Global Fellows Program to bring distinguished guests and scholars to campus

Application portal opens

Interim Chancellor and Provost Susan R. Wente (Vanderbilt University)
Susan R. Wente, interim chancellor and provost  (Vanderbilt University)

A newly established Global Fellows Program will substantively contribute to faculty and student research, scholarship and creative projects by providing opportunities for scholars, authors, artists, politicians and other leading intellectual figures to engage with the Vanderbilt community.

“The Global Fellows Program will enhance our community’s ability to engage with thought leaders from around the world,” said Interim Chancellor and Provost Susan R. Wente. “We are launching this as a direct action in response to recommendations from different committee reports. This will be a key component of our new international strategy. By bringing a diversified contingent of renowned visitors to Vanderbilt, we will learn from them, and in return, they will share their impressions of Vanderbilt at their home institutions, cities, states and countries.”

The program, which is a part of the GlobalVU initiative, will extend the reach of existing programming and encourage the creation of additional visiting fellows programs through the availability of co-investment funding. It was created in response to reports from a number of campus committees—including the Chancellor’s Humanities Committee,  International Strategy Working Group, Graduate Education and Research Endowment Committee and Vanderbilt University Research Council—that emphasize the importance of bringing distinguished guests to Vanderbilt.

Ted Fischer leaning on railing
Ted Fischer, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Anthropology (Vanderbilt University)

Once complete, the 20-story West End Tower connected to Nicholas S. Zeppos Residential College at the corner of West End and 25th Avenue will include guest apartments to house the Global Fellows as well as meeting space. The location of the apartments within the residential college system creates opportunities for the fellows to interact with students. The West End Tower is projected to open in summer 2021. In the meantime, residential college guest apartments or local hotels will be used to house visiting fellows.

Academic units (departments, centers, institutes and programs) from all provost-reporting schools and colleges that either have visiting fellow programs, or that would like to bring someone to campus for an extended stay and special engagement, are invited to apply for co-investment funding through the program.

The Provost-funded and TIPs-funded GlobalVU initiative is led by Ingrid Wuerth, Helen Strong Curry Professor of International Law, and Ted Fischer, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Anthropology and director of the Center for Latin American Studies, who co-chaired the International Strategy Working Group. They both played instrumental roles in the development of the 2017 International Strategy Report, a roadmap for expanding Vanderbilt’s global reach.

“Vanderbilt has so much to offer that we want to bring renowned scholars, artists and intellectuals from around the country and the globe to campus to expose them to the work of our faculty,” Fischer said. “We see this as a way of substantively contributing to faculty research, enriching the student experience and bringing our scholars’ expertise to bear on pressing issues of the day.”

Ingrid Wuerth, Helen Strong Curry Professor of International Law (Vanderbilt University)

Fellows will be selected by prioritizing potential to significantly advance scholarship, ability to promote the university’s strategic goals as stated in the Academic Strategic Plan and the International Strategy Report, and the opportunity for broad engagement with faculty and students during their visit. Funds may support a variety of costs associated with hosting a visitor on campus, such as programs for housing, accommodations and incidentals. More information can be found on the GlobalVU initiative page.

Global Fellow applications can be submitted through the InfoReady portal, and funding awards will be announced on a rolling monthly basis. If individuals have suggestions on someone to bring to campus but are not sure how to proceed, they are encouraged to submit preliminary ideas to the GlobalVU Initiative team via this online form.

“As part of the overall GlobalVU Initiative, we welcome ‘big and small ideas’ from the Vanderbilt community,” Wuerth said. “From prominent scholars or public figures to bring to campus to ways that we can best support your work, our goal is to promote world-class, intellectually diverse research and creative expression that has an impact on a global scale. We look forward to hearing from you.”

Faculty can email suggestions (large and small) on how to strengthen Vanderbilt’s global engagement, including possible Global Fellows, to