Visiting International Professor (VIP) program

Two students talking in Academic South

Brock’s Visiting International Professor (VIP) program brings visiting faculty from academic institutions in other nations to Brock to teach in their area of expertise and collaborate with Brock faculty, staff and students in a range of academic activities.

The VIP program is designed for faculty from abroad who are interested in an international teaching and research opportunity at Brock University. Generally, such opportunities arise out of interactions between Brock faculty and their international colleagues, leading to an invitation to teach at Brock.

Academics in the following categories are good VIP candidates:

  • Sabbaticants;
  • Investigators interested in disseminating original research through an academic specialty course;
  • Academic faculty interested in gaining international expertise;
  • Faculty seeking collaborative research and teaching opportunities with Canadian colleagues;
  • Researchers with an active interest in Canada or North America.

Visiting International Professors are generally invited to offer one half-credit course (minimum 36 hours of instruction) in a relevant program at Brock University. The maximum that a VIP can teach is three half-credit courses in a semester or two full-credit courses in an academic year. At least one lecture or seminar should be open to the entire university community. One half-credit course taught over one academic term (four months) will usually cover:

  • Return economy airfare from home country to Canada (varies)
  • Off-campus accommodation in a homestay, house, or apartment
  • Food and living costs
  • Researchers with an active interest in Canada or North America

Visiting International Professors will be provided with:

  • Pre-departure assistance (official letter of invitation sent by courier, email communication, ongoing to help get ready for the trip to Canada)
  • Assistance finding local accommodations
  • Co-ordinate ground transportation arrangements between Pearson International Airport or Buffalo International Airport and St. Catharines
  • On-arrival orientation, including campus tour and other on-campus orientation activities
  • Departmental office space (private or shared, subject to availability)
  • Full Internet and computer access, library borrowing privileges
  • Opportunities for networking with academic colleagues at Brock, other institutions, and the broader community

While at Brock, other activities may include:

  • Joint collaborative research with Brock faculty
  • Academic job shadowing
  • Observation of teaching and learning techniques and classroom activities
  • Collaborative curriculum development

The remainder of the VIP’s time is free to follow research, scholarship, and professional development interests.

A Brock faculty colleague from within the hosting department works with the VIP to facilitate the academic and/or professional activities while at Brock; for example:

  • To serve as a key departmental contact person for the participant, providing guidance about course administration, curriculum, exams, marking and other related university teaching protocol
  • To serve as an interface with the rest of the Brock community
  • To create opportunities for interaction with academics and professionals in the participant’s area of interest, and to engage the participant in meaningful representative professional activity
  • To facilitate opportunities for the VIP to interact with other classes and seminars where appropriate

Brock International will issue a formal letter of invitation to selected participants, co-ordinate transportation, help arrange accommodations, link participants with other university colleagues, and arrange library and internet access. Also, Brock International will publicize the arrival of participants and offer every opportunity for interaction with the broader Brock community.

At the end of a VIP’s stay, Brock International will provide an official letter indicating the nature and extent of the teaching activities undertaken at Brock.

The VIP program runs in all academic semesters. Course contact time is typically three to six hours per week over a 12-week term during the regular academic year (Term I: Sept. 1 – Dec. 31; Term II: Jan. 1 – April 30).

Fewer courses are offered in the Spring (April-June) and Summer (July- August) semesters, and many faculty are involved in research activities at that time. July and August are typically summer vacation months for many Canadians.

Intensive courses of shorter duration may be offered by special prior arrangement. Applicants should submit proposals for courses no less than one year in advance of their intended stay.

The VIP program is offered at the main campus of Brock University, by all participating academic units.

Participants in the VIP program are usually known to a Brock faculty member who may have collaborated on research or academic initiatives.

If you are interested in applying to the VIP program:

  1. Determine your exact area of interest by consulting the Brock University website and academic calendars. If you have already established a productive collaborative relationship with a Brock faculty member, your chances for involvement in the VIP program are much better.
  2. Submit the online application form
  3. If a match is made, and subject to departmental chair and Dean approval, Brock International will contact you regarding next steps, such as registration form, fee payment, formal invitation letter, etc.)

It is important to note that Brock can only accommodate a limited number of participants in the Visiting International Professor program, and that faculty members volunteer their time to assist VIPs. Therefore, we cannot guarantee acceptance. Also, all invitations are subject to individual department and Faculty Dean approval.

You can learn more about courses and programs available by checking the Brock website and the graduate and undergraduate calendars.