Carnegie Mellon University

Artists and Scholars At Risk (ASAR) Program

Frequently Asked Questions (for Potential Scholars) 

Most ASAR scholars are invited to CMU in J Research-Scholar status.  Following the formal invitation and offer letter, the host department and ASAR scholar will work with CMU’s Office of International Education (OIE) for the visa paperwork and all related questions.


Yes, applications are accepted by nominators and applicants (self-nominators).

No, the sponsorship will not be deferred or reserved for persons who decline the fellowship, elect not to come, or are unable to come; such persons, if interested in applying again at a later time, may do so.

No. Anyone can nominate. Anyone can apply.

Yes, the program defines "scholar" broadly to include candidates from any academic discipline within the humanities and the arts that matches a CMU academic program offering.

Applications from journalists are less likely to advance as there is no school of journalism at Carnegie Mellon.

Professional persons and activists must have scholarly/artistic records or the equivalent.


U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. are not eligible. If a candidate has legal residency in a safe country outside of the home country, assessment of risk will be made with this in mind. All applicants are required to disclose all countries of citizenship and/or permanent residency on nomination/application form.

CMU will prioritize candidates who have been out of the home country for less than two years.

Candidates must satisfy visa requirements for English language.

CMU supports travel and insurance for dependents.

Artists and scholars are expected to have university degrees relevant in their field(s) of study in order to qualify for J scholar status and the CMU ASAR program. Individuals who are seeking an educational experience as a student in the US are not qualified for the program.

Yes, most ASAR scholars come to CMU in J-1 Research-Scholar status. Candidates with pending asylum applications must have work authorization prior to starting a CMU sponsorship. For more information, visit the CMU Office of International Education (OIE).

Sponsorship includes salary, insurance and travel (for the scholar/artist and dependents), and visa support. Stipend amounts may vary depending on terms of the host department, availability of housing, and in-kind forms of support included in the fellowship package.

Usually, sponsorships follow a typical CMU (and United States) academic year: beginning in August or September for a 12-month or 24-month period. Some scholars may extend their CMU fellowship for up to three years.

No, depending on discipline, scholars or artists are hosted by academic departments, centers, or institutes within CMU. CMU’s Artists and Scholars At Risk (ASAR) Program selects and supports fellows and facilitates arrival, orientation, settling in, and appointments in the host departments.

Once scholars apply through one of CMU’s partner organizations, selections are made by the CMU ASAR Steering Committee, which is comprised of faculty members and administrators from the CMU community.

Usually between January and April for program start dates in August or September of the same year, e.g. in Spring 2024 for a start date in August or September 2024.

Yes, all applicants will be notified, regardless of outcome, by email.

The complexities involved in creating a sponsorship package, including matching with an appropriate host department, can delay the preparation of a formal offer. Offers will be issued as soon as possible, and we appreciate your patience. (You are welcome to check in with us at any time, and as often as you like.)