to the end date on the DS-2019. Please note that the extension process also takes an average of 3-5 months, so plan ahead if employment needs to be continuous.
There are increased risks of traveling outside of the U.S. while your EAD application is pending. Please consult with the ISSO before planning international travel during this period.
Note: Brandeis ISSO will advise J-2 visa holders who hold DS-2019s that are issued by Brandeis and would refer those whose J-1s are sponsored by others to seek guidance from their sponsor.
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