The W. Michael Hoffman Center for Business Ethics (HCBE) operates a Visiting Scholar program, whereby suitably qualified academics, business people, or others can come to the HCBE for a period of time (usually somewhere between one month and a year) in order to use our research facilities, set up meetings with academics or fellow professionals and generally become part of the global network in which HCBE participates. All Visiting Scholars are expected to be in residence working on their business ethics project during their stay.
There are some aspects of the Visiting Scholar program that have to be explained as they may have a bearing on whether you decide it is suitable for you:
- Qualifications -- There are no formal academic or professional qualifications or credentials required to be a Visiting Scholar at HCBE; however, we do require a business ethics research proposal, résumé, and two letters of recommendation.
The recommendation letter would be written by, for example, your PhD supervisor, another professor, your employer, etc, and sent to Mary Chiasson by these people; this cannot be sent by you. There is no set format but each letter should include the following details:
- Assessment of your character, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses, and your English language communication skills
- Visiting Scholar program’s relevance for your future and career goals
- Nature of writer’s relationship with you
- Financial Assistance -- Unfortunately, neither the HCBE nor Bentley University (of which we are a semi-autonomous center) is able to offer any financial assistance to support Visiting Scholars. You may, however, wish to explore the possibility of a scholarship or other funding from an educational foundation, your employer, or another source, either in the United States or in your country. You would need to pursue this on your own since we do not have the administrative resources to give assistance.
- Research guidance and support -- We are always glad to do what we can to make a Visiting Scholar’s stay with us as productive, enjoyable, and worthwhile as possible. That said, research is self-directed and there is no formal program for guidance or supervision -- our staff resources and other commitments make that impossible. Having said that, either Dr. Hoffman or Dr. McNulty can be available (usually by appointment) to offer advice or suggestions on specific issues or areas of difficulty. The HCBE has a full-time staff of four people, with assistance from several undergraduate students. It is not possible to allocate a dedicated research assistant but limited assistance with certain tasks or small projects may be available.
- Accommodation -- Unfortunately, we are not able to help with this. Visiting Scholars are responsible for finding and, of course, paying for their own accommodation. Normally, this will be private, rented accommodation in Waltham and Cambridge that are served by the Bentley Shuttle bus. BostonApaprtments.com is a useful resource. This will give you an indication of the cost of living in the Boston metro area (housing obviously being a leading indicator). The HCBE’s Administrative Assistant, Gail Sands, can provide some general information as needed, and suggest some local area hotels. Because of the relative difficulty of arranging accommodation, some Visiting Scholars stay at a local hotel for a few days while they look for an apartment.
- Immigration/visa requirements -- If your application to be a HCBE Visiting Scholar is successful, our acceptance letter will naturally be conditional on your obtaining the necessary visa to cover your temporary residence and research activities in the United States. HCBE’s staff is not qualified to advise or assist with this but we recommend you seek general advice in the first instance from your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You may also wish to contact Nia DeYoung, in International Services.
We enjoy having Visiting Scholars. If you would like to pursue your application, please email your research proposal and résumé to Mary Chiasson or mail them to:
W. Michael Hoffman
Center for Business Ethics
175 Forest Street
Waltham, MA 02452
As you can imagine, we receive quite a few applications and since there is limited space in our library we need to coordinate Visiting Scholars. We can accommodate a maximum of four or five at any given time. We look forward to hearing from you. Please let us know if you have any questions about the program in general.