Nov. 2020 Circuit

International Researcher: Resources Panel on visas, travel bans, fellowships, community support

Date: Tuesday November 24, 2020

Location: Zoom Webinar

The November 2020 STEM circuit focused on international researchers in Chicago. Issues related to US visas, travel bans, fellowship options and community support were addressed by an expert panel.

Marian Carlson, Associate Director of Loyola University International Office, provided updates on popular visa categories that international students and scholars opt for to conduct research in USA. While the issuance of new F-1 and J-1 US visas have become limited since the COVID-19 pandemic, she advised current visa holders against non-essential travel. If unavoidable, Marian suggested that immigration advisors and University international offices are good sources to understand specific travel and COVID-19 – related quarantine guidelines.

While looking to advance their research career, researchers often turn to fellowships to fund their projects as well as build their profile. Latanya Williams, Associate Director for STEM-Northwestern Fellowships office, suggested useful fellowship options for international researchers like those sponsored by the American Association of University Women, American Heart Association, Facebook, Graduate Women in Science and Chateaubriand Fellowship Program (links below). University fellowships office can often provide additional guidance for applications.

For any international researcher, besides the University, peers are a crucial source of support and motivation. With this in mind, Carmen Falcone, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis, described the creation of a Slack channel for international scholars (joining link below). Connecting almost 700 members from all over the US, this peer-based channel provides a platform for the community to share concerns and updates on relevant international affairs.

International researchers comprise a significant proportion of the STEM community in Chicago and elsewhere. The success of this STEM circuit was a clear indication of the needs of this diverse and strong group in research.

Useful links:

American Association of University Women:

American Heart Association:


Graduate Women in Science:

Chateaubriand Fellowship Program:

Slack Channel for International Scholars:

Written by: Nasreen Choudhury, MS, PhD

Check out a recording of the event below!